Knit Kimono

KnitKimono, by Vicki Square, is an unusual book for me to review on my blog, but I love to knit and recently discovered this book in the knitting section of the bookstore. I stood there transfixed by the gorgeous photographs and projects in this book, and had the overwhelming urge to head straight to the knitting store to buy some yarn. I haven’t gone there yet, but I bought the book and have been enjoying it in the evenings when I’m too tired to actually knit. It’s not a matter of self-control that kept me from heading straight to the knitting store, but my indecision over which of these absolutely beautiful projects to choose first!

The book has the instructions for 18 different designs/kimono, but it’s more than a pattern book. I am fascinated by the background of the kimono as described by the author.

In a traditional sense, the particular color, cut, and design of a kimono conveys social messages: gender, life/death, season, age, formality or occasion, or propriety.

She explains kimono basics: Kimono are generally constructed from rectangular pieces of fabric in standard widths. A bolt of cloth, called a tan, is cut into seven straight pieces: two long body panels, two sleeves, two overlaps, and a neckband.

And she also includes a brief, but very interesting, history of the kimono that describes changes during different periods of time from ancient Japan to the present.

All of this makes this a very interesting read, but it’s the creativity and artistry of the author/designer that deserve accolades. This is a beautiful book, full of beautifully designed projects! And it was very nice addition to the books I’ve read for Dolce Bellezza’s Japanese Literature Challenge.

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