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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,

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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:

A trip to the farm…

Yesterday, Tara and I went for a visit to Ewetopia (farm that is)!

Lorrie showed us around the farm and we got to see all the spring lambs – such fun!



This one just 4 days old…


One little lamb was the smallest of a set of triplets. So cute…


and curious…


It is being bottle fed, so Tara got to try feeding it…


Lorrie and her husband Andy (who does leatherwork) raise the sheep for their wool. Lorrie is a spinner and a weaver and she uses her own homegrown and home-dyed wool. It is beautiful – as anyone who has woven here knows as I always have a supply of “Lorrie’s locks” to add some colour and texture to the SAORI weaving!


These sheep are well cared for, raised for their fibre and Lorrie says that they even wear coats to keep their fleece clean!

A beautiful farm – thanks for the tour Lorrie!


Happy Weaving,


Photos by Alan Bibby

My website:



Inspired by a link (which I will post when I find it again) sent to me by Chris (of Rawsome Coaching) I decided to crochet some bowls. I had a big skein of wool that I bought when I was in New Zealand and so I asked Tom if he would wind it into a ball for me…


…he uses a nostepinne and his hand was a blur (see this video for step-by-step instructions). This nostepinne was made by our good friends Noreen & Jim over at Crone-Findlay Creations.

I love to crochet while travelling or sitting and waiting for something. I don’t use a pattern, so each bowl is a different shape and size. Here is one bowl after crocheting…


…and a close up…


Another one after felting in the washing machine and formed over a bowl to dry…


…and a close-up…


Since these photos, I have washed them once more and will run through a third time as I’d like to get them thicker and not showing the stitches so much….adventures in felting!

Happy Weaving, crocheting, knitting, spinning and all things fibre!

My website:

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Salt Spring Fibreshed

Through Chris at Joybilee Farm and the Fibershed blog I have learned about Fibersheds – or should I say Fibresheds in Canada.

A fabulous idea! Since I moved to Salt Spring Island, I have been thinking about ideas like this – with all the sheep here (and alpacas, llamas, etc.), spinners, weavers, dyers, clothing makers as well as the Gulf Islands Spinning Mill there is a great potential. Add to that everyone within a 150 mile (more or less) radius and there is a lot of products and a lot of talent! The idea of a Fibreshed has brought it all together for me.

The 150 miles would include everything from Salt Spring Island almost to Penticton, Vancouver, Hope, Merritt, the Whistler area, most of Vancouver Island (perhaps all if we extend it north a bit), down to Seattle and Tacoma, the Olympic Peninsula…wow!

Wouldn’t it be great to bring that all together and create a collaborative group to share, learn and produce local products? How about connecting that with the Transition Town movement and Transition Salt Spring? Transition Victoria and others?

Salt Spring Sheep
Here are those Salt Spring sheep again….
Sheep herding

Interested in joining me to explore this idea? I’m going to set up an email list and start putting ideas together. Please contact me with your ideas and let me know if you want to be on the list. Chris (at Joybilee Farm) is also setting up a Fibreshed in the Grand Forks area (southern interior of BC) and surrounds, so you can also contact her here.

Happy Weaving (and spinning, dying, knitting, sewing, shearing, …..)

My website:

Loopy Scarf – part two

So, I finished weaving the loopy scarf (see previous post). Here it is off the loom ….

Saori Loopy Scarf

And then washed it by hand.

Saori Loopy Scarf

Washed it again in the washing machine to full/felt it and here it is at this point…

Saori Loopy Scarf

Saori Loopy Scarf

Not sure if I will wash it further – it is not felted, but the spaces between the warp threads have almost disappeared.

One of my hopes was to show off the handspun yarn, I think it accomplished that. I also wanted to play with wool and felting – hmmm….might have to go a step further.

Some measurements:
Width in reed: 6.5 inches
Width after weaving: 6 inches (plus loops!)
Length off the loom: 80 inches (plus fringe)

Current Width: 4.5 inches Length: 74 inches (plus fringe)

Any thoughts?

Happy Weaving,

My website:

Harvest Runner

During my last weaving retreat, one of the weavers asked about weaving with wool, using wool for a warp and weft, felting, etc. So, I put on a wool warp in browns for some samples.

Well, the samples turned into some harvest runners – which were perfect for hostess gifts at Thanksgiving.

Saori Harvest Runner

Happy Weaving,

My website:
Saori Salt Spring Studio

2009 – Year of Natural Fibres

2009 is the International Year of Natural Fibres.

International Year of Natural Fibres

There is a great video about it here.

Here on Salt Spring there is certainly a lot of sheep, some llama, alpaca and goats and one member of our weavers guild has grown and processed some linen. We also have some great local resources, Treenway Silks selling lovely silk yarn and ribbon, Jane Stafford Textiles who has every colour of cotton, along with wool, cottonlin, linen and other fibres and the Gulf Islands Spinning Mill who processes wool, mohair and other fibres into rovings, yarn, batts, etc – all of them will also do mail order.

Does anyone have any special events planned around this? What natural fibres do you use?

Happy Weaving,


My website:

Saori Salt Spring Studio