Sunday, September 28, 2008

I have faced reality.

And it looks like this.

(Finished the second crown; need to embellish and write the pattern.)

And sometimes, on a good day, reality looks like this.

Which is good. Very good. I'm a damn good knitter. But that's the point. I'm a KNITTER. You know what?

Reality is, I'll never turn out stuff like this:



...that first one has a giant hand-embroidered peacock on it. In case you can't tell from the crappy photo I took out of a book. Yeah, I could buy some fabric and sew my own kimono. And I probably will. But this level of art? I'm betting the people who made those kimono spent AT LEAST as much time learning their craft as I have on knitting (twenty years) to get to that skill level. For many, the intricate work was ALL they did, every day, for a living. This was how they ATE, not some hobby to fool around with like my knitting is to me. So the fact is, I'm unlikely to ever have the skill to produce something like these kimono. I have admired work like this forever, and always wanted to make things like it. A voice in the back of my head always says "Where would you wear it?" but to hell with the Little Voice. It's not about the wearing, it's about the MAKING. So we're back to acts of creativity as a human need, and... and...

Hmmm. So. Kimono. Hmmmm. I'd need to practice on some other fabric, first. Hmmm. Christmas is coming up, for easy experiment unloading.

Hmmm.

9 comments:

Amy Lane said...

And maybe the reality is, the master did the designing and his apprentices did the stitching. Let me know when you're going to sign the goob up for underpaid labor... (The crown on Sekhmet's ass--now THAT'S my kind of reality...)

Leonie said...

From my corner your reality looks pretty good most days and of course we all need something to aspire to!

MagicChupacabra said...

You want to make squid hats.

SQUID HATS

That is all.

Louiz said...

What Amy said: Certainly painters commonly did the major bits and their apprentices filled in the "crowd details" and the fiddly bits that the Master couldn't be bothered with... so get the design down and start with the stitching! (she says, knowing nothing really beyond "uh, difficult" about complicated embroidery)

Alacaeriel said...

You could always make a yukata... the simpler, summer kimono made out of cotton... I have two of them. You also don't need the layers a full kimono requires. It's still very frustrating to get into if you have a "Western" shaped figure i.e. anything but a rectangle. I have three hand towels I had to tie around my waist...

Roxie said...

Many of those embroidered kimonos were team efforts with different women doing sleeves, fronts, backs. The dyed kimonos were often produced by a single artist in a workshop with lots of apprentices and assistants to get the grunt work done. You might want to try shibori dying on a yukata, or maybe start with some obis.

tuscaloosa108 said...

Okay, I'll bite--how do I get that doily pattern? Please!

Murrie

Alwen said...

You get my vote for Queen of the Universe for a reality that looks like that.

Beauty + Sense of Humor = Pretty Darn Cool Reality, in my book.

historicstitcher said...

Embroidery was my first textile love and passion. I have amazing threads in my collection, and more embroidery UFOs than knitting UFOs, and they're far more elaborate and complicated.

One of them is a reproduction of a "sweete bag", embroidered in silk and metal on linen - 32 sts/in.

Yeah, I often get in over my head, too. I have the feeling that if we ever met in person we'd cause some serious textile damage!

And the FolkWear Pattern for Japanese Hapi and Haori is pretty good. It's a decent place to start, if you haven't found something better yet!