Weaving on the Edge

Hi Friends,

In January I joined the Ventura County Handweavers and Spinners Guild and their Saori Inspired Study Group led by Barbara Bissett. Barbara and I go way back, but I hadn’t seen her in over 50 years.

We grew up on the same street in Malibu and went all through school together. It’s been fun to reconnect with her after all this time and to find that we have interests in common.

Saori is a free-style form of weaving originated in Japan that emphasizes color, texture and self-expression. My handwoven scarves are good examples of Saori inspired weaving.

Cassandra Tondro weaving

Cassandra Tondro weaving

Cassandra Tondro weaving

The Saori Inspired Study Group has a lot of talented weavers, which is both inspiring and intimidating! There’s a lot for me to learn from them.

I wanted to create something different for our meeting this week, and the idea that came to me was a “Shroud for My Former Self.” Something a little edgy and different from what everyone else is doing.

I wove the shroud in sweet colors that I think of as Peach Melba, the dessert made with vanilla ice cream, fresh peaches and rasperry sauce. Pastel peaches and orange, good girl pink, soft plums and red raspberry.

Cassandra Tondro weaving

Since it’s a shroud, I buried it in the compost pile for a week to give it a distressed look. Here’s how it looks now after digging it up and rinsing it off.

Cassandra Tondro weaving

It picked up some stains, but one week in the compost wasn’t enough. Now that I’ve completely messed it up, it’s no longer precious, and I’m free to experiment. I’m thinking that I might do some rust marks and maybe some shibori in a dyebath. I could also do a bleach discharge, but I think there’s some silk in it, and bleach will eat right through silk. Then again, that could be interesting.

Where is your learning edge? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,
Cassandra

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4 Comments

  1. I’m intrigued with the compost and think you should go further with either returning to compost for more distressing or going for bleach and tracing the holes with stitching but leaving long threads as a symbol of trailing soul, memories…
    My learning edge has been stifled lately but reading your post this morning with my first cup of coffee made me think “where’s my voice?”
    So, perfect timing!

    1. Thanks for your suggestions, Maria. Yes, where is your voice? I love it! It’s so easy for us to just go along with what others are doing, but what is it that we want to say and do?

  2. Cassie, I love this new connection to Saori-inspired weaving and weavers. I didn’t know there was a name and a Japanese textile tradition (of course there is!) that embodies what I have enjoyed most about my 10-year-long scarf knitting project. Knitting and weaving are fraternal twins so I am inviting myself to the party. The joy of combining colors and variegations, embracing randomness and letting go of patterns is such a rich source of inspiration and joy. The shroud is wonderful. Let us know what feedback you get and what comes next.

    1. Hi Lyn. Yes, knitting and weaving are so much alike. And I personally love the freedom of not having to follow a particular design or pattern. I know you already do this, and I look forward to seeing your new projects.

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