Spring Circle Scarf

While visiting the Kawaii Nunohaku craft fair last month I bought two small pieces of fabric from a Kamakura-based shop owner. The fabric was a beautiful pairing and I knew right away that I wanted to use them in a scarf.

A beautiful pairing.I know nothing about these fabrics except that the colorful one is incredibly soft and light, is screen or maybe woodblock printed, and the other is linen. It might be hand-printed, too. I decided to make a circle scarf like the one I saw on Miss Matatabi’s site. I cut each piece into two 12″ by 30″ rectangles and sewed the short ends together. Following the directions here, I sewed the two fabrics together along their long edges then turned the scarf right-side-out, hiding the seams and pressing it crisp. I joined the remaining short ends and finished it with hand-stitching.

A spring circle scarf. I’m really pleased.

New Spring Sashiko Kit

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?sakura sashiko embroidery kitThis 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.squeeze! sakura sashiko pouchThis 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!sakura sashiko diy embroidered pouch kitsakura trio DIY sashiko pouch

Spring Sashiko Giveaway — We have a winner!

Thanks to everyone who left comments — it was great fun reading them all! I dumped the numbers in to the random number generator, and (drumroll please!) dadadadada…

Congrats to Liz! And to everyone else, thanks again for participating. ヾ(@⌒ー⌒@)ノ

If you are still interested in getting your itchy-stitchy fingers on the Spring Hanami Sashiko Kit, you can keep an eye on my Etsy shop where it will be available soon or pre-order one by sending me a message at sakepuppets@gmail.com. Want to learn more about sashiko? You can check out my online tutorial here, or stay tuned for how-to videos, coming soon.

The 2012 Spring Hanami Sashiko Kit, $35  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Happy stitching, and happy Spring!

Spring Sprung

Ahh, it feels like spring today. I hung some laundry to dry on the balcony and left the door wide open. The birds are chirping and blue sky is in sight (that is, beyond the power lines and skyscrapers).

I apologize to all my Minnesotan readers for my gratuitous boasting of springtime, since many of you probably still have snow on the ground in some places. OK, not really, but it is just so fun to jest.

It’s hanami time in Japan, which means everyone goes outside to picnic under the sakura, or cherry blossoms. I went for a walk yesterday and saw two people picnicking with champagne at 2 in the afternoon. Rightfully so, the sakura are lovely — and fleeting — they deserve proper celebration.

On Sunday Dan and I took a walk along the river in Nakameguro, which is lined on both side with sakura that were in full bloom.

The sakura in Tokyo are almost gone, blooms coming and going in a matter of days. I’m hoping this weekend gets a little windy, because I love to stand under the cherry trees and let the little white and pale-pink petals flutter around me. Perhaps it reminds me of snowfall in Minnesota.

OK, you’ve got me there.