Knit Kimono Paperback – Sep 1 2007
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"A stunning collection...natural fibers and stitches were carefully selected to reflect the movement and drape of the traditional garments." - Monsters and Critics.com
"If you'd like to embrace the popular trend...Knit Kimono offers a selection of patterns to suit any taste." - The Detroit News
"Knitters in search of adventure will find much of interest." - Bangor Daily News
"Square's designs are elegant and most are accessible even to beginners." - News-Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina)
"This lovely little book features 18 designs, all with minimal shaping. The beauty of each garment is in the stitch pattern or colorwork... There's something for everyone here." - Planet Purl
"An amazing variety of classic and comfortable wear-to-work sweaters. Visual learners may want to buy the book just to get the DVD! New and intermediate knitters will be delighted to find they have the skills they need to create fabulous garments." - Creative Knitting
About the Author
Vicki Square is the author of 'Knit Kimono', 'Knit Kimono Too', 'Folk Bags', 'Folk Hats', and the best-selling 'The Knitter's Companion'. She is also a contributor to 'Lace Style', 'Simple Style', and 'Knitting Green'. Vicki regularly designs knitted pieces from elegant basics to unique art to wear. Her artistry in color and aesthetic are stated boldly through her engineering of unusually shaped garments and accessories. Magazines such as 'Interweave Knits', 'Knitter's' and 'Spin-Off' have featured her work, and she has won awards for her innovative designs. Vicki has been designing and teaching knitting for more than twenty years, and cross-trains her creative passions with drawing, painting, and mixed media pursuits. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
And the bottom line given in this overview is that basically, all kimonos are the same -- only the details are different.
And then the book proceeds to give 18 completely different and lovely patterns.
This made me laugh, and made me very happy -- because the design is quite simple. And the possible deviations and derivations are endless.
Out of the 18, I have 3 favorites that I intend to try this season -- and at least a dozen ideas for original designs based on the generous and clear descriptions of the basic pattern.
This is a book for those of us who love possibilities!
The kimono is in so many ways a knitter's dream project with its easy construction and its large panels -- perfect for relaxed straight knitting, for intarsia, for countless stitch variations. I have been knitting kimonos for some time as an alternative to cardigans, both for myself and for children (children love these -- no buttons to snag or mess with!), and with Vicki Square's book I am inspired to take my kimono-knitting a LOT further, and I can't wait to begin.
The illustrations are wonderful in this book -- we can see both the knitted garment flat, then seen on the body. Materials and knitting directions are well presented here as well, and diagrams help with planning projects and (for me) with visualizing how the garment comes together.
I have not only found several projects here that I want to do just as designed, but I see in my mind's eye several variations I'd like to do that take off from some of the 18 projects here...so this book is a great boost to my knitting creativity. What more could any kimono-lover ask for?
A stunning book all-around. Bravo, Vicki, well done!
The book is well-structured in Introduction, Kimono Basics, Design Your Own Kimono, Glossary, Resources, Bibliography and Index. Advice on adapting the designs and patterns / yarns to your own liking is also provided and is easy to follow. The drawings of the patterns are clear and easy to understand and enlarge, sizes given in inch and cm.
Although all designs are based on simple shapes, some require more knitting expertise such as for Intarsia or Fair Isle motifs. For all designs good skills, i.e. uniformity and evenness when knitting stockinette patterns is a definite plus.
The simplicity of the Kimono design makes for an eye-catching stunning result that will not be subject to the rapid changes in fashion. The author is Vicki Square. Her books are always of high quality - but the "Knit Kimono" will set the singular standard for books on modular patterns. It is worth buying even just to enjoy reading it and looking at the pictures, a collector's item in the making.
The directions are clear, the glossary has lots of illustrations, and the historical background information is fascinating.
I also applaud the author for using widely available yarns, rather than the insanely expensive boutique yarns many book and magazine patterns seem to favor (see: Interweave Knits).
There are two reasons I haven't started knitting any of these designs yet. First, I am rather petite (okay, short and skinny), and even though I know these designs should fit loosely, I suspect the 42-55 inch circumferences of these patterns will hang on me like a tent. And the designs as written come only in one size, so I'm going to have to create smaller sizes on my own.
Second, the amounts of yarn required (especially for the long designs) are fairly extreme. For example, the cover design (Komon) requires 20 skeins of Berroco Glace. At $7.50 a skein (the going price on the internet sites I checked), that would be $150 dollars. Even the short Dogi vest requires 6 skeins of Fiesta Meteor, which prices out at $192.
I calculated the yarn prices for a number of the designs, and they all seem to come out in the 150-200 dollar range. (Of course, the price would be less for a smaller size...)
So, for now I'll continue to knit socks (25 bucks a pair in handpainted yarn), and lace shawls (under 60 dollars even in silk-wool hand-dyes).
And someday, when I have the nerve to invest over a hundred dollars in a single project, I look forward to making one of these truly beautiful designs.
Perhaps the key to the whole book, and the most important part, is the diagram on page 11, of how a traditional kimono is made, cutting seven pieces from one length of fabric which measures 14 inches wide by 12 feet 6 inches long. If you didn't read any further in the book, you could still make a kimono, just by knitting pieces to the sizes of those rectangles in any yarn and any stitch you wanted, and sewing them together as shown. Even the veriest beginner at knitting can knit rectangles, and that's all you'd need. Of course, for knitters who want more of a challenge, there are the patterns that follow. But that diagram - well, choose a nice yarn with a touch of silk in it for a bit of an "oriental" feel, maybe some rayon to be shiny like the fancier kimono fabrics are - or a blue-and-white variegated or self-striping or ombre cotton yarn, to imitate the fabric used in the most "everyday" kimonos. (Note that the first pattern to knit is for a simple vest in indigo blue and white yarns, with a knitted-in geometric pattern, done using slip stitch. For beginners, though, using blue-and-white variegated yarn in plain stockinette stitch for the top would achieve a passably similar effect more easily.)
On page 16, some of the "crests" that go on kimonos from certain eras are shown; I looked at those and though, circular medallions like that are easy to crochet, so I could crochet circles and add them on to any of the patterns in the book - or onto the plain kimono made just from the first diagram.
Some reviewers have commented that the patterns are more difficult than they expected for modular knitting; while it is true that some are, almost all the patterns can be simplified somewhat for beginners - just get a knitting friend to tell you what can be skipped or substituted. But really, the patterns ARE easier than for sweaters. For example, most of them have no buttons, and therefore no buttonholes to make - surely that makes the patterns more accessible! And most have no short rows, most have no endlessly tedious ribbing at the bottom and neck and sleeves, the way sweaters have.
For those who want something more difficult, one of the patterns, Haori with Crests, uses a smocking stitch. The crests are embroidered on. The Fan Kimono uses a lace pattern - but it is shorter, and the shape is even simpler, than many of the other kimonos. And for those who want an insane challenge, the Kabuki Theater Squares pattern features intarsia checks and a slip-stitch chevron border.
In short, there really IS something in here for every level of knitter, and all of it is beautiful. The pictures are great, and there are several, from several angles, taken for each piece; the diagrams are quite helpful, and the text makes it an interesting book to read, not just a pattern book.