I’m relatively new to weaving. About 4 years ago, I purchased a rigid heddle loom. It didn’t take long to drink the kool aid. I have been a sewer (sewist?) all my life. I quickly realized that weaving could satisfy my curiosity to take garment construction to a whole new level. Who wouldn’t want to weave the cloth that would subsequently be a beautiful jacket, vest, dress, or whatever the mind could conjure up?
So, I decided to find either a class or teacher that could teach me to weave fabric suitable for garments. Turned out that was easy! In a neighboring town, Saunderstown RI, I found Norma Smayda and her weaving school. Norma is a world renowned teacher, speaker and author and respected by many. She also had a waiting list as long as my arm. So, I put my name on the list, and prepared to wait, while continuing to weave on the rigid heddle loom. Sooner than later, I was enrolled and by the time I finished my first semester, I had purchased a 42 inch,
8 shaft jack loom.
I now have added another loom to the herd, and keep pretty busy sampling and weaving cloth.
But I have another obsession; Swedish textiles. I have always loved the simple, clean beauty of Swedish linens; table cloths, table runners, all of it.
I had heard about a Swedish Weaving School in Massachusetts, and last October, happened to be in the neighborhood, so I stopped in to inquire about classes. Again, a long waiting list! (who knew weaving was so popular?) and again, I signed up and 8 months later, I was in!
The school is Vävstuga; the name means ‘weaving cottage’ and the promise delivers. The school’s proprietor and teacher, Becky Ashenden is a weaving wonder. I was in a week long ‘basics’ class, but basic is relative. We spent the first two days winding warps, and dressing looms using techniques new to me. The next three days were filled with weaving, and everyone completed 4 projects. For each project we had ‘classroom’ time to discuss the weave structure.
I can’t say enough about Vävstuga. Whether you are an experienced weaver or a novice, there is plenty to learn! Becky gives 110% of herself to make sure everyone has a successful week. I can’t thank her enough.