Tag Archives: Saori weaving

Saori freeform woven shrug shaped by pulling warp strands

About a year or so ago, I wove up quite a few yards of very playful fabric.

I love the gentle Saori philosophy of creative freeform weaving that is an expression of creativity and an exploration of imagination.

My plan was to use this fuzzy Saori inspired fabric to make a soft, cozy wrappie jacketie sort of a thing to keep me warm in the studio when winter wails away outside.

BUT- I just couldn’t settle on how to use the fabric.

After much teeth gnashing, I thought: ‘Aha! I am going to make it into one of my most favorite things: A shrug!’

So,  I laid out the fabric on my cutting table, cut it in half (it was about 3 yards long and only about 14 inches wide).

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I sewed the 2 halves together lengthwise to make a wider, shorter piece of fabric.

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Then, I cut a slight curve at the top for the neck, and curves under the arms.

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And then, I folded the shrug in half, and pinned the living daylights out of it.

Looked at it and groaned…. I had pinned it together the wrong way.

Sigh….this is why I pin pin pin pin pin…. pins have saved my bacon more times than I care to remember!

Okay, unpinned, flipped, re-folded, and pin pin pin pin pin pin pin pin….. and stitched the under arm seams.

Then, I pulled up the selvedge strands of a long narrow piece (about 6  inches wide by about 3 yards long) to gather it into a gentle ruffle. This length of fabric was one that I had woven on my Cricket rigid heddle loom – originally for another vest (but I saw how perfect it would be for the ruffle, so I ‘re-purposed’ it for the shrug 😀 )

I stitched the ruffle around the outside edges of the shrug, forming a collar, front facing and lower back edging.

I sewed the short edges together at the lower back edge.

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Here’s the back view:

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The cuffs are 6 inch by approximately 18 inch lengths that I gathered by pulling up a couple of warp strands at the selvedge.

I stitched the short ends together, and stitched them onto the sleeves. Voila! Bell shape cuffs.

By pulling the warp strands up to gather the trim piece and the cuffs, I was able to avoid cutting the hand woven fabric any more than was necessary.

I stitched the shrug together on my machine, with a stretch straight stitch and zig zagged the edges of the  seams to add a little more security.

And, there you have it- a VERY playful and cozy one of a kind, hand woven freeform shrug!


Filed under weaving & handwoven

The story of my Saori loom and a new shirt for my husband

Last year, I wove my husband a shirt to wear while his Jazz trio performed at the Jazz festival and other gigs. Link to Jim’s shirt

It’s time to weave him a new shirt!

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So, I have warped up my Saori floor loom and have started weaving the yardage for his shirt, and maybe some for one for me, too… we shall see….

The loom in the photo has a neat story.  Her name is Toshi-san.

I bought her several years ago from my dear friend, Terri Bibby, who is a master Saori weaver- check out her website: Link

When Terri announced, a few weeks ago, that she is hosting a Saori weaving conference in September 2012 on Salt Spring Island: Announcement

she received a lovely email from the lady who originally bought Toshi-san in Japan in 1990.

She went to the first international Saori weaving conference in Kobe, Japan, fell in love with Saori weaving, and bought a loom.

They took Toshi-san apart, and shipped her to Canada in little pieces, which she then re-assembled.

Later, she sold Toshi-san to a weaving dealer in British Columbia, who sold Toshi-san to Terri.

When I walked into Terri’s studio not long after Toshi-san arrived, it was love at first sight, and I bought Toshi-san on the spot.

I wove like mad on Toshi-san for a couple of years, but then got involved with other looms and she sat empty and neglected.

I felt guilty about her being abandoned, so I thought that I might sell her.

Luckily, my daughter-in-law said- DON’T!!!! And she took custody of Toshi-san.

She wove merrily away on Toshi-san for awhile, but then spinning and making roving with her hackle and combs became more and more of a passion.  She discovered that she’s not a weaver, but is a passionate spinner.

So, Toshi- san sat unused again…. but I was feeling sooooooooo called to her…………. so, now, she is happily ensconced back in my studio!

Yay! Toshi-san! Welcome back!

and…. now, I am having soooooooooooo much fun, weaving Jim’s new shirt.

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I have a fondness for weaving inlays, so Jim’s shirt is going to have a lot of random squares and other shapes inlaid:

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I love the philosophy of Saori weaving- it’s based in the belief of generosity of spirit, and exploring creativity and freeform expression.

It’s completely meditative and contemplative.

I follow my inclination to work with this color or that, and place shapes here and there, and allow the weaving to grow in a very organic way.

The bands for the shirt, and the cuffs and collars are also coming along on my Cricket loom-

I posted about my excitement in mastering the double hole rigid heddle loom yesterday:  Double hole rigid heddle

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All in all, it’s a complete expression of love and delight and a celebration of my adoration for my soul mate, the wonderful man that has been my beloved husband for more than 3 decades 😀

Here’s a picture of Jim (wearing the shirt that I wove for him for last year’s jazz festival) and his trio.

You have to look hard to see the bass player- he’s wearing black and it makes him kind of invisible.

I was holding our gorgeous grandbaby, who fell asleep while Grampa and the guys played.

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Yep… that’s one of my Saori Gypsy jackets that I wove.  Link


Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven