DFW Fiber Fest News & Featured Items

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe have been coming and going this spring!  Although it’s always very nice to have time in the studio, we are constantly lured away by all the SAORI enthusiasts we meet.  This weekend was no exception!  For the first time ever, SAORI made an appearance at DFW Fiber Fest.  A huge Thank You to those of you who welcomed us at this event! This was a phenomenally organized event where it was obvious that the organizers put the attendees first in terms of accommodations.  They have morning and afternoon class sessions during all three days of the event and the vendor hall is open throughout.  Moreover, it is situated between DFW airport and Dallas-Love for easy access.  Those of you who are anywhere within driving distance of this event, you have no excuse: mark you calendar for March 20-22, 2015!

This event, like many other fiber events, centers on spinning, knitting, and crocheting; however, there are also plentiful resources for weavers, rug hookers, and felters.  We met so many enthusiastic knitters and spinners who are looking for ways to bust their stash or simply a new outlet for their creativity.  The event has reach from Mississippi to West Texas and South Texas to Arkansas.

During the event, we introduced several new products!  From SAORI, we have several limited edition ready-made warps…

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Cashmere Ready-made Warp “Cappuccino” – 150 threads x 8m

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Pink Cotton Warp – 200 threads x 6m
Persimmon Cotton Warp – 200 threads x 6m
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White Cotton Warp – 200 threads x 6m
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Cattleya Silk Warp – 150 threads x 6m
And several new cone sets…
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2014 New Year Lucky Box Set – 20 wool cones selected at random at the factory.  The photo on the website is only an example of the set.  We recommend this item to customers who enjoy surprises as they will not know what will be in the assortment until they receive and open it. (This cone set is also available as a half set – 10 cones each.)

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NOTE: These sets are also available as 4-cone sets.
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All of the above listed items are now available in our Etsy shop in whatever quantities exist.  We are also re-introducing the Black Silk, Candy Box Cotton, Organic Cotton, and White Wool Ready-Mades as well as the Lame Silver & Gold Lucky Box and Silk Lucky Box Sets.  These are back by popular demand.  We hope that you will continue to let us know what you like so we can continue to request the items from Japan!  Please note that all prices reflect the most recent pricing from SAORI Japan/ Sakaiseiki, effective April 1, 2014.

Additionally, you may have seen some press about the new Supplementary Beater from Real Fibers.  It was featured in a project in the most recent Handwoven Magazine and also has made several appearances at our studio events.

IMG_4713Per typical, we also have a regular stream of Bluster Bay shuttles and our studio collaborations such as the Multiple-Bobbin Holder and 4-Harness Threading Holder, which are always available from our studio.  Simply contact us directly for anything you do not see in our online shop.  We always love to meet you, so please keep tabs on our studio calendar for classes that may interest you or events that may be local to you!


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Spring SAORI Kai 2014

photoAnother Kai has come and gone and we’re once again left with that hollow after-Christmas feeling.  It was a four days filled with much inspiration and camaraderie.  Now we’re left with an empty studio.  All-in-all that means it was another great success!  For those of you who are not familiar with SAORI Kai, a Kai is a gathering of people to exchange and share ideas.  At this Spring’s kai, we really emphasized that idea of “sharing”.


“Treasure” Exchange

There were two featured events at this kai.  The first was a treasure exchange: as they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  Everyone loaded up a table with the leftovers from skeins they had previously used, thrums from past projects, or scraps from cut yardage.  There were a couple of thrums I was eyeing but clearly I moved too slowly because the next time I turned around, they were gone!

Our second featured event was a warp exchange.  This particular event was shared within the studio as well as outside.  We have a discussion forum on Ravelry, where we are able to post ideas projects, inspiration, and weave-alongs.  Through that group, we were able to generate interest in a cross-state exchange of warps.  In the end, we are exchanging warps throughout south Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee.  Now that the warps have been exchanged, we will post images of the woven results and projects.

Warp Exchange

Warp Exchange


We had several new participants during this kai and we hope to continue to grow the enthusiasm for SAORI weaving.   With that, I encourage anyone who might be interested to attend the kai this fall, which is scheduled September 12-15, 2014.  It is open to all SAORI enthusiasts whether you have any previous weaving experience.  This fall’s theme is COLOR.  We will announce more information as it gets closer but think about the colors that inspire you as well as the challenges that color presents for you.  If you’d like to register, you may find out more information and download the registration form here.



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Exploring SAORI at The Spinning Seahorse

Anna_s_Place032014_002_mediumThis spring has been filled with a great deal of teaching.  This is great news because we simply love to enable! On February 28th we literally took Weavin’ Place ~SAORI Style on the road and headed to Pensacola, FL, for a weekend “Explore SAORI” workshop.

Our hostess was Anna Clark, owner of The Spinning Seahorse. The venue is an amazing Victorian house, which is being brought to new glory through the careful and thoughtful efforts of Anna. We were blessed by beautiful weather as well.

This workshop was comprised of 15 students… It was a mixed group of ages, abilities, experience, and looms. What could be more SAORI than that!!!




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SAORI Beginners’ Class

IMG_4633This weekend Weavin’ Place ~ SAORI Style hosted a SAORI Beginners’ class!  During which, we met three new SAORI-enthusiasts who are local to the area.  We shared a great deal about the SAORI weaving philosophy and taught them how to use the equipment.  The students were daring and creative with their new tools as you can see from these images.


IMG_4635.JPGIt is always a pleasure to share this weaving technique with individuals we have not met before.  In every case, they add a new bent to weaving that we had never considered.  The inspiration definitely flows both ways during these events.  We are looking very much forward to seeing where these creative souls continue to venture!




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Alabama Chanin – The Factory Grand Opening & Holiday Market

We love this regional designer and the story of her revitalization in her hometown of Florence, Alabama.  Natalie Chanin is expanding her space and invites everyone to a Grand Opening this Monday, November 18.  If you’re from the area or looking for an excuse for an inspiring road trip, you will not want to miss this!  She will also be having regular holiday markets beginning with the Grand Opening and lasting through the holiday season.  Alabama Chanin provides an excellent opportunity to support the regional economy as well as a craft that is really and truly handmade down to every detail!

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Cricket Featured by Martha Stewart

Chirping Crickets!

15″ Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom

The Schacht Cricket Loom is slated to be featured in the 2013 December Holiday Guide of Martha Stewart Living. The Cricket Loom is a simple rigid heddle loom that is affordable and portable, and makes weaving easy.   We recently featured the new Variable Dent Reeds – available in 10” and 15” for this loom – which make the Cricket even more versatile.

Designed with kids in mind, the Cricket loom is finding aficionados among adults as well. The Cricket Loom is made of high-quality apple ply and hard maple and is left unfinished. Each Cricket comes with everything you need to get started weaving: an 8-dent rigid heddle reed, threading hook, warping peg, table clamps, two shuttles, and two balls of yarn. This is a great loom for new and experienced weavers of all ages.

This loom, variable dent reeds, floor stand, and other Schacht accessories are available through our Etsy shop or by contacting us directly. Make this holiday season a weaving one by getting started with the Cricket Loom.

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SAFF 2013

IMG_4339SAORI made another grand entrance in the southern states at SAFF.  The fiber festival took place last weekend in Fletcher, North Carolina.  With two demonstration looms, multiple examples of SAORI woven clothing, and colorful ready-mades and yarns filling the booth, we were greeted by festival goers across the spectrum.  Many had heard of SAORI and were excited to see examples of it as well as the books.  Others were introduced to SAORI for the first time.  And, many identified with the free-form, all-inclusive philosophy – inspired by the possibilities.  A big thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth to say hello.  We hope to see you again next year!

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Introducing! PLY – the magazine for hadnspinners

There’s a new kid on the block in the world of Handspinning and it goes by the name of PLY.  Jacey Boggs introduced this publication over the summer and just released its second issue.  This is a quarterly magazine with a focus on the intermediate to advanced spinner.  It is full of quirky sensibilities and bold graphics, making it a really entertaining read.

But, there’s a lot more to this magazine than just a good time.  Cover to cover this magazine offers techniques ranging from fiber prep to dying and (of course) to spinning and plying.  There are a number of projects but this magazine really has a technique-first focus, providing lots of great insights learned from sampling and collective expertise.photo-1

Each month features a theme.  For all of you who practice a single strategy approach to spinning, you will not want to miss this issue.

Investigate a myriad of techniques to spin color, including several ways of keeping color intact and what to do when you don’t want to keep it intact but rather want to blend, extend, or tone it up or tone it down. Learn how to card for different color effects and how to design a color palette. Do you ever spin down the side of combed top, ending with a messy mass of fiber in your supply hand? Learn to spin back and forth across a wider piece of fiber instead of having to strip it thinner. Read the differing opinions of 3 spinning professionals in our new regular feature: Hot Button. Study the colorful and versatile Jacob sheep, learn when color first shows up in the history of spinning, and join Yvonne Stowell, Stephen West, Adrian Bizilia, and Carol Feller for fun projects featuring color!

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Warps & Wefts | September 2013 | SAORI Canada US Association Newsletter

Many thanks to Denise Prince, the editor of Warps & Wefts – the official SAORI Canada US Association Newsletter!

Warps & Wefts

SAORI Canada US Association Newsletter
In This Issue
Conference 2014
2 Studios 1 Event
Your Threads: Salt Spring
Your Threads: Louisiana
Your Threads: Skaneateles
Your Threads: New York City
Your Threads: Peachtree City
Quick Links
To find a SAORI Studio near you check
Or contact any studio to find a SAORI weaver in your area.
Editor’s Note
This issue of WARPS & WEFTS is later than I had planned.  Please forgive my tardiness.  I had the best of plans….
This newsletter exists for you.  I cannot be in every studio (as much as I wish I could!).  So I need your input to put out this newsletter. If you have a SAORI related event PLEASE send the information to me at theSAORI CANADA US Association email.
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September 2013

SAORI 2014: A Conference in Motion
Canada-US Conference 2012Ellen Finan


During our exciting conference in Los Angeles last September, a number of SAORI weavers and studio owners gathered to discuss what next.


Several people volunteered to be on the planning committee for SAORI 2014.  They are as follows: Mihoko Wakabayashi (Worcester), Fumie Omiya (Los Angeles), Dana Allen (Hawaii) and Ellen Finan (Desert Hot Springs).  Other participants also wanted to volunteer their communities as possible sites so that the SAORI Conferences would be geographically diverse.  Everyone’s desire was to spread the SAORI way.


How have SAORI Conferences evolved in the past?  Usually the conferences were a result of the individual studio owner’s initiative along with the support and help of Kenzo Jo and other SAORI enthusiasts/practitioners from Japan.  The past SAORI Conferences were held in

2006      Worcester MA

2007      New York City

2008      Minneapolis, MN

2012 Los Angeles


The conference committee determined their role would be to help organize the event but local people would still be the linchpins of the conference. The group also wanted to consider the time of year as committee members wanted to highlight the cultural activities of the place as well as the conference itself.


Additionally, many ideas surfaced during the Canada – US  Association discussions regarding what that conference might look like. Because SAORI has taken off rapidly in the last few years, participants felt it was important to look to ourselves as not only conference participants but also as conference speakers and leaders.


A sense of empowerment arises when people feel comfortable with their understanding and commitment to their practice.  And several people felt the time has come to find experts within our midst. To that end we would ask the SAORI community at large to share their expertise at the next conference.  We will send out conference forms in late fall.


Obviously successful practices of the past, such as SAORI-Kai, exhibits, surprise warp exchanges, and demonstrations will be included. In addition more intimate groupings tailored to people’s interests will also be included, so that skills and techniques can be shared and practiced in a variety of settings.


If you would like to help get the ball rolling, please contactDenise Prince  or Ellen Finan and your thoughts will be passed along to the Committee.  We would like to start planning for another successful SAORI Conference next year. Any and all comments are welcome!

Working Together
Jenny and young weaverWeavin’ Place & HanDen Studios


This past April thousands of knitting and crocheting enthusiasts converged on the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta for classes, workshops and demonstrations on everything fiber. And of course, to shop.


Jenny Pelc (Weavin’ Place-SAORI Style) drove up from Louisiana and joined Denise Prince and Hanley Lewis (HanDen Studios-SAORI Weaving Peachtree City) at this year’s Stitches market. The trio, enticed several

shoppers to sit for a moment and weave.  Many had never woven before and found that SAORI weaving was fun and easy.

SAORI Salt Spring 
Terri Bibby Top1Terri Bibby


On April 13, SAORI Salt Spring particpated  in the “Blossom Festival” on Salt Spring Island.  The Japanese Garden Society organized a picnic in the Peace Park and Japanese Garden on Salt Spring Island.  Many Japanese activities took place including music, karate demonstration, Japanese bento box lunches and snacks, poetry and haiku readings by poets and a haiku poet, calligraphy and SAORI weaving!  I invited people to weave on a blossom banner.

During the spring and summer, workshops, classes and retreats were offered at SAORI Salt Spring in conjunction with our bed & breakfast cottage.  Retreats are from 2 days to 1 week long with weaving workshops in the mornings and free time in the afternoon and evenings to explore the island, relax or continue weaving in the studio.

I have some ongoing classes with people on the island and others when people come to visit the island.  These SAORI Workshops will be featured in the “Workshops on the Rock” brochure which is published by the Salt Spring Arts Council.  The brochure will be on the ferries, in the tourist centre and all the accommodations on the island, so I’m hoping to introduce more people to SAORI weaving.

I will also be part of an exhibit at the Metchosin Art Gallery (http://www.metchosinartgallery.ca) for the month of September in conjunction with the Vancouver Island Surface Design Association (http://surfacedesignvi.org/).  Terri Bibby top 2


Weavin’ Place SAORI Style
Weavin' Place TM classJenny Pelc & Cheryl Dunworth
This spring has been a bustling one! It was kicked off sooner than usual with an especially early Mardi Gras, which marks the beginning of what we like to call “Festival Season”. Since the beginning of the year, we launched the new website, re-organized the studio entirely, and filled the 2013 calendar – almost to capacity!
Although we love our local and regional sessions, the highlight is definitely the workshops – this year TWO with fabulous guest instructors!
SAORI style had the pleasure during the weekend of March 1-3 to host Nadine Sanders (aka The Singing Weaver) for a 3 day workshop. The focus was the Moorman inlay technique that allows for the buildup of inlay on the surface of the cloth. Additionally, traditional inlay was done on warps prepared for that technique. Two wonderful techniques, which yield dramatic differences.
The first day, Nadine had us trying yarns of different materials, textures, and thicknesses (very SAORI) … noticing differences… working in rectangular and square shapes. On the second day, we moved onto the more advanced freeform curve techniques… some of us with unanticipated results (also very SAORI)… By the final day, we were all successfully working and creating.
Some participants embraced the transparency…
Others embraced their now expanded possibilities for more creative weaving experiences…

Everyone had a blast: enjoyed the camaraderie, the new skills acquired, and, of course, the live music from our multi-talented instructor!
In the Fall, we welcome Esther Rodgers of Jazzturtle Creations for a collaborative spinning and weaving workshop.  It will take place over a three-day period.  Led by Esther, the first two days will be dedicated to freeing the creative spinner within! Having been recently published in Lexi Boeger’s Hand Spun: New Spins on Traditional Techniques, she’s among the experts in this free-spirited style of spinning!  The third day will be dedicated to creating handwoven materials that showcases the unique qualities of handspun.
We try to keep the studio as busy as possible with less formal events throughout the year. So, if you have a trip to south Louisiana planned, pleased arrange a visit to the studio!

THE GATHERING | First Thursday of every Month | 10am – 4pm
FOURTH WEDNESDAY SPINNERS | Fourth Wednesday of every Month | 10am – 4pm
SAFF (in conjunction with Han-Den Studios) | October 25-27, 2013
FALL SAORI KAI | November 1-4, 2013

Serendipity SAORI Studio
Pardee ValentineKaren Pardee


In February Karen Pardee, owner ofSerendipity SAORI Studio, gave a demo of SAORI weaving at Gallery 54 in the Village of Skaneateles. Gallery 54 features fine arts and crafts by local artists. As the demo was just before Valentine’s Day, Pardee asked gallery patrons to write out Valentine wishes on heart-shaped paper cut-outs, which were then woven into the banner.


Serendipity SAORI Studio was also pleased to participate for the second year in the silent auction at “Blowin’ Red 2013” held at the studio of Snake Oil Glassworks in Skaneateles, NY. The proceeds of the auction benefit the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign.



Loop of the Loom
Yukako Satone


In April Loop of the Loom hosted an exhibit at Tenri Cultural Institute of New York in honor of Misao Jo’s 100th Birthday.

SAORI: Misao Jo’s Dream. Our Inspiration.

To honor her, Loop of the Loom held a day-long celebration onSunday, April 28, at a beautiful gallery near Union Square in New York. The gallery was filled with spirits of handweavers and overflowed with colors.”SAORI: Misao Jo’s Dream. Our Inspiration.” is a Loop of the Loom and local SAORI weaver’s 4th exhibition which included a free exhibition and fashion show open to the public and the paid special program to explore SAORI philosophy and Misao’s dream through a short movie, a lecture, as well as a panel discussion.

HanDen Studio – SAORI weaving Peachtree City
Japan 1Denise Prince
February was a very exciting month!  I joined Chiaki O’Brien (Studio Fun!) in Osaka, Japan!
Chiaki has many contacts in and around Osaka from her time at SAORI Osaka, so we tried to visit as many of them as we could in the one week we had together.
One of stops in Osaka was a studio where the teachers have either a physical or mental disability.  But don’t think that they are in any way a sub-par weaver ot teacher.  The two women I met there ROCK!  One of the women (and here I must apologize because I lost her business card) has down syndrome.  She has been weaving for over 20 years.  She is a teacher.  She weaves for a SAORI designer. She told us that she “used to cry all the time.  Then she found SAORI.  And now she doesn’t cry anymore.”  WOW!  The power of SAORI!
My last 3 weeks in Japan was spent with Kenzo Jo, at SAORInoMori.  He put me through the paces.  And in the end, I earned the certificates for 3rd grade, 2nd grade, and A grade in the HandWeavers testing.3 certificates
SAORI Canada US Association is a group of Studio Owners, dealers, SAORI weavers and others interested in SAORI weaving. Currently there are no dues and no requirements for membership other than your interest in SAORI weaving and the SAORI philosophy.
This newsletter is FOR you and BY you! IF you have a SAORI event that you would like to share with other SAORI people, please feel free to send it to saoricanadaus@gmail.com
Persons interested is subscribing to the newsletter can send an email to the same address or click the link embedded in this newsletter.



Denise Prince
Warps & Wefts Editor
HanDen Studios – SAORI Weaving

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NEW from Schacht! Variable Dent Reeds!

Schacht Variable Dent Reeds

Schacht Variable Dent Reeds

As many of you who visit the studio are aware, Cheryl has had a side project with Schacht Spindle Company.  She has been playing with the short segments of rigid heddle, which are basically the building blocks of all the reeds.  Securing the reeds between two rails, we now have the ability to mix and match dent sizes.  This is great for combining yarns of different thicknesses in the same warp or for cramming and spacing.

Here is an excerpt from their most recent newsletter, describing the reeds:

 What is a Variable Dent Reed and why do you want one? 

This is a mix-and-match rigid heddle reed. Remove the top of the frame and insert the rigid heddle sections. Each reed comes with a variety of sections in 5, 8, 10 and 12-dent; each section is about 2 .” wide. You can use different dents to create different setts in the same reed. This is a great way to thread stripes of thick and thin yarns or to create different densities in a fabric.

After testing the prototypes and getting a few projects off the looms ourselves, Schacht has perfected the design and is now ready to release these to the public for use with the Cricket and Flip Rigid Heddle Looms!

The reeds will be packaged for use with 10″, 15″, 20″, and 25″ Rigid Heddle Weaving Widths.  These lovely little reed segments will be available at the end of September.  We are pre-ordering now, so if you have interest in getting your own set, please let us know!

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