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Artist in Residence Month

February this year is an Artist in Residence month for me. The last time I did this was May 2013 – you can read about my adventures from that year here. I felt it was time to do it again. For those that didn’t read my blog then, it was a time for me to focus on my weaving as an Artist in Residence – in my own residence and studio.

So this year’s residence started with a SAORI Kai over in Victoria at Knotty by Nature. What a great way to start out – sharing our SAORI stories and inspiration. Some new and visiting people were there which added to the Kai. Thanks to all who came!!


Lynn showing the back of her vest and it's construction

Lynn showing the back of her vest and it’s construction

As I start on this next Artist in Residence (AiR), I’ve been wondering what my focus will be.

The first day at home, I was unloading my van and organizing the studio after taking 6 looms and material, etc. over to Victoria. As I was doing that I was thinking about my AiR and also thinking back to Loomsday and what warps were still on my looms. One was my ‘Christmas warp’…


This was a warp I put on before Christmas thinking that someone might like to weave something in Christmas colours – or that I might. One person did a weaving, but then there was still lots of warp left. I wondered – how can I weave this so that it doesn’t look like ‘Christmas’?

I looked at my bobbin tray – full of partial bobbins from my recent workshops…


…and wondered what colours & textures would change the look of the warp? And so I started to weave…



We’ll see where this goes.

It’s interesting that I have this feeling as I start out that I have to clear all my previous warps before I start on some new things. Making space perhaps for new ideas. I also wound some new warps yesterday – so I’ll just let this process unfold and see if it becomes clear.

During this month I have a workshop in White Rock and another in Victoria at Pacifica Paddle in Brentwood Bay – great chances to share SAORI weaving. I also have people coming to the studio to learn, to share. This is what I love – sharing SAORI!

Other thoughts for the month are to try some new fibres in the studio:

Some great recycled linens from Give a Darn Yarn that arrived last week…


Some beautiful rovings from Ashford and of course some of the SAORI Yarn Sets that came just before Christmas.

And some new yarns that I’m hoping arrive soon from New Zealand from Black Hills Yarn which I will be carrying in my shop!


I’ll keep posting my explorations….

Happy Weaving,

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com


AiR – Reflections

One month flew by with my Artist-in-Residence (at SAORI Salt Spring)!

I had lots of ideas of things that I might do this past month and I’m just looking back at my first post about my Artist-in-Residence.

Some thoughts and reflections….

  1. This was much more about process than product. I thought I would get so many things “accomplished” or “completed” during my AiR, but learned it is much more about process. I did complete some things and at times felt that I ‘should” have more finished pieces. I felt much more relaxed about letting each studio day unfold in it’s own way as the month went on.
  2. Inspiration. It comes in all forms, from all people, from events, and also in the quiet. I have more ideas now than when I started this AiR, so if I thought that this might reduce my list of ‘things to try’ instead it really expanded on the “We learn from each other in the group” part of the philosophy! I have more ideas than ever!!
  3. Sharing SAORI. I’ve had people at the studio 15 days out of the past 31 and loved every minute of it. This is my true joy!
  4. Weaving. I have done a lot of weaving. Not so much sewing (see #1) or the making of things, but the process of weaving has been a big part of my month. I have discovered some interesting things. For example – when I was weaving my “Bobbin Gathering” weaving, I felt a different freedom than when I was weaving on a “precious” silk warp. On the silk warp, I limited my weft choice to silk yarns and fabric, I was more conservative in my weaving. Omoshiroi (interesting)! I really like the finished weaving, so it is all okay and part of ‘weaving myself’.
  5. Warps. I enjoy making warps! I have made many warps this month in all different colours, different widths, lengths, fibres. There is something about this process that I really enjoy. A new warp has so many possibilities! I’m also looking forward to weaving them.
  6. Newsletter. I started a newsletter for information about events, new items in the shop, etc. It has a different focus than my blog, website or Facebook page. I have just sent one newsletter out to the 24 people on the list and if anyone has feedback, please let me know. You can sign up here and can unsubscribe anytime.
  7. Other studios. I had hoped to visit other studios but wasn’t able to do that this month. It is still on my list.
  8. Experimentation. I tried making a ruffle with a technique demonstrated by Kenzo Jo, I wove 6 metres of a silk pre-wound warp, I wove my long bobbin gathering piece with every type of fibre that others had chosen and I enjoyed seeing how others explored fibre and texture in their weaving.

Silk weaving – 6 metres long…

Silk weaving – close-up…

It has been said that it takes 28 days to make a new habit. Well, after a month of being an “Artist-in-Residence” in my own studio – I’m ready for more!

The studio, cleaned up and ready for more weaving…

Happy Weaving,

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com

My Etsy shop: SAORI Salt Spring Etsy shop


AiR – weaving, exploring and the flute…

Day 23 – and three people new to SAORI weaving came to the studio to explore.




I always love to see how people approach the weaving, the materials they choose, and what they weave. In this case they all started with a black warp and chose yarn from the shelves and fibre from the baskets of treasure – and each result is totally different.
“Weave Thyself” – the SAORI way…

Seth and Beth are local Salt Springers who brought a visiting friend along to weave. Thanks for sharing the afternoon at the studio!




Day 24 – a catch-up day – groceries, hair cut, bank, and other errands including the
Post Office – where I picked up a box from SAORI no Mori!!! Always like Christmas 🙂

Day 25 – another visitor to the studio for a morning of weaving and exploration. A traditional weaver who wasn’t sure about SAORI, but decided to come and see what it was all about. By the time she left she was full of ideas of how to incorporate many of her fibres at home into her weaving!



Since it was Saturday, it was another visit to the Salt Spring Market for me! Another aeropress coffee at Mt. Maxwell Coffee, some fresh spinach for my dinner and visiting with people that I know.

I also stopped in at the new Pod Gallery – wonderful! and at the Salt Spring Gallery of Fine Art – an artist run co-op where I saw a new show “Imaginarium” that opened the previous night. This all part of my AiR in looking at other works of art, different subjects and approaches to art. Inspiring!

Day 26 – Well today was a long awaited day – as I had my first flute lesson on a Native American Flute. I had received one as a gift for Christmas in 2011 and so have waited until I could finally take this class. The flute is made by Rommey at Heart Song Flutes. Mine is made of yellow cedar and is in the key of “G”.



I enjoyed the afternoon learning from Ed Peekeekoot. I learned a lot – but don’t be expecting a concert or even a song anytime soon!

Today it’s back to the studio with another visitor to the island who wants to try out SAORI weaving – planting SAORI seeds!

Happy Weaving,

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com

My Etsy shop: SAORISSI


AiR – the bobbin gathering

After I had gathered up all my bobbins with yarn of various sorts…


I put on a black cotton warp and wove all the colours onto the warp…


Wow – that was more yarn than I thought. Not sure what I’ll make with this – a technicolour dream coat? a colourful skirt or top? Or perhaps it will hang in my studio for a while with all the engery of many weavers at the studio.

gathering-bobbins-3 gathering-bobbins-2

I also experimented a bit with making a ruffle – using different tensions on the warp threads. The right side is a 50 thread warp that was added on the side of a regular warp – and tension on the extra threads was just through clips on the back – and front.


Kenzo-sensei had showed me how to do this when I was last in Japan but I hadn’t tried it until now! This is just a short piece as I had another workshop to prepare for and needed the warp – but I’ll try this again for sure…


Another of my goals of this Artist-in-Residence was to set up a mailing list – which I have now done:

Mailing List
Subscribe to our newsletter

This mailing list will be used to send out news of new items such as yarns, warp, books, equipment, etc. available at SAORI Salt Spring – so these will be only for shipping within Canada. I will also use it to send out news about Workshops, Retreats and Events and plan to keep my blog for weaving and other adventures. Please feel free to sign up – it also has an option to unsubscribe if you find you no longer want to receive it.

Happy Weaving,

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com


AiR – the past week…

Wow – what full and fun days at my Artist-in-Residence!

The past week has seen many visitors to the SAORI Salt Spring Studio. My son and dil (Tom & Tanya) were here for a lovely week of weaving, sewing, visiting and excursions.

Cowichan Bay…


Rawsome Cafe for lunch one day of course…


Also Mami visited for 3 days from Montreal, Tara has been here twice, Lynn was able to visit again, Elizabeth, from Portland, came by to see what SAORI was all about, and Teresa picked up her new SAORI SX60 4 harness loom – and more visitors have planned to come in the next while.

Tara, weaving an obi, and Mami…


Tanya brought along the baby blanket that she has made for a friend. I hope that we will see photos of the babe in the blanket. Here is a photo of how she joined the two pieces to make the blanket – I really like this finish…


Tanya also brought a weaving she calls “Chocolate Mint” – we draped it and tried different types of garments and she decided to base her piece on one of the patterns in the newest SAORI pattern book. What a beautiful and cozy shawl…


Mami visited with Tara, Lynn and I and we talked a lot about SAORI. She shared some of the things that she has woven and she also completed a 6 metre weaving to make into more clothing. With Mami and Lynn we had a mini SAORI kai – which was inspiring! I forgot to take many pictures, but I have many memories!


A highlight of one of our excursions was a trip to The Raptor Centre near Duncan. Tanya did the Owl Prowl and I did a Hawk Walk – so amazing!! I would highly recommend this to anyone in the area…





And of course more weaving was done and new warps made and much good gluten-free, sugar-free food was shared!


Happy Weaving,

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com


AiR – now day 15…

The Artist in Residence days have been floating and flying by. I just had 4 wonderful mornings in the studio with people here to learn and to share – I love that so much!

may11_2013_06 the-unveiling

Today was a quiet day doing some weaving in the studio. On Monday, I had been showing one of the weavers how to put on a pre-wound warp and we started putting on the conference silk warp – how luscious! I finished putting it on and started the weaving – so far just using silk as weft too…


Also today, I went to see the new Yarn Shop on Salt Spring – Elderberry Yarns – for their Grand Opening day…


…they have “Handspun, hand dyed, locally made, locally grown, fair trade, luxury and quality yarns, fibres and accessories from around the world for knitting, crochet, felting, spinning,
embroidery and leatherwork
” – nice!


and I stopped at the Gulf Islands Spinning Mill to drop off my fleece for washing.

I could get used to this 🙂

Happy Weaving,

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com


AiR – Warps, weaving and fleece

What grand days these have been – the weather just couldn’t be better and I’ve had lots of fun exploring and being in the studio!

AiR – Days 6, 7 & 8

I continue with the weaving of the bobbins to empty them – now on the yellows – photos to come at the end of the bobbins!

The making of warps…Tara’s obi warp…


Weaving …Tara’s obi weaving…


Visitors to the studio – Tara, Marie & Jay!

Then the unexpected arrival of some local Icelandic Fleece put out in the sun to dry…


inspired me to do some weaving with wool roving that has been on my mind for a long time…



Happy Weaving,

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com


AiR – Weaving in the Community

Sunday was Ruckle Farm Day – a gathering of community to celebrate the heritage of the Ruckle Farm, the farming community and traditional hand crafts – from churning butter to sawing logs, blacksmithing and many others incluing of course, weaving and spinning. As Mihoko said in a post on Facebook – SAORI – a new tradition!! I love that 🙂

So the “Blossom Banner” was out in the public once again for one and all to try weaving….


The spinners were also there showing people how to turn fleece into yarn ….




…and more.

A great time! And then off to a new discovery – Kizmit Cafe – way in the deep south
of the island…a funky, truly Salt Spring experience…




Happy Weaving,

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com


AiR Day 3 – Does time exist?

Have you ever noticed how the hours speed by when you are working on something in the studio? A funny thing happened this week…my clock in the studio stopped…it needs a new battery.


And then my watch stopped. Unfortunately it needs more than a new battery. So, what is this all saying to me? How interesting that time stopped at the start of my Artist in Residence. I guess I have ‘all the time in the world’… 🙂

Day 3 in the studio

I continued work on my ‘Gathering of the bobbins weaving’ – black into grey into white into purples, next is blues…

And then to do some clothing design. Lynn and I had looked at a piece on my dress form on Wednesday and it all came clear to me and so I got sewing…

Front one way…


Another way…


And a close-up of the fabric – and yarn with beads…


This top can be worn in different ways – and I don’t think I’ve discovered them all yet.
My design of the finished top all revolved around having that grey stripe (which I wasn’t sure about when I was weaving the cloth) as the featured piece down one side.

In the afternoon we went for a coffee at Fernwood Cafe down by the water – it was such a beautiful day! And then stopped in at the farm just a short walk from our place – the sheep have been shorn.


Happy Weaving,

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com


Artist in Residence – First days

Day 1 – Lynn came over from Victoria on my first day of the AiR. How perfect! We had a mini-SAORI kai and shared things that we had each been working on talked about some design and works-in-progress. We also did some planning for a Bengala Dye workshop coming up in August – in Victoria and on Salt Spring Island. We are just working out the details and I’ll announce it as soon as things are finalized.

We also talked about life, family, etc. while we had tea and gluten free raspberry muffins. Lynn brought a fabulous quinoa salad chock full of veggies for lunch. Wonder-full!

I also spent some time on this first day looking a warps that were still on inside sets as I’d like to finish all of these off – and start some new things. One that I pulled out was from 2011! Inspired by the Pics to Picks 2 challenge I had made another warp to try using a combination of wool and bamboo to get collapsed weave sections…


Now I don’t have any of the yarns – so time to explore this in a new way!

I also took some photos of some of the flowers in bloom for inspiration…

white_blossom  rhody

Day 2 – Today I started out by warping up a 100 x 20 metre SAORI black cotton warp for experimenting.

And then I gathered up all the bobbins in my studio that still had yarn on them…


and started weaving.

The rest of my day was preparation for the Workshops on the Rock brochure launch party. Alan and I are both listed in the brochure of doing workshops and retreats. I took my loom with the Blossom Banner on it and invited people to try out SAORI weaving. I met lots of the other artists on the island as well as others that attended the event.


Now off to the studio for Day 3…

Happy Weaving,


My website: www.saorisaltspring.com