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Tutorial For Portable Saori Vacation Weaving
Submitted by Pam on Sun, 05/15/2011 - 20:39
A quick re-cap about weaving in Saori Style and then the how-to!
And to repeat what I said in the last post, I am not really inventing anything new here. Just putting things together in new ways.
Most of the time I complete my own weavings on my Rigid Heddle Loom, but it is occupied at the moment with a Saori Weaving I am making as a base for a Winter Holiday wall hanging.
I am including the image so that you can see that Saori is anything you want it to be - what ever you inner creative spirit wants it to be.
As is mentioned in the previous post, for creative adults Saori is a satisfying way to freely express who we are at any given moment. A wonderful and satisfying craft for self expression in it's purist form.
I use Saori as a meditation. The only conscious choice I make is the yarn itself at the beginning of the project. How and where those yarns appear in the weaving - I leave that up to the universe.
Saori is perfect for children because they can simply do whatever they want! No rules. No patterns. No tools or equipment.
So besides wanting to get you moms hooked on Saori weaving as a meditative, get away from it all creative experience; it is also my goal to provide kids with a project they can work on almost anywhere but the bathtub using materials almost anyone has available at home.
The weavings in progress are completely stable and can be carried finished or unfinished in a suitcase, duffle or craft bag. This complete portability is one of the things I love most about this "loom".
If you are planning this as a vacation craft project, I suggest you make up a few "looms" before leaving.
Basically all you need: Scraps and leftover bits of yarn, cardboard, scissors (blunt end for traveling).
One of those lovely tapestry needles - metal or plastic is great but not necessary.
Look at this stash of fabulous yarns! Found it at Goodwill for less than $3.00. If you don't happen to have one of those infinite stashes of half used balls of yarn, don't despair - head to a thrift store!
Or I would think knitters and crocheters you know might just have leftovers they would love to share. Most of us just want to know our stash has found a good home!
For your "loom", use the cardboard that is found in regular card board boxes. It is much more sturdy than the pressed cardboard.
My "looms" range in size from 5"x6" to 9"x12". (13 cm x 15 cm to 23 cm x 31cm). But you could make a loom using an 11x14 cardboard or even 16x21 if you are thinking placemets or bags.
Using a ruler and pencil, place marks along two opposite edges every 1/4" or every 1/2" (5mm to 12 mm). Cut on every mark with scissors. My cuts are about 1/4" to 3/8" (5mm to 7mm) deep.
The slots in the sample in this tutorial are 1/2" apart.
Note: The closer the slots are together, the tighter and more stable the weave.
For the wrapping yarn (warp), select a yarn that does not stretch.
Secure your yarn in the first slot on the top left of your "loom" and carry it to the first slot at the bottom left. Bring it around the back to the next slot at the top, back to the bottom.... Continue winding the warn until you reach the last slot and cut a long tail.
A bit of masking tape to hold the tails is helpful to keep them out of the way, but not necessary.
Now let the weaving begin!
Cut a length of yarn. You can wind it around the board several times if you like to determine the length you want or do what I do and just cut where your inner muse tells you to cut!
Leaving a tail measuring about half the width of your cardboard, begin weaving your yarn first under then over, then under, then over the yarns you have secured in the slots.
When you get to the end of the row, bring your yarn around the back of "the loom" and begin the next row from the right side of the loom again.
As you weave the next row, place the yarn opposite to it's position in the previous row. If you look carefully at the image above, you will see what I mean.
NOTE: The yarn secured in the slots is known as warp and the yarn you will weave with is known as weft.
I happen to love big, blunt tapestry needles so I use them when weaving these small projects. But kids may find it easier to finger weave.
After weaving each weft yarn, gently push it into place against the previous one with your fingers.
Continue weaving until the yarn is almost all used. Leave a tail at least the length of half the width of your "loom".
Select the next weft yarn. Tie it to the tail of the previous yarn at the back of the "loom", bring the new yarn around to the front and continue weaving.
Here is a view of the back.
This is the fun part! Let your heart guide your yarn choices and your hand. Don't plan or think ahead - just let your weaving happen.
Skip warps if you are so inclined. If you are inspired - make loops in the yarn! Do wild stuff! Weave in strips of fabric or roving. I have been known to finger spin cottonwood fluff to make a "yarn".
And the best part - if you get interrupted, secure the needle if you are using one, and stuff it in the bag!
I prefer to leave the weaving in tact at this point, and finish it off when I am home, but tying off can be done in the "field". If you use the tying off technique below, the weaving will remain stable if you have to suddenly stuff it into a duffle.
When weaving is complete, cut the yarn leaving a tail about 4" long.
Turn the weaving over so the back is facing you.
Slide a piece of cardboard under the weft yarns as shown and cut them right in the center. Don't worry about any knots you made while changing yarn.
Note: The cardboard guide is not necessary, but it is helpful in making certain you don't cut any of the warp yarns.
As you cut through the weft yarns and fold them toward the edges of the board your weaving will look like this.
Leaving the warp in place and uncut, begin tying off the weft yarns along the sides. Usually tying four yarns together in an overhand knot works well. Try to place the knots fairly close to the warp yarn closest to the "loom" edge.
Now turn the weaving over so the back side is again facing you and cut the warp yarns right down the middle.
Leaving the yarns secure in the slots, begin loosening two at a time and tie them in an overhand knot snug against the edge of the weaving.
Should you decide you want to trim the edges so they are even, a straight edge, rotary cutter and self-healing mat work great! But scissors work great too!
There is surprisingly little actual waste. I save mine and either use it for stutffing or let the birds use it as nest liners.
NOTE: The cuts for this weaving are 5mm (1/4"). This made the weave much tighter and actually resulted in much less shrinkage once the yarns were removed from the "loom".
Front and back to show the tighter weave.
NOTE: It is not necessary to knot the weft yarns at the edges of the weaving, especially if the piece is tightly woven and will not receive a lot of wear and tear.
Simply cut the weft yarns any length you wish - or not at all. I leave my weft yarns just as they happen when I weave my table runners - which means they are all different lengths.
This is Saori! Normally my mind likes to surprise me as I go along! This green weaving was no exception and decided at the last minute it wanted beads.
I had the beads in my stash, but no needle that would accomodate the thick yarn and still go through the beads.
So I thought I would share my solution! I used a piece of 28 gauge picture wire available at any home improvement store. I think the photos are self explanatory.
Now go grab some cardboard and play! I know most of you have yarn stashes!
And those of you with embroidery floss stashes - just make tiny, tiny looms! (Pressed cardboard will work for these.)
And you journal makers - need I say more? Saori journaling anyone? Here is my own Saori Journal. And a how to for weaving for two jounals on one loom.
And Saori Bookmarks! Wonderfully tactile woven bookmarks.
Even used this technique to make this sweet angel!
If you are looking for simple loom options and simple weaving techniques - you might find the ideas offered in thei three part series very helpful. Here is the link to one of them.
Have fun weaving.