The first week in December I made my second trip to Vavstuga, a weaving school in Shelburne Falls, MA. I was there to do the Vavstuga Treasures class.
Let me back up a bit. I first experienced Vavstuga in July, when I took the Basics class. I fell in love with weaving during that week. It’s a place like no other and is so inspiring. While I was there, Tom from Leprechaun Sheepskin stopped in to show Becky some of his new samples. I fell in love with a a lush, deep teal sheepskin and signed up to come back in December and weave a throw.
I arrived at Vavstuga on Sunday night. There are dorm rooms upstairs and they’re so uniquely Swedish. I met my 3 roommates and headed to bed early. (It’s a bit different living in a dorm when you’re not 18 any more. We didn’t stay up til all hours!)
On Monday morning, we headed downstairs to start our projects. The looms were all pre threaded and ready to go. All we had to do is pick out colors and start weaving. By the end of Monday, I had two repeats of the pattern completed.
Although I loved what I had woven, I was a bit disappointed, because I really wanted red in my project and I’d tried it along with the teal and it looked like a cheap coloring book. On Tuesday morning, I woke up with a way to add red, and it really worked.
On Thursday morning I’d finished weaving my blanket and was ready to start weaving the band that would go around the blanket. I played with color and pattern and warped and threaded it up. Look at all that color!
On Friday morning I started weaving my band.
By the end of the day on Friday, I’d woven 10 meters of band. I did it! It was a push to the end to get it done before the studio closed on Friday night, but I did it. I headed out for dinner with Devorah, the apprentice at Vavstuga. After dinner and a long visit, I headed back to the dorm and crashed!
I got up Saturday morning to head home. My hands were so swollen I couldn’t even make a fist. And my triceps…I couldn’t lift my arms above my head. I got home on Saturday and didn’t do a lot for a few days.
On Monday, it was time to sew the band around the edge of the blanket. I sewed a few inches on by hand and quickly realized that if I wanted it done in 2015, I needed to sew it on by machine. Besides, if they’d had sewing machines in the 1800’s they would have used them!
I sent my blanket off to Tom the next day to have the sheepskin fit to the blanket. We decided not to ship it back over Christmas, so it arrived back home this afternoon.
Wow!!! I still can’t believe I made this.
Yes, it’s as soft as it looks. The whole throw weighs close to 10 pounds. I wish I’d taken a photo of My Hero wearing it like a Superman cape around his office today.
So….details for those of you who weave.
- Warp 16/2 cotton
- Weft 16/1 linen for tabby, Faro 6/1 wool for pattern
- Band 16/2 linen (I think! It may have been 16/1)
This truly is a Treasure, and I won’t forget the week I spent at Vavstuga weaving it. Thanks to Becky, Bettie, Kim, and Devorah for making the whole experience so perfect!