I am happy to share that Saké Puppets was featured in the recent issue of Homespun magazine!
They sent me a sneak peek, and the issue is quite charming. Pop on over to their site to check it out. Thanks again, Homespun!
Ah, sashiko for Spring. This is a bag pattern I reverse-engineered from a cotton gift bag I received while living in Japan. It was given to me while staying at a ryokan, so you can carry a few belongings as you wander in your yukata from breakfast to nap time to the bath and back again. I love the way the two handles tie together — loosely to slide over your wrist or elbow like a handbag, or tightly like a pouch to prevent treasures from falling out. I added some freeform sashiko geometry on one side, and used my sashiko sampler pattern for the other. The bag is lined in old nani IRO double gauze, a scrap I had stashed in the depths of a craft box that followed me from Tokyo. Honestly, nothing compliments sashko-in-angles better than a light, floral nani IRO.Well hello, Spring.
Yesterday I posted the result of my year-long endeavor with hitomezashi, the “one-stitch” style of sashiko done with alternating over-and-under stitches.
Today I thought I’d post a tutorial so you can try this style of sashiko at home. I bought a pre-printed pattern, but once I got going I realized it wasn’t necessary. Hitomezashi is straightforward, with alternating stitches on a grid. Much like knitting, the repeating pattern is easy to memorize and follow.
Let’s begin by drawing your grid onto your fabric. I made my lines 1/4″ apart. Draw lightly, you want these to wash out later, but you also don’t want them to wear off too soon.
Stitch all of the horizontal lines first, then proceed to stitch all of the vertical lines. In the end, your pattern will emerge!
I have broken the kaki no hana (persimmon flower) pattern down and isolated just the horizontal and vertical stitch lines in separate graphics. This pattern is done on a repeat, so you can make your project as large (or as tiny!) as you’d like. The key to remember is that as you work your line, you are always alternating stitches — one up, one down, one up, one down, and so on. If you skip a space on the grid, it will throw your whole pattern off.
Once complete, wash or spray your project with water to remove the grid lines. Hem or use bias tape on the edges for a nice finish.
You can create different designs by changing the patterns on the horizontal or vertical axis. Enjoy! I look forward to seeing your masterpieces!
Hi everyone! I went over to Spiral this weekend (dodging the typhoon!) and checked out the Stitch Show embroidery exhibition they were hosting. I posted some photos over at Tokyo Craft Guide, so if you are interested pop over and take a peek. The exhibition was based on this book, available online. Enjoy!
I’m now feeling really inspired to stitch something. 😉
A quick note to share the new kits I just posted in my web shop.
I’m cleaning out my craft closet, which means I gathered all my random bits and pattern pieces and put together some discounted surprise samplers. What fun! For me and hopefully for you, too.
This sashiko grab-bag includes everything you’ll need to make 4 coasters, including a surprise selection of patterns and fabrics. You’ll get a random yet well-coordinated assortment. Let’s get a little sampler-dangerous.
What, you don’t think embroidery is dangerous and edgy? Then we need to spend more time together, and I’ll show you a stabbin’ dangerous time. (^_－)－☆
More info on the kits here. Thanks!
Spring has taken hold of me. I ate two sakura-flavored mochi today. No lie.
Every year I put out a sakura-themed sashiko kit because I think sakura and sashiko are such as lovely little pair. And they are fun to say. Go ahead and try it: sakura sashiko sakura sashiko sakura sashiko. Catchy, right?This year I designed a pouch kit. These metal squeeze clasps are a new discovery for me and they are great. Easy to use, the metal clasp stays closed tightly and makes such an interesting and unexpected detail.This sashiko kit is easy to assemble in an afternoon and can be sewn entirely by hand. It is a great kit for beginner embroiderers, too. The finished pouch is 5″ by 6 1/2″ (125 mm by 165 mm), perfect for cosmetics, jewelry, small toys or treasures. Both small and large sakura patterns are included so you can design the layout yourself, and the pouch can be made with flat or boxed corners, your choice!
You can find the kits here. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Today I have been quiet under the kotatsu. I stitched up a hankerchief and played with the idea of a new spring sashiko kit. The sun shone brightly and Tanaka-san went out for a ride. She, too, has been quiet so I was happy to see her in the sunshine, wheeled away in a bright purple hat but with her face to the sky.
As the late afternoon sun dwindles from my apartment I think about where I was two years ago when the Tohoku earthquake hit Japan. That leads me to think about where I was five years ago, and then 10. Life changes suddenly sometimes.
My heart aches, so as the afternoon sun dwindles I sit quietly on the tatami and I stitch.
The holiday season ’tis upon us again. Tokyo is blanketed in tiny LED lights and Colonel Sanders has donned his holiday Santa hat. The Christmas spirit and the smell of fried chicken are in the air!
My web shop will be offering Black Friday/Cyber Monday specials again this year, so I encourage you to take a peek! For all orders placed between Friday, November 23rd and Monday, November 26th use coupon code CHEER to receive 10% off your order and to receive a special little surprise gift in the package. It might be edible. It will definitely be weird. Orders will ship Tuesday morning and will arrive in plenty of time for Christmas.
Need a little help with your holiday shopping? I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a holiday helper guide. Friends, see if you can guess which one of these are you.
For the Crafty Teen :: Maybe they’re too smart for their own good, or maybe they just like to glue sh*t to other sh*t. Perfect for the girl who loves to mix and match accessories and colors and multi-color nail polish. Or for the full-grown woman who also loves these things, including dressing like a teen.
For the Busy Mom :: They love to create but have troubling finding the time, because, you know, they are busy keeping tiny humans alive. These sashiko kits come with all the materials needed for a full project, and are easy to start, set aside, pick back up again, and finish by dim lamp light in the middle of the night.
For the Friend Who Always Throws a Better Party Than You :: Wine parties, knitting parties, and impromptu I-just-threw-this-delicious-hotdish-together parties, she does it all. This friend enjoys creating a fun atmosphere for her loved ones and is very good at it, so the special touches really matter.
For the Girl Who is Just a Friend :: You don’t want to give the wrong impression, like the time you gave her holiday-themed socks and you found yourself in an awkward position. You also know ladies love presents and you don’t want to take the heat the next time you introduce her to your new girlfriend, and she tells New Girlfriend how awful you are at gift-giving. Because you care enough to say you know she knows you care how she looks.
For the Inoffensive Coworker :: You like your colleagues but perhaps you don’t know much about them. Or maybe you do and pretend you don’t. A hand-stitched gift for an inoffensive coworker is the perfect way to say, “Have a fine holiday. But not too much fun that you run off and leave me with all this work.” Also, these ornaments are fun to make, so you might as well get something out of the deal.
I bought this Japanese craft book a few weeks ago and have thumbed the pages many times, trying to decide which pattern to stitch. They don’t make it easy.
The title translates to “Stitch Lesson: 6 basic stitches for lines and surface embroidery.” The book begins with basic instruction in the Big Six: outline stitch, backstitch, chain stitch, satin stitch, long and short stitch, and the couching stitch. In truth, I could use the help. I lean pretty heavily on the split stitch with a fat ol’ six strands of floss, so I thought this book would provide inspiration for some much-needed practice in the dainty-stitch spectrum.
Each page spread presents one project, the complete design on linen on the left and full-size stitch diagram and detail on the right. Patterns and project instructions are relegated to the back.
It is a beautiful book, but let’s be honest — the real reason I bought it was for the very last pattern:
I acquired some linen swatches that seemed perfect for dainty pudding stitches, but in truth, am having difficulty transferring the detailed patterns onto these coarser fabrics. So I might switch back to cotton, or maybe I’ll just stop whining. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Summer works in progress lead to new holiday kits…