the saori in life . . .

by mulberryshoots

I’ve been interested in saori weaving for a long time, having seen it at a shop that taught this kind of Japanese weaving in my town years ago. The irregularity of the weaving and use of color appealed to someone like me who eschews structure when I can manage it and who also likes to be intuitive and observe as life unfolds.

A Japanese woman named Misao Jo invented/created this kind of weaving when she was fifty-seven years old and wanted to weave herself an obi sash. Her husband and sons built her a loom and she learned two things: a commercial tradesman pooh-poohed it as not being “flawless;” and an Obi merchant sold hers right away. Thus was born saori weaving. That was forty years ago and I’m told that Misao Jo still weaves every day as she approaches the century mark.

A birthday gift from my brother motivated me to look at saori weaving again and I became introduced to a weaver who moved from Japan to Nova Scotia. S. noted that saori weaving is like playing the piano but instead of sound, you are making music with color and texture. Here are some saori examples that I looked at over the last few days.
sara weaving 2
sara weaving 3
In the Fall, at the huge sheep and wool festival held in Rhinebeck, NY, I noticed a woman carrying two small, old table looms which sparked my interest in experimenting with weaving although I’m a die-hard knitter from a long way back. Apparently, knitting yarn and weaving yarn on cones are very different.

So today, I’ve signed up for a sample lesson at the in town run by the Japanese weaver whose shop I walked by years ago. For two hours, I’ll have a chance to learn some fundamentals of weaving and to get a feel for whether it’ll be something intuitive for me and lead to more lessons. I’ve been eyeing table looms also as a way to start experimenting at home if this saori weaving is something the new year has brought into my life.

I’m also waiting for some yarn to arrive for a sweater that I’m planning to knit ~ always a good way to spend quiet days in the dead of winter while soup simmers on the stove. Actually today, I came upon a recipe for Pho, that warming broth made from beef and bones that is served with rice noodles, greens and cilantro. So many wonderful ideas and it’s only the fifth day of the new year!

n.b.: thanks to sara for photos of her saori pieces (please see link to access her etsy site.)