Review: Knit kimono

Knit kimono : 18 designs with simple shapes 9781931499897 by Vicki Square sounded like a very interesting book after I listened to the Knit Picks podcast. I had heard of the book before but it wasn’t something that seemed interesting until I heard the author talk about it. This review will incorporates part of what I heard in the podcast. The author wanted to write a book that was inspiring in a different way, something that wasn’t similar to the other books being published. She did a lot of research into the history of the kimono, and the book gives a nice introduction to the changes of kimono style through time.

Kimonos can be very simple or can be much fancier. They essentially are several scarves pieced together, making them a good beginning project. The author’s background is in print making. This perspective comes out in her view that kimonos make a good canvas to experiment with color and texture. Because the garments aren’t fitted, experimentation is easier, allowing one to approach knitting in a more artistic manner rather than as a craft. Because the garments are not fitted, you don’t need to worry about spending a lot of time on something that doesn’t fit.

Kimonos are also more dramatic and artistic than a standard sweater, so they also encourage people to try different things, both in knitting and in wearing. The garments dress up or down very well. Being knit, they don’t wrinkle and so would make good traveling clothes.

The author has used good colors, yarns, textures for each of the kimonos. However, I’m not convinced I would want to wear many of them. Perhaps if I tried them on I would feel different, but instead I often see loose sleeves that would get in my way and wide garments that might fall annoying off my shoulders. I also feel that some of the designs, while attractive, would look better in woven material. The designs I was most attracted to are the shorter jackets and the vests, which surprised me a bit.

You can see many of the designs on the Knit Picks site (click view more images).

Rating: 3.4

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