Hemming Handwovens…

I recently spent an amazing week attending the Basics Class at Vavstuga Weaving School. In the class, we learned so much about looms, fibers, drafting, project planning and we completed four projects. And now I’m hemming them. This is the hand towel I wove.The warp is cottolin and the weft is linen.

Everything at Vavstuga is handwoven and here are the hand towels that were in the bathroom all week for our use.

Everything! Meals were served in the lovely diningroom with this (rainy) view of the Deerfield River…

… and at each meal, different cloths were spread down the middle of the table. Every day we had different woven napkins to use too!

This is the small tablecloth I wove with cotton and cottolin. One thing I was anxious to learn about was how to use a temple. What is a temple? The wooden bar along the front of the weaving area is one and it is used to get nice straight selvedges. I have hemmed it and it’s waiting to be washed.

Here are some of the fibers and colors that we were able to use for our linens….it is a color lover’s paradise.

The third project was a throw made of wool warp and weft. It was fringed on the last morning and here it is waiting to be washed and fulled. Many, many years ago I wove with wool a lot but now that we live in the South, it doesn’t appeal. Too hot; too fuzzy!

This is the other colorway for the throw. Cutting off the pieces is Becky Ashenden, the owner and founder of Vavstuga Weaving Studio. In all my years of taking weaving classes, I have never met anyone like her. She has been weaving her whole life and has endless samples and knowledge to share. No question went unanswered and each mistake was met with “Oh good – let me show you how easy it is to fix this!”.

Here is what we referred to as “the block weave”. The warp is natural linen which is such a dark beige color, so I chose magenta linen to brighten it up. It was so enjoyable weaving the blocks in a damask pattern.

Here it is hemmed and ready to use. (The colors above are more like the original.)

On Friday morning we had our class photo taken with all the projects cut off the looms and ready to go home with us. It was a great group and it’s always so good to be with “your own kind”! Becky is on the right and not in the picture are the rest of the Vavstuga gang – Kim, creator of delicious meals, Bettie, the office manager and someone I so enjoyed talking with, and Tonya, former apprentice and jack of all trades in the store and studio.

I could go on and on about all the we did and learned and shared, but you get the idea. For more about this amazing experience, please check out this post by Kerry of Lovethosehandsathome.  She made me want to find out more about Vavstuga and the wonderful Becky. And I encourage you to do the same!

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5 thoughts on “Hemming Handwovens…

  1. Oh, this is why I’ve been wanting to learn to weave. Those colors. Just the idea of making…beautiful, useful towels! Love! So, which one of the folks in the pic are you! 🙂

    • I am the short little woman in the center front with the blue throw…
      I agree – I do love making useful things; bed quilts, hooked rugs, hand towels. Such a pleasure to use.

  2. I was going to ask the same question, about which one was you–it’s fun to have a face to put with all our interactions! Your projects turned out great–I love them all! It’s fun to see the colors that were on the looms this time–in some ways so similar to what we had but not the same! I used a dark olive on my block twill and it was boring–your magenta is much nicer! Reading your post brought back a great experience–I want to go back!

    • You didn’t say which one was you in your photo did you?
      I’m not sure about going back. I loved it but it’s a long ways away. I am going to look at John C Campbell Folk School in NC next. Penland seems to be having lots of hoity toity sounding classes. I dislike titles like “Making marks on fabric”….
      I did want to get better at warping my loom (so that I am comfortable at workshops), but V did not help me with that! I know Penland doesn’t have trapeze things…. I guess I’ll look online and at some of the books I have.
      The block weave certainly is a great piece and it was fun to weave.

      • I don’t think I did say which one I was but then someone asked, in the comments, I think. If I recall, I was on the left–short blond hair and glasses, with a blue blanket. Have you considered Tom Knisely’s school, Redstone Glen (redstoneglen.com)? It’s near Harrisburg, PA, I think. While I haven’t been, a friend has and she loved it. She did NOT love Vavstuga–too intense and rushed for her–and I guess RSG was much more mellow.

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