Freestyle, Intuitive, Expressive, Art Yarn Weaving

All of the things above essentially mean the same thing, but when you Google, you don’t get a lot of information.  One of the main things that pops up when googling any of these terms is Saori Weaving.  I will let you google it yourself.  I even bought some Saori clothing pattern books.  Saori is not just a technique, if you need to call it that, it is a philosophy.  To apply a philosophy to a craft is just too out there for me, a bit airy fairy, but each to their own.  You still need to learn how to weave.  It just doesn’t matter if you make a mistake.  I will leave it there for now. 

When I was learning to spin, a lady in the FB spinning group suggested that I spin small amounts and then I can use them in art weaving.  I started looking at tapestry weaving as I thought that might be something I would like.  As I googled some more and started looking at videos on YouTube, I realised that although I might want to make a tapestry, I would rather make something more useful with my yarn.  When I googled Art Yarn Weaving, I came across Urban GypZ.  I watched nearly all of her videos before I bought my little loom.  Although she has a few large looms, she also uses an 8″ SampleIt (no longer made).  I thought of getting the 10″ SampleIt, but they were out of stock at the suppliers I wanted to purchase it from, so I bought the 16″ one instead.  I am so glad that I did.  It is a very good size and I can make smaller/narrower items too.  If I need something wider than the loom’s capabilities, I can just sew another piece to it.  There are a lot of possibilities with a small loom.

Once the loom arrived, I got stuck in.  I started with a simple scarf from variegated yarn.  Then I made a poncho which was really two simple scarves sewn together.  I liked making the poncho so much I made another.  By this time, I had gotten better with my spinning and I made up 7 batts that I spun into yarn.



I then gathered all of my pink and purple yarns from my stash, but then I had to go out and buy some more as I didn’t have the colors I wanted (or thought) for warp.

IMG_0914This is my warp.  The purples on the ends have a pink glittery strand plied into it.  I really like the colors and the glitter, but it turned out to get a bit fuzzy during weaving and pulling the shuttles through the sheds, so I won’t be getting this again.  I still have some of this, but mostly in blue now as I separated out the colors which could be used in a weft instead.  I also took out the eyelash yarn after I finished weaving and replaced it with a pink.  It too will only be used as weft.  Here are my yarns.  You can see that I had an idea in my head about the order they might go in, but as with all good intentions, the intuition took over once I started weaving.

IMG_0915I didn’t have enough shuttles.  I did buy a lot of tongue depressors, which was a good tip from Urban GypZ, as they are good for winding small amounts of yarn.  I also had a couple of nalbinding or tapestry needles that came in handy too.  I used wooden spoons and when some yarn came off a spoon, I stuck a skewer through it.  I also used a couple of my dowels.  The shuttles are the best, but needs must and I needed to make do.  So, this is what I made.

IMG_0916Here is my freestyle, expressive, intuitive, art yarn woven scarf.  I still need to connect the ends to make it an infinity scarf.  It measures just under 10″ wide by 7′.  Here are some close-ups so you can see the texture. 

IMG_0917The knobbly bits are either slubs, locks, or where my thicker bits in my yarn were a little bit puffy.  I didn’t have to pull them up, but I thought it would make the weave more interesting.  Here is the reverse.

IMG_0918It looks just as lovely without the slubs.  I think that when I weave another scarf I will not pull up the thick bits just to see how that weaves.  The possibilities are only limited to your imagination.

IMG_0919You can see how this dark band of sari silk yarn matches up.  That was totally random.  Because the work gets wound up as you go along, you can’t really tell how it is going to turn out.  My only criteria for my color pattern was that I put a dark color next to a light color.  I also tried not to make obvious stripes and to vary the sizes of my colors.  Sometimes I would break up a color with a couple or few rows of a contrasting color.  

IMG_0920I do love the curls sticking out.

IMG_0921I did make a few skips, but in this type of weaving, especially Saori, there are no mistakes.  I only used a few rows of sari silk yarn here and there as an accent as it can get quite stiff otherwise.  The quality of the sari silk yarn that I purchased was not great, but I used it to my advantage by pulling out frayed sections.  What you can’t see, and what is really cool, are the little sparkly bits on the end warp yarns.  I also used glitzy roving and angelina in the darker pink yarns which makes them shimmer.  The lighter pink yarns have sari silk fibers and extra viscose to make a nice sheen, so the piece kind of glows.  I think it is my most favorite thing I have made so far!


Here it is all connected.  I left the fringes quit long as I am waiting on a fringe winder to arrive.  I tried doing a few by hand, but it does take a long time.  I haven’t washed it yet.  I did put it out to the people on the spinning and weaving groups on FB and although they did put my mind at ease about finishing and washing, I decided to not do it for this piece right now.  Most of the yarn I used is my own hand spun yarn that I just made, so I know it is clean.  I shall do it for the next piece I make.  I am so looking forward to wearing this when the weather gets cold!

4 thoughts on “Freestyle, Intuitive, Expressive, Art Yarn Weaving

  1. Arlene,
    I’m just so impressed with how you’ve just ‘got on with it’ all! I am a complete admirer or yours. I have been meaning to learn both spinning and weaving and over the last few weeks I have been able to book some weaving lessons and hope to start back learning. I will not be able to go as fast as you due to my health conditions but I must say you are giving me constanst inspiration and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
    Keep on going!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Carol,
      You are making me blush! Thank you for your kind comments. I must have something in my genes that has me pick up things quickly, plus I am good at following directions. A lot of it has to do with repetition. The more you do something, the better you get at it. You also have to want to do the thing you are learning and not give up when it becomes a challenge. I hope that I can show people that it is never too late to do things and learn something new. I am learning so much by discovery. I am sure you will get on well with the weaving. I am not sure how far I want to take it yet, but I am having fun just playing around with the colors of a plain weave, which end up not being very plain at all! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.