the saori in life . . .
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.
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.)
These are so amazing! I await hearing how it goes for you!
yes, it’s a beautiful alternative to traditional weaving. Today, the saori sensei in Worcester wore a beautiful asymmetrical saori sleeveless tunic in apricot tones and navy blue–it was gorgeous. The most amazing part was when she cut a small piece of paper off a roll, folded it like origami, taped it together and then folded again with one more piece of tape. It was an illustration of how a long piece of weaving was cut and stitched to make her tunic: a saori “pattern,” so to speak. Honestly, I’m not sure I have the patience to learn how to set up the warp and learn weaving technique. But I would really LOVE to get far enough to make a tunic like hers. It also had tie dyed yarns–really sophisticated. What do you think? BTW, Jane has commented that she, her mother, sister and friends are getting ready to write life essays to upload on the “life of my own” blog. Just the thing to start the new year!
Yeah! I’m working on one, too, but it is slow going at the moment.
I don’t know what it is about fibers but they bring peace and delight to our lives, whether it is in the form of yarn, thread or fabric. Thank you for your inspiration!
it’s a start anyhow. when you’re on one of your trips, you can write it on the plane! 🙂 thanks, too!
hi beth, don’t the pictures make you want to try your hand at it too? enjoy!
I did some weaving in high school and loved it. It was a very simple loom but my small wall hanging (done in black and white yarns) turned out well. I’m going to do a spinning/weaving post soon.
Oh, I would love to do this! I am a beginner knitter and I spend more time ripping everything out and starting over than I do knitting. 🙂
LOL, Jane! Ripping out is part of the process! Especially if you are like me and go on faith only to find it doesn’t fit or look right in the stitches you’ve picked out. I feel as though ripping out represents part of life’s pathway, undoing or changing something to something you’ll like better later. So rip away!