SAORI Pattern Customization Workshop

image1-2 copyMany of you have the SAORI Pattern Books and love them!  However, there are also many of you who are a bit intimidated by the freestyle approach of the patterns.

You’re comfortable weaving freestyle, but sewing clothes in the same spirit leaves you a bit queasy, asking “What if I RUIN my beautiful cloth?”  This workshop is designed specifically with you in mind!

Jo Ziller is back in the studio to teach a special class that focuses on customizing SAORI patterns to fit your body type.  The workshop will focus on two SAORI patterns – one shirt and one jacket.  Each participant will learn what is required to customize these patterns to fit their own body.  Patterns and material list will be provided to participants several weeks prior to the workshop.

This workshop is taking place September 29-30 – the Tuesday and Wednesday following the Fall Kai.  Information and tickets available through Eventbrite.

Jo ‘s education has been primarily in textiles and pattern making. She has taught classes in pattern making, adult and children’s sewing classes, heirloom construction, hand and machine embroidery, liturgical construction, history of clothing and history of liturgical vestments.

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Options Weaving has New Space

IMG_0139Those of you who have been following the studio for a while or are local to our area may be aware of an amazing weaving program taking place at OPTIONS.  The OPTIONS mission is one of enabling individuals with disabilities to live and work in the community.  The weaving program is one of many programs that they provide at the facility.  OPTIONS Weaving is the labor of love of Karen Pfeifer who has witnessed the success of similar weaving programs in Germany.  Our studio has enjoyed seeing it grow from our initial involvement with the loom selection advising and volunteer teaching sessions.  The entire staff of Options has been very supportive of the program and its continued growth and service.

When this program began several years ago, it offered weaving on three SAORI looms for taster sessions to a limited number of the OPTIONS clients.  They have since grown the program, initially offering enrichment days at Weavin’ Place ~ SAORI Style, and now expanding their reach even further with a much more spacious location on the same campus.  They are producing rugs, scarves, wall hangings, and a myriad of other products from their handwoven fabric and have provided two of the OPTIONS participants with employment.

The new studio location provides a large room for the weaving as well as an immediately adjacent room for a sewing.  They currently have 6 looms, which all have active projects, and room to continue to expand.  My visit was during a less active time of the day as I was delivering a new SOARI 4-harness loom, but you can see some examples of the amazing work that has been produced.  In their expansion, they are looking for donations of cotton weaving yarns (3/2, 5/2, 8/2, and 10/2) and various sewing supplies (measuring tapes, needles, sewing thread, etc.)

All donations may be sent to Options, Inc, Attn: Options Weaving, 19362 Shelton Road, Hammond, LA 70401.

We look forward to seeing what comes next for this blossoming program that is truly a testament to the powers of the SAORI weaving philosophy!

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Fall 2014 Shipment from Japan

Yesterday we were greeted by UPS with a very large shipment from Japan.  This always means a replenishment of inventory but it also means the latest limited edition items from SAORI Japan!

There were a few items that are back by popular demand – notably the Mustard Cotton Ready-Made Warp and the Red Silk Ready-Made Warp that was introduced at US-Canada Conference over the summer.

The newest items include:



Lemon Cotton Warp – 200 Ends x 6m – $46





Ice Brown Cotton Warp – 200 Ends x 6m – $65





Pink Wool – 10 Assorted Cones – $111


Red Wool – 10 Assorted Cones – $111






Red Cotton – 10 Assorted Cones – $127


Purple Cones – 10 Assorted Cones – $127


Blue-Green Cotton – 10 Assorted Cones – $120







Ultra-Textured Lucky Box – 3 Assorted Cones – $51

This is a set of 21 novelty yarns filled with lots of exciting texture, perfect for inlay add-ins or supplemental warp accents.  We are grouping them in small sets of 3 cones, grouped at random.







These items are available in very limited quantities from our studio or for pre-paid pick up at SAFF.  Per typical they are also available online at our Etsy shop while supplies last.  If you are interested, please contact the studio: jennyATsaoristyleDOTcom


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A Cherry, Cherry Christmas

100510_Schacht_ 020That’s right – we said it: “Christmas”.  It may be a bit early for many of you to begin thinking about, but not for those of you who have been craving Schacht’s Cherry Matchless!

Schacht has been getting requests for another run of cherry Matchless spinning wheels, so they’ve asked the production team to start making Cherry parts. There will be 100 cherry Matchless that will be ready to ship pre-Thanksgiving and another 50 that will ship later.  Which means… if you want a cherry Matchless in time for the holiday season, order now.  As always, it’s first come, first served.

Also remember to order your cherry accessories at the same time.

If you are interested in this limited run, please contact our studio directly: 985.796.8048 or  We will be happy to provide pricing information and secure your limited edition wheel.

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Back from Conference

IMG_5392The SAORI Canada-US Conference and Post-Conference took place in Georgia over the last several days.  For those of us who have not yet had the pleasure of visiting Japan, it was an opportunity to finally meet Kenzo Jo, Akiko Jo, Misako, and so many of the wonderful Japanese instructors.  It was an opportunity for everyone to learn more about the SAORI philosophy, learn a few new tips and tricks, and to be acquainted with a community of SAORI weaving enthusiasts.  The Conference itself included several workshop sessions for individual selection – skills acquisition as well as business information for potential new studios.  The post-conference was a bit more structured and moved through a myriad of weaving techniques related to warp and weft manipulation and yarn structure.  From the photos above, there was also discussion about clothing construction, during which we all were able to see Misako work her magic with a piece of cloth and a mannequin.  Finally, there was the optional testing component.  This is something that I participated in and earned my Grade 3 (initial) testing.

As many of you are aware, conference is not only a chance for learning and camaraderie: we also get to salivate over all of the new and limited edition SAORI product!  Most years you can expect a limited edition ready-made and set of yarns.  Apparently, the theme was “red silk” because it was everywhere.  First, the Limited Edition Red Silk Ready-Made – 200 threads x 6m – $114photo 2

Next, the Limited Edition Red Silk Cone Set – 10 cones of varying grist and texture – $376photo 2

This year, there were also several new books released.  The first was a long awaited English version of the Beginners’ SAORI Clothing Design.  It has been
New Books reprinted from its original Japanese version to full English text and images.  It contains 12 patterns with limited sewing and cutting and is priced at $26.  Additionally, they also released an Intermediate SAORI Clothing Design pattern book.  This is a completely Japanese printing; however, like the Japanese pattern books before it, the diagrams are very clear and (for the most part) all-inclusive.  This book is a bit graduated in terms of level of difficulty.  It contains 9 patterns, some of which are skirts, dresses, and pants and is priced at $32.  Finally, there is a book that is part inspiration and part instruction.  It contains books, stuffed animals, slippers, and a myriad of other projects that are perfect for small pieces of cloth.  Within the section on bags and totes, there are step-by-step photographs describing finishing methods.  It is priced at $42.  All of these new items are available through our shop.  Either contact us direct with questions/ requests or visit our Etsy shop for expanded descriptions.

Hope to see everyone again at conference in 2 years!!!


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Summer News

This spring has been quite the whirlwind: we’ve been as far west as Seguin, Texas, and as far east (and north) as West Friendship, Maryland.  The studio has been aflutter with exhilarating colors, courtesy of Blazing Shuttles.  And, we’ve received notification of the honor of teaching at SAFF 2014.  Most notably, we have had the extreme pleasure of meeting weavers and SAORI enthusiasts from across the entire southern and southeast regions.  It has been a lot of fun getting to know everyone!

Summer is the time when things slow down a bit for us in South Louisiana.  The air gets heavy and we head indoors for a little rest from the heat and humidity.  But, that does not keep us from weaving or from receiving exciting new products from Japan.  So, here’s an exciting outline of these activities…

New classes on the schedule!  Saki Ori Weaving and Beginners’ Pattern Making Workshop.  You can read more about these and download registration forms from the “Workshops” section of our website.  Keep in mind that we always schedule individual and small group sessions.  Additionally, the first Thursday of every month is an open play day, the Fourth Wednesday is a Spinning-oriented open studio, and every second Wednesday of every odd month (July upcoming) is a tapestry-focused open studio.

IMG_5195Recent Acquisitions!  SAORI has released multiple novelty sets that each center around a specific colorway.  We have several of these in the studio in the following colorways: blue, purple, black, grey, yellow, and brown.  Each set comes with 10 cones in varying textures and thicknesses.  These provide really wonderful free-style add-ins and have been released in limited quantities to the US market.  For more information and availability, please check out our limited edition listings on Etsy.

Back by Popular Demand! We can hardly keep the lucky box sets of Lame and Silk.  Each new set of lame contains 2 cones each of gold and silver.  Each new set of silk contains 2 cones each of variegated and solid.

We look forward to seeing you again in the studio or on the road.  For those of you traveling to SAFF in Fletcher, North Carolina, please stop by our booth.  In addition to the booth, this year we are also offering several free-style weaving taster classes during every day of the festival.  Registration opens July 1 on SAFF’s website.  Hope to see you there!

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Blazing Shuttles Weave & Dye Weekend

IMG_5112Last weekend, we welcomed Blazing Shuttles, aka Kathrin Weber, to our studio for a 3-day Weave and Dye Workshop.  On Friday, twelve weaving students were welcomed by this beautiful selection of warps – what a way to start your weekend!

Kathrin then led all the students through three different methods of setting up their loom to achieve the effects of shifting, flipping, and windows, which is part of what makes her woven work so unique.  By then end of the first day, everyone was in various stages of setting up the loom and a few diligent students had even begun weaving.



By the end of Day 2, everyone was weaving and some pieces had even come off of the loom

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The weavers all left the weaving workshop with a lot learned and completely inspired by the colors and ability to design at the loom.

Eager to learn more about Kathrin’s dyeing process, we were joined by 10 new students for the third day of the workshop.  The weather was gorgeous and the colors vibrant.  New and experienced dyers alike created some wonderful color combinations.





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Maryland Sheep & Wool 2014



2400 miles later and several hundred pounds lighter, we’ve arrived safely back from our first trip to Maryland Sheep and Wool.  The remaining items in the trailer have been unloaded and successfully re-organized into the studio.

What an exciting trip this was for us!  The studio has had a booth at several regional shows but this was our first time playing with the “big boys” at a national show.  The amount of foot traffic and the sheer number of booths is absolutely incredible!  Although I am well aware that there was a show ring, sheep sheering demonstrations, and a myriad of other activities, we really didn’t have much time to get out of the booth to observe it firsthand.  What I can share with you is our booth’s transformation from pristinely set up on Friday afternoon to bustling with activity, which continued through Sunday afternoon.


For those of you who have never been to it, I highly recommend you put it on your “bucket list”!  We are definitely looking forward to this show again next year.


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English Translation Available – Beginners’ SAORI Clothing Design

Good news to announce!  SAORI has just released a text only English translation PDF for the Beginners’ SAORI Clothing Design.  It is now available from our studio.  We are working to get these distributed to everyone who has purchased from us; however, we mostly have records of the online sales only.  If you have purchased a book from us and have not received the translation, please let Jenny know so she may get it to you.

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Pre-Sales for Maryland Sheep & Wool

MDSW AnnoucementWe are just weeks away from Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and the excitement is brewing over!  Our inventory has been refreshed and packaged and the transport tubs are reloaded.  If you are local to the area or looking for an excuse to visit this exciting festival, we always love to meet SAORI enthusiasts!

We are now in the process of taking pre-paid orders for pick-up.  This offers several benefits:

  • no standing in line
  • guaranteed inventory
  • no shipping cost

Please visit our online store for full inventory and contact us directly if you are interested in pre-ordering any items.


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