Japanese sewing books inspired my latest knitting project

One thing leads to another

Pinterest led to …

Many people have said that I should use Pinterest, so last year I signed up. After a hesitant start, I got the hang of creating pins and following pinners. Many people I follow were pinning some gorgeous garments that either they or others had made. Garments that I could not find in published by any of the major pattern companies. By following links on pins I discovered that many of the garments I adored were by Japanese designers.

Future Sewing Projects pinboard

… Japanese sewing books which led to …

This led me to searching my local bookshops to look at Japanese sewing books. Now I have three, all in English.

Cover of Feminine Wardrobe by Jinko Matsumoto

The presentation is beautiful.

Cover of Simple Modern Sewing by Shufu To Seikatsu Sha

The patterns are in an envelope at the back of the book.

Cover of Clothing for Everyday Wear by Yoshiko Tsukiori

I’ve made one top already (to be featured soon) and bought fabric for some other garments.

… knitting

For some reason, I’m drawn to yellow and orange fabrics at the moment. I’ve bought a couple of beautiful Indian cottons for a dress and a pair of trousers. There are so many garments that I want to make. Then last week the latest “The Knitter” arrived. As usual, there are some lovely designs and interesting articles. But I was drawn to this design by Sian Brown.

Swan River by Sian Brown

Now this cardigan would look perfect with some of the yet-to-be-made garments from the Japanese sewing books. And I even had a suitable yarn; a yarn that had been waiting for a special project. And magically, a tension square was knitted and a sample of the lace. Doesn’t it look lovely?

Two hand knitted swatches, one in stocking stitch and one in lace pattern

A few years ago, a knitting group friend was clearing out her yarn ready to move into a retirement complex. For many years she had kept Angora rabbits and collected their hair, had it spun with lambswool and dyed. This is one of those yarns. It is a perfect match!

Cone of mustard-coloured Angora yarn with hand-knitted lace swatch made from yarn

So I have started the cardigan. The back and fronts are made from a single rectangle, with slits for armholes. The lace panel is along one long side of the rectangle. I’ve not made a cardigan with this construction before, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it works on me. I’m knitting on 3.00 mm needles, so this will not be a quick knit, but it will be worth the effort.

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