:|:|: WORKSHOP Classes

Workshops range from two to five days depending on the length of time needed to complete a functional piece. Class sizes are small and intimate, with 4 or 6 participants depending on the workshop.  The goal is to create a finished, useful textile in an atmosphere of fun and sharing.  Rug workshop looms are pre-warped and ready to weave so that you can take home a 26" wide by 3' to 6' long rug.  Blanket and tartan class looms are prepared with dummy warps that are ready for you to tie on the warps that you design and wind at the workshop.  Individualized classes for students aged 12 and upwards can be arranged by contacting me directly at stephaniemortonhandweaver@gmail.com.  

Kids Weave!  Students aged 9 to 14 are invited to learn to weave on the historic looms at Flat Rock Farm!  The farm is home to The School for American Handweaving and to four antique looms upon which students practice this centuries-old art form.  Our first children’s program is being offered Mondays from 4-5:00 starting April 24th through May 15th. A light after school snack will be available for students arriving on the bus to the Farm.  While adult classes enable the creation of full sized rugs, this introductory course will focus on fun: we encourage children to weave freestyle wall hangings with colorful yarns or a small rug for your room using our traditional tabletop and historic floor looms. 

Space is limited to 8 participants and will be filled on a first come basis. Please contact us via email to reserve your space now!   Cost:  $100.  Materials:  $25 per participant covers all materials.

VIEW OUR 2017 Workshop Schedule at BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

:|:|: AlpacA/Wool Core-spun Rug retreat!

      AT flat Rock FARM, Lyme ct.

This ultimate weaving experience gives students the opportunity to relax and renew themselves for an entire weekend tucked away at Flat Rock Farm in the rolling hills of Lyme, Connecticut.  Four weavers share a beautifully appointed cottage with a full kitchen and two bathrooms.  Arrive Friday evening to a light meal while you choose your yarns and get settled in.  The next morning you will walk across the alpaca paddock to the studio barn, which houses two early 1700's barn looms and two sturdy rug looms.  You will weave your rug on Saturday and Sunday, and complete the edges before returning home to lay your new rug on your bedroom floor.  This two-day workshop gives weavers enough time to weave and complete their own 2' by 5' core-spun rug on pre-warped looms.  Students will have the option of weaving either fringed or bound edges for their headers.   All participants will learn how to finish these headers to produce sturdy edges on their rugs.

Participants:  You can be an absolute beginner to take this class, or an experienced weaver who wants to use my pre-warped looms and enjoy the company of other weavers.  Class size is limited to 4 weavers.

Fee:  $510.00 Includes workshop fee, guesthouse lodging in the farm cottage for two nights, breakfast and lunch for two days and dinner on Saturday evening.  

Materials:  Connecticut-grown and spun alpaca/wool core-spun rug yarn is available for purchase at the workshop, or you can bring your own core-spun.   American cotton warps are on the loom and are included in the workshop fee.

2017 Retreats:  March 3 to 5;  April 7 to 9;  May 2 to 4;  May 30 to June 1;  July 20 & 21 (local students, as the guesthouse is booked);  September 6 to 8;  October 3 to 5;  November 3 to 5;  December 1 to 3.

:|:|: rag rug retreats

    at Flat Rock FARM, Lyme, CT

This workshop gives weavers an opportunity to weave rag rugs on sturdy rug looms that will produce a tightly woven, durable rug that lasts for years.  Bring your own cotton, linen or wool rags and we will cut and weave them on tabby or twill warps.  We will focus on the most efficient cutting methods, tensioning the warp correctly, perfecting our beat and edges, and weaving sturdy headers that will beautify and protect the structural integrity of our rugs.  

Three-day workshop:  This workshop is best suited for beginning weavers, as looms will be pre-warped at 26 inches wide in standard colors.  (Usually ecru, one or two blues, and another popular color depending on my current projects.) You will design and weave a plain weave (tabby) rug.

Four-day workshop:  Experienced weavers, as well as beginners who want to learn the warping process,  will have a choice of designing a solid, striped, multicolored or log cabin warp that you will wind and tie onto an existing warp. The current warp structures on my looms are tabby, straight and point twill, rosepath and goose eyes, but experienced students can arrange ahead of the class to have a warp threaded in double-bind or some other structure appropriate for rag weaving.  

Participants:  Beginning to advanced weavers aged 12 and up.  Class size is limited to 4 weavers.

Workshop Fee:  Three days:  $375.00  Four-days:  $450.00  (CT Handweavers Guild members pay a reduced rate)  

Retreat Package:  

Materials Fee:  Warp materials are included in the workshop fee.  Please collect, wash and bring your own rag weft materials.  We will discuss them ahead of time so that you can prepare them correctly and I can put on the right color warp for you.

Please note that the next rag rug workshop with openings is scheduled for March 27 to 30, 2017.  You are welcome to contact me to arrange your own class on other days if you have a group of 3 - 4 people.

:|:|: The CONNECTICUT River Blanket: 

Please note the next blanket classes will be in the winter of 2018.

Using Patricia Fortinsky's beautiful natural-dyed Tidal Yarns, we will choose the colors of our warps for lap blankets made of 100% New England wool that Patricia sends to be spun in Vermont.  Together we will design our blankets, wind our warps and dress our looms in a point twill pattern, and then weave them over the course of one week.  On our final workshop day we will full (wet finish) these luxurious blankets that will be treasured for generations to come. 

Participants:  Up to three weavers with weaving experience for the 5-day workshop.  Advanced weavers may want to weave a wider, longer blanket if they are confident that they will complete it in three and a half days of weaving.   Beginning weavers will have the opportunity to take the three-day workshop, where they will weave on looms that have been warped for them before the class.  There is an additional fee for this design and warping time.

Workshop Fee for Five Days: $400 (CT Handweavers Guild members pay a reduced rate.)

Workshop Fee for Three Days:  $350 includes the design and warping fee.   

Materials Fee:  Wool yarns hand-dyed with natural dyes are priced at $34 per 275-yd skein.  You will need approximately 9 - 10 skeins to weave a 34" by 64" fulled blanket, and 6 skeins of yarn to weave a shawl.  (Please note that 3-day workshop students will be choosing their colors by consulting with Patricia first about the color of their warp, and then sample and choose their weft colors when they come to the workshop.)

:|:|: catalogne!  The rag coverlets of quebec:

When French settlers in New Brunswick were unable to obtain enough wool to weave their blankets they turned to cotton rag that they cut from old clothing.  These heavy coverlets were plain and functional, keeping them warm in the cold Canadian nights.  Most were plain white or striped with various bits of old shirts and skirts, and their humble appearance has kept them from wide public view.  But they are lovely, soft, warm and wonderful!  

Sudents will bring their rag to pre-warped looms and weave a blanket up to 58 inches wide without seams.  Experienced weavers can weave two strips to sew together into a wider coverlet.  

Participants:  Up to 4 weavers, including beginners. 

Materials:  Looms pre-warped with 8/2 cotton are included in the workshop fee.   Students bring their own rag weft.

Fee:  4 day workshop:  $450.00    5 day workshop:   $500.00. 

Next workshop with openings is July 10 to 14.

:|:|:   Tartans!

This three to four day workshop sets the Scottish scene for weaving your own family tartan!  We will wind wool warps that we tie on to dummy warps, beam on and then weave scarves just in time for holiday giving.  This workshop introduces experienced weavers to the simple, but demanding, art of tartan weaving using Jaggerspun wool yarns from Maine. You can elect to stay from three to five days depending upon your confidence in finishing your scarf in the allotted time.  Held at Flat Rock Farm in Lyme, CT.   October 16 to 18 (or 19)   Retreat packages are available, and local students are also welcome.

Participants:  Up to 6 weavers.  Intermediate to advanced levels, please.

Materials:  Jaggerspun Maine Line wool will be available in your tartan colors for a materials fee of $68. per scarf.

Workshop fee:  Retreat guests choose from three full days and nights at $765. (includes all farm-prepared meals and accommodations in the guesthouse)  Local students pay a workshop fee of $375. and can elect to purchase lunch and dinner on the farm if they want to join in the food and after-hours fun.

2017 Workshops:  September 14 to 17;  October 16 to 18 (19)

:|:|:  indigo!

Two-day workshops explore the ancient art of dyeing textiles with Indigo.  On the first day we will fold, bind, block and tie our scarves using Japanese Shibori techniques, and then mix our indigo dye vat.  On the second day we will dip our fabrics several times in the vat before opening them up to reveal fabulous patterns and designs!  We will hang them to dry before you leave with your instructions (and bar of soap!) to wash them at home.  Please note that indigo dyeing takes place outdoors, so we dye from April through October only.

Participants:  Up to 6 students from beginners through experienced dyers.

Workshop Fee:  $200.00 for the two-day workshop.   (CT Handweavers Guild members pay a reduced rate)

Materials:  Two bamboo scarves are included in the workshop fee.  Additional scarves in different lengths and fibers will be available at a low cost.  Both beginner and advanced level dyers may want to work on Nui Shibori (pulled string) techniques using New World Textiles' 100% American cotton woven with pull strings incorporated in the weaving process.  There are several patterns to choose from in this exciting new fabric designed by Eileen Hallman, and scarf blanks will be offered for purchase at the workshop.   

Out-of-State Students:  The guesthouse at Flat Rock Farm is available for many, but not all, workshops.  Please check with the School to ensure availability.  And consider bringing your family to stay in the Lyme/Old Lyme area if you are coming from a distance.   Located at the mouth of the Connecticut River,  our corner of the State is filled with antique homes, historic village centers, farms, woods and rolling hills.  A shoreline bird sanctuary and wooded preserves offer quiet places for reflection and bird-watching.  In warm weather there are nearby beaches and a place to rent kayaks.   This area is being called the "Hamptons of southeastern Connecticut" for good reason.  

2017 Workshop Schedule

All workshops run from 9:30 am to 5 pm

:|:|: Alpaca/Wool Core-Spun Rug weaving:

 March 3 to 5.      APRIL 7 to 9.     May 2 to 4.     May 30 to June 1.        September 6 to 8.    October 3 To 5.     November 3 To 5.    December 1 To 3  

:|:|: Rag Rug WORKSHOPS:                                                                                     April 17 - 20     may 23 - 26     June 27 - 30      JULY 24 To 27  

 :|:|: tartan scarves:                                                                               september 14 to 17        october 16 to 19

:|:|: The ConnecticuT RIVER BLANKET:  

2017 Workshops Are completed.   Please check Back for 2018 schedule in January an February.                                               

:|:|: INDIGO:                                                                            APRIL 26 & 27         may 18 & 19        June 6 & 7        July 7 & 8        July 25 & 26        august 11 & 12       august 24 & 25      September 20 & 21            September 28 & 29      October  6 & 7      October 12 & 13                                                                                    For returning students: A one-day dye session to dye bundles you have prepared  at home:  July 28

:|:|: catalogne, the rag coverlets of Quebec:

JULY 10 To 14.    October 23 to 27.     November 13 to 17.   December 11 to 15.

If none of these dates fit into your schedule please contact me with your own dates for a group of 3 to 6 participants.

:|:|: Apprenticeship :|:|:

In this time-honored arrangement for learning a craft the apprentice learns to weave and dye while working with a professional weaver.  She/he will work under my guidance in a daily routine of rug production in my Old Lyme studio.  The apprentice is responsible for her/his own transportation, room and board, and is expected to be punctual and helpful. The apprentice will:

  • Commit to a specific length of time of 6 months or more, and a minimum of three full days a week during this time.
  • Assist in all aspects of rug weaving, including winding warps, setting up looms, cutting and preparing weft, sampling, weaving and finishing rugs.
  • Assist with dyeing cloth and yarn.
  • Assist with organizing supplies, cataloging inventory and cleanup of the studio.
  • Design and keep one 3' by 5' rag or alpaca rug that she/he has woven during the apprenticeship.

No prior weaving experience is necessary, but a true desire to learn is required.  After agreeing on the time and schedule, a written contract will be signed.  If you are interested please send your resume, three references and contact information to stephaniemortonhandweaver@gmail.com and indicate when you would be available to start.  The next apprenticeship opening will be in January,  2016.

Welcome to my new apprentice, Jeannette Pringle!  As a young girl in Switzerland Jeannette was introduced to fiber through mandatory knitting lessons at school.  Imagine that!  She hated it at first, but grew to love it so much that she became a masterful knitter who designs her own patterns.  In 2010 she began to learn weaving with Lucienne Coiffman at Guilford Handcrafts, and then wove rugs for Beaverbrook Farm in Lyme, CT. 

Past Apprenticeships:

Jeannette Pringle:  

Hannah Kitt, April through October, 2014. Latest update on Hannah - she's started her own website and is doing contract weaving for farmers.  Go girl!  Here's what she has to say about her time here: "As an apprentice, I have been thoroughly immersed in many different aspects of weaving.  As is true in most of life, the more you learn, the more you realize how much you don't know.  I came to Connecticut to weave with Stephanie having learned enough to know I loved weaving- I had gotten my feet wet.  In my time at the studio, I have gotten to experience the many different aspects of production weaving.  I have warped and helped wind on countless warps, helped with classes, have woven many rag and alpaca rugs, and learned various finishing techniques.  I also had the chance to attend local guild meetings, a state guild meeting, and the HGA Convergence in Providence, RI.  Most importantly, I have developed a tool set.  I have learned how to troubleshoot and figure out why something isn't working, and how to fix it.  As my time here comes to a close, I feel that I am equipped with the ability to move forward with confidence.  I don't know everything, but I have the tool set to figure it out." 

Hannah came to my studio with a degree in Studio Arts from Iowa State University, and was eager to learn to weave rugs.  She left with a strong background in warping and weaving alpaca and rag rugs, and strengthened her dyeing skills during our many indigo days in the summer.  Everyone who came in contact with her will miss her quiet, calm presence and immeasurable help.  To see photos of her two apprenticeship rugs that she is taking home with her go to my Facebook page at Stephanie Morton Handweaver.  All the best in following your dream to become a professional weaver, Hannah!