Today me and Kiki went to a course in sashiko at Stockholms Läns museum. I managed to get us a bit lost on the way, so we were a couple of minutes late. And that was after I managed to get us a bit late getting out of the house to start with!

2015-05-24 11.01.27It’s not the kind of thing I’d usually take a course to learn, but definetly the kind of thing I might take a course just to enjoy. And I think it was lucky I did it to learn as well, because frankly, if you want to do it with even a measure of “right”, there are a lot of tiny details you wouldn’t think about as a western embroiderer.

For example, just as you start – you attach differently. You weave back on yourself in a different way, rather than weaving in the back of the stitches, you make a couple of tiny stitches going the wrong way, and then bend back on yourself, and stitch right over them – covering them with your new stitches, to hide them from sight. And then you never go back the other direction – at the end of each row, you attach your threads, and go back to the start for the next row – but you can make long jumps between the bows to complete a row.

Frankly, I’m a bit worried that it’ll slip back up, but such is the traditional style of many japanese things I guess – if I remember correctly, even kimonos are made to take apart at each wash, not stitched to last.

sashiko_course

This course had the best turnout I’ve seen, I think there was about twelve of us plus the teacher. And it was a great course too – not only what was advertised contained herein, there was the addition of a small presentation (which would have been on the giant TV screen in the room if they’d just remembered to give our teacher the password). She talked about the history of sashiko, and materials in japan, and had a wonderful story about japanese firefighters in the 17th century. They had beatifully embroidered coatssigned_book that they would drench in water before going into a fire, but to protect the embroidery, they wore the coats inside out as they went in. And if they succeeded, they would turn the embroidery back to the outside, and show it off to the public.

Our teacher also sold us her book at the course, and signed them on location with beautiful japanese script, including everyone’s names in japanese (not pictured), plus a greeting.

I think my first little embroidery will do well as a tiny purse for the wedding I’m attending in two weeks, if I’m awake enough to put it together before then! But I’m worried about one of the stitches fraying, because I pulled it far too short when attaching to start one of the rows.

2015-05-24 13.54.50…I filled in those missing bows at the left side. Rieko pointed out right away that they were missing, but I said I liked it that way, as completed shapes rather than cut off ones. I changed my mind though. It looked too empty.2015-05-24 15.11.30

Finally I just finished drawing my next pattern, mixing it up with some “kitty dots” I found online. I got started, but don’t have a picture of it, though I’m going to have to pull some stitches again and do the kitty details in finer thread. I think it can turn out kinda cute.

Maybe later I’ll make one with loads of circles, where some here and there are kitty dots, depening on how this one turns out!

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