Crochet Kimonos are Always in Fashion

I enjoy following fashion trends, and kimono silhouette is a trend I love! In fact, iconic kimonos inspired a story’s worth of lovely projects in Interweave Crochet Spring 2017: check out Contemporary Cardigans We see the kimono’s influence on fashion far and wide, but there is something about a crochet kimono that makes it extra special.

Start with the backstory from Dora Ohrenstein; she provides a brief history of kimonos, from their importance in Japanese culture through their influence on modern style. Then turn the page for 5 kimono-inspired cardigans you’ll be dying to stitch.

1. Jenny King’s Expansive Kimono pairs a large and loose silhouette with beautiful lace stitching. This garment is made in a series of rectangles and easily seamed—you don’t have to worry about shaping!

2. Annette Hynes’s Ample Cardigan combines beautiful striping Tunisian stitches on the bodice with open lacework for the kimono’s skirt.

3. The Cascading Lace Cardigan, designed by Juliette Bezold, finds its inspiration from cherry blossoms. It features Tunisian stitches and loose-fitting sleeves, with subtle contrast stripes on bands and belt.

4. Robyn Chachula made her abbreviated kimono, the Unfettered Shrug, from floral hexagon and half-hexagon motifs. Its short length and wrap waistband give a lighter, more fitted look to the traditional boxy kimono.

5. Dora Ohrenstein created a lovely long cardigan with open stitches across the top and varying triangle and geometric patterns for the body of the garment.

Although they’re all based on kimonos, these 5 garments look completely different from one another. They also feature interesting techniques and construction. The kimono really is a wealth of inspiration.

And we weren’t the first to get inspired. Stitch your own piece of history with PieceWork’s eBook 7 Captivating Kimonos collection. These vintage patterns come from the 1918 Edition of Fleisher’s Knitting & Crochet Manual, originally a 208-page book of 125 patterns that sold for only 25 cents. This eBook reproduces Fleisher’s kimono patterns exactly, with a helpful glossary of stitch photos and instructions (also dating from 1918). The patterns are written a bit differently than we do now, but still easy to follow and so much fun to try out.

The Chaska Kimono uses a half double crochet stitch to shape the sweater’s loose silhouette. For more intricate stitching, try the Nadine Kimono, an open cardigan with a tie-closure at the front. The Mariana Kimono features a textured stitch and a lovely collar. But my favorite from this pattern series is the Suzuki Kimono with long open sleeves. It looks most like the historic kimono and appears so comfy and cozy.

Which kimono-inspired collection do you like the best? Our most recent, or the historic? Let me know in the comments!

-Sara Dudek
Associate Editor, Interweave Crochet

Make a Kimono You Will Love!


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