Fleece to Fulling: Spinning, Dyeing            MSW Staff &

& Weaving a Wool Blanket                 Melissa Weaver Dunning

October 4 - 29, 2021


Back in the 1970's and 80’s the main class option at MSW was a 6 week intensive where the students arrived and were handed a raw sheeps fleece and proceeded to go through all the steps of sorting, washing, picking, carding, spinning and eventually to weaving a fully handspun wool blanket. It was a most unforgettable experience and helped to shape an inspire many a student.  We are pleased to once again offer this unique opportunity to come and start at the beginning and go through all the processes that were once a mainstay in the act of making clothing and household textiles. There is no previous spinning, dyeing or weaving experience needed for this class and we will be limiting the class to 4 students at a time and hopefully offer this twice a year. The class will be taught by Norman’s former students who took this class in the 70’s & 80’s and those of the next generation who have learned from these alumni.  Hopefully Norman will also be on hand to give his advice and tell stories while the wheels spin away!


Loom Mechanics                              w/ Justin Squizzero

August 21, 2021


Mastery of tools is essential to any craftsman or artist, and weaving is no exception. In this workshop students will gain in-depth knowledge of the factors at play in four-post looms, how those attributes affect the woven goods, and how to select and manipulate the loom to produce the desired results. We will discuss shedding mechanisms and make hands on comparisons weaving the same warp counterbalanced and countermarched. Shuttles, temples, warp lines, harness, ratchets and everything else we use to weave will be addressed, so bring your questions!

Weaving Singles Linen                           w/ Justin Squizzero

October 11 -15, 2021


Want to try linen, but intimidated by its challenges? Here’s your opportunity to master the preparation steps and weaving techniques involved in weaving a piece of fine linen cloth. Students may work with plied or singles thread depending on experience and comfort level. Those working with singles may size their thread prior to warping. Students will learn strategies for maintaining even tension while warping and beaming; the pros and cons of different loom mechanics; how to manage the fiber throughout weaving; and finishing methods to highlight linen’s natural beauty. Fear linen no more and get a handle on a fiber that’s at once delicate and tough as nails. 

Weaving a Jewish Prayer Shawl                Nelly Detra

July 19 - 23, 2021

September 20 -24, 2021


The Jewish prayer shawl, or tallit, is the traditional garment worn by Jews during religious observance. The only specifications given in the Torah for this garment is that it should have four corners to hold the “tzitzit” or fringes. This gives the Jewish weaver a broad range of artistic options when designing a tallit. In this class each student will design and weave their own tallit, atarah and corners. We will wind up the class by tying the tzitzit together, and discuss how we can express our own vision of Jewish observance through the mitzvah of crafting and wearing tzitzit. 

 Natural Dyes Found in Trees & Shrubs      w/Joann Darling

July 24 & 25, 2021

In this two day workshop students will explore a myriad of natural color from woody plants. The abundance of woody plant material can lend itself to a more sustainable approach for acquiring large quantities of natural dyes.
Our journey will begin with a plant walk to identify and gather choice species then to the best techniques to extract the dyes. We will cover fiber preparation and use of mordants to obtain multiple tints and shades from a single extraction. Time permitting we hope to cover and process a dozen or more dye baths. Materials and sample books provided. 

Flax to Linen                              w/Andrea Myklebust

July 27 - 30

In this three day workshop, we will explore all aspects of traditional flax production, from seed selection and cultivation, to harvesting, dew-retting and water-retting, and flax dressing using hand tools. Students will have opportunities to do hands-on processing work with raw and retted flax straw, using a flax brake, scutching board and hackles to dress flax into tow and line ready for spinning into linen. We will discuss sourcing seed and tools, and will take a look at work being undertaken today to revive textile flax production in North America. Students will have plenty of samples to take home at the end of the workshop, and a packet of textile flax seed to plant in their own gardens next spring.


Spinning Flax to Linen      w/Andrea Myklebust    

July 30 - August 1, 2021

In this weekend workshop, we will learn to spin flax in various forms; tow, commercially-processed sliver and tow roving, and hand-processed line. Working with both hand spindles and spinning wheels, we will learn how to dress a distaff and use it in spinning line flax. Students will have an opportunity to make a distaff of their own to take home, along with samples of all the fibers used in the class, and a packet of textile flax seed to plant in their own gardens next spring. This workshop is aimed at students who already have a working knowledge of spinning. Students are welcome to bring their own wheel to the workshop, and we will have access to Marshfield's flax wheels as well as wheels brought by the instructor.    


Vermont Dye Summer Session                   w/Graham Keegan

August 2 - 20, 2021


Aug 2 - 3,                         Intro to Mordant Assisted Dyeing

Aug 4 - 6                               Layering Colors & Itajime

Aug 9 - 10                         Fresh Leaf Indigo Extraction                        Aug 11-13               Rice Paste Resist  Printing & Dyeing 

Aug 16-17                                   Iron on Tannin   

Aug 18 - 20         Indigo, Madder, Goldenrod & Tannin Printing             

Graham will be taking the registrations directly for all of his classes so contact him at:


Natural Dyeing w/Hemp                          w/Marina Contro

TBA in 2021


Weaving Hemp Plaids                                


In this class, open to all levels, students will learn the foundations of weaving with hemp yarn to create a colorful, custom plaid fabric. In addition to being led through winding a warp, dressing a barn frame loom, and weaving, students will learn detailed project planning and hemp fabric finishing. Beginners and experienced weavers alike will be encouraged and supported to explore this (not so) new material, color, and structure. Each student’s weaving level will be catered to by yarn and project size.

There will be an optional one-day yarn dyeing workshop on Sunday before class begins in which students can dye custom colors for their warps and wefts. Students will learn tricks to take yarn from the cone to the dye pot and how to prep dyed yarn for the loom. Students who choose not to attend the dye day will have a limited color selection and slightly higher materials fee.

Processing Bast Fibers                            w/Joann Darling

August 21 & 22, 2021


Flax, Hemp and Nettles have cellulose fibers (bast) that run the length of the stem.  Bast fibers can be twisted, spun and processed into cloth and has been done so for centuries.  This workshop will be a "hands on" opportunity for participants to explore and work with these plants.  Learn all the processes needed for creating threads and what it takes to dye them naturally.


Mushroom Dyeing                                w/Joann Darling

September 11 & 12, 2021


A two day workshop exploring the wide world of fungi in central Vermont suitable for putting color onto fiber.  Joann has been experimenting with mushroom dyeing for the past five years and has accumulated a wide variety of colors and receipts.  Mordanting of the yarn will also be covered.

Interpreting at Historic Sites                 w/Justin Squizzero



Many historic sites include demonstrations of domestic textile production, but feeling proficient with historic tools can sometimes feel daunting to the museum guide. This weekend workshop is specifically geared with the museum interpreter in mind who wants to gain greater confidence using the equipment in their exhibits. We’ll cover the basic techniques used in American domestic weaving in the early 19th century, and how those processes have evolved in modern practice. Students will try their hand at multiple end warping on large warping bars, review beaming, drawing in, sleying, tying up, and weaving. We will examine original 19th-century loom harness and reeds, practice making a set of knitted heddles, and learn more about the system of beers used in warping and loom harness. Tricks for winding quills, throwing the shuttle efficiently, and getting the most out of a four-post loom will be covered. The instructor is a former museum interpreter and understands the challenges of complex craft demonstration, continuously talking, and smiling through the summer in historic costume. While this workshop is geared towards weavers at historic sites, it’s open to anyone with an interest in early American weaving. Bring your questions and photos of your tools! 


Weave a Spirit Banner                         w/Tess Bacevicius

TBA in 2021

Renew yourself through weaving while surrounded by the nourishing landscape of Vermont. In this slow-paced two-day class, you will have the opportunity to explore basic tapestry techniques on a portable lap-loom, meditate, and learn about your spirit colors.  At the end of class you will have a small tapestry spirit banner, in a clean geometrical design in four colors of your choice, and you can hang it with pride to remind you of your journey. You will also take home your rejuvenated self, your new weaving skills, and tips on how to make portable lap looms using things you have around the house. Further instructions will be shared if you would like to convert your tapestry into a bag or a pillow. These tapestry projects are small and will range from about  7 x 7 to about 8 x 10 inches.