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Ruffle Vest

When I was in Japan last May I had a chance to try Kenzo Jo’s special stretchy yarn. I had used stretchy yarn in the weft before, but never in the warp. This yarn is stretched and starched so that you can wind it into a warp like any other fibre. Once you wash the piece, the starch comes out and the yarn contracts making for a fabulous effect.

In this piece, I put this yarn every 5 (or so) threads just in the centre section.


Here is the result before washing…


and after…



So exciting to see the changes!

Then, it stayed in my studio until a few days before the SAORI Kai this past weekend. I needed something new to wear and so it was time for this piece to become a garment. I wanted to feature the ruffles and so I made it into a vest, using the ruffles as a collar, the back yoke and as a feature at the bottom of the back of the vest.



This was so simple to make as it is just two pieces. One piece is the entire front – from the bottom at one side, up and around the back becoming the collar and yoke, and then back down the other side. The back is a piece cut off and sewn to the yoke and the two sides. I sewed this all by hand. After I made it, I realized that it is similar in design to the vest in the Beginner’s Clothing Design book called the Rocket Vest (design #9).



I added a few of “Bob’s Buttons” to finish it off (the morning of the kai!)…


The vest is very lightweight, but warm as all the fibre is a very soft wool from SAORI Japan.

Happy Weaving,

My website:

The story behind the picture…

Yesterday, I posted this photo on Facebook:


Here’s the rest of the story…

I had finished weaving a piece this summer and it has been waiting to be made into something. Yesterday was the day!! I had an idea to make a shawl/jacket based on the pattern in the “blue” SAORI clothing design book – pattern # 28.

I measured my weaving and it was approximately the same width and the exact length – go figure! So I got started and made a few modifications to the design as I put it together.

When I was finished, I asked Alan to take some photos. I don’t like having my photo taken at the best of times – but it didn’t work on the dress form, so here I am modelling it.

With the large collar down….


With the large collar back…


With the large collar up as a hood….


With it rolled into a bulky collar…


From the back…


And then when I got tired of modelling (you know, where to put your hands? where to look? how to stand? – a model I’m not!), I jumped up in the air…Alan kept taking photos and so that’s how we got the photo that I posted yesterday.

Today, I found a few more ways to wear it. What to call it – a tunic, a shawl, a jacket, a vest – it is all of these….

And….so simple to construct…


Just 3 pieces sewn together along the selvedge edges with holes left for the arms!

Happy Weaving,

My website:


Light returning

This year I’ve been so aware of the Winter Solstice and dreaming of it. Not in the ‘end of the world’ kind of way, but really thinking of the light returning, my health returning and things to come.

On December 21, I decided to celebrate the solstice by doing some weaving and so was able to spend some time out in my studio in the woods – reflecting on the return of light.

I wove three pieces which I have put together into a vest. My original thought was a winter solstice cape, but as is often the case with SAORI weaving – it came together differently than anticipated 🙂

I was going to (and I might yet) weave one more piece in yellow…

Here is the back of the vest…

SAORI Salt Spring

– the yellow (light, east, spring) is returning through the directions
– the white (south, summer)
– the black (west, fall)
– and the red (north, winter)

SAORI Salt Spring

It is woven on a black pre-wound warp and woven with wool, wool roving, silk, sari silk strips, cotton, and other bits and pieces.

And here is the front:

SAORI Salt Spring

Right now it is just pinned together, but I will be sewing it together over the next few days and deciding how to finish the fringe.

Welcoming the return of the light!

Happy Weaving,

My website:

SAORI Salt Spring

Virtual SAORI Kai – Post 3

Lynn, in Victoria has been doing a lot of weaving, making clothes and I always love to see what she has been up to.

Here is what she says about her latest works:

I just finished warping this afternoon. It is red! Red and orange and blue and purple ribbon and gold and so not what I would usually do. I really like it. I have found a bunch of old scarves that I had stashed away in the closet and have cut them up into strips and am throwing them into the weft. Don’t know if it will be a scarf or maybe a bag. But it will be fun to do.

Saori kai

Lynn also sent me photos of a vest she made. She did some loom shaping…

Saori kai

And made this very cute vest…

Saori kai

Saori kai

I’m enjoying making smaller warps and getting used to the process of warping in the Saori way. So much easier. I have realized over the last 2 weeks that I must set aside time to weave, sew, stitch each day.

Another warp with oranges, blues and other colours …

Saori kai

I’m reminded of a message that Misao Jo sent to the New York US-Canada SAORI Conference who, when asked what the most important thing is about Saori, said “Weave every day!”

Lovely and fun work Lynn – can’t wait to see it in person!

Linking the SAORI Kai together:
Post 1
Post 2

Happy Weaving,

My website:

Asymmetric Vest – Saori style

Some time ago, I did some weaving that I planned to make into some clothing…

Blue & Green Saori Weaving

Blue & Green Saori Weaving

Blue & Green Saori Weaving

It was hanging on one of my display beams for a long time before I decided what to do with it. Finally I was inspired to make it into a vest. I had made a vest similar some time ago…

Blue Saori Vest

and with some modifications, made a new asymmetric Saori vest…

Blue & Green Saori Weaving

It is now for sale at our local WinterCraft sale on Salt Spring Island.

Happy Weaving,


My website:

Saori Salt Spring Studio