Consolidating Blogs

Well, keeping track of two blogs — one for knitting and one for sewing — hasn’t been too successful for me. If I keep up with one blog, I inevitably end up neglecting the other. Sadly, I guess I’m just a lazy kind of gal! As a result, I’ve reworked my sewing blog – J. Kaori Sews — to include my knitting and other crafty endeavors. I’ll still have this blog hanging around, but I won’t be actively updating it. Thank you for reading and I hope to see you at J. Kaori Sews!


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Finding Inspiration for a New Knit

I’ve been in a bit of a knitting funk recently, not feeling very inspired about knitting. My ongoing project is just that — ongoing — and not particularly exciting. However, I received a jolt this past weekend when I saw this photo in the current issue of WSJ Magazine.

Cabled SweaterImage from here.


What a gorgeous sweater! I love the textures, cables and cozy shape. After seeing this, I’m inspired again! Now the fun part — what yarn to choose?

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Happy Mother’s Day!

For all the moms, have a wonderful Mother’s Day!


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Sewing Diversion: Love My Lace Trench

As I wrote about earlier, I’ve been working on a couple of lace sewing projects, and I finally finished my trench jacket!

Trench Jacket 1


It was a labor of love — a lot of hand-sewing and figuring out the best ways to work with this finicky lace fabric. I love it, though, and hope to wear it for many, many years!

Lace Trench 2


Lace Trench 3


For sewing/pattern details and additional photos, please take a look at my sewing blog!


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A New Knit: Caribbean Wrap Top

Why “Caribbean”? Because of the beautiful bright blue color that reminds me of the stunning waters surrounding many of the Caribbean islands. I feel the need for a warm, beachy vacation!

Here’s my latest knit — a simple wrap top with sweet short/cap sleeves and a ruched neckline.


Caribbean Wrap Top Front


I used Classic Elite’s Provence yarn, which is one of my fave cottons. The stitch pattern is an interesting yet easy one — alternating sections of openwork and a simple cable stitch. The ruched neckline is worked in stockinette and the closure is a simple button/loop.

Caribbean Wrap Top Sleeve


Here’s a close-up of the sleeve and stitch pattern. It’s lightweight and perfect for a warm weather vacation. Looking forward to the Summer!



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Design Friday: Spring is Here

My camellias are blooming! Spring is here! Time to put the wools away and bring out the cottons, silks and linens. On my needles now is a lacy cotton wrap sweater in a bright turquoise color — the body is on the blocking board while I knit up some sweet little cap sleeves. Looking forward to warmer weather!


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Sewing Diversion: Lace

My knitting output has been low these days because I’ve been focused on a couple of sewing projects. I recently participated in a week-long couture sewing workshop, at which I chose to learn about working with lace fabrics. What an experience! I finished one project, which is a Guipure Lace Pencil Skirt. This particular lace is wool and is reminiscent of a crochet or knit pattern. In fact, I think this can be replicated as a knit/crochet garment!

Guipure Lace Pencil 1


And my Soutache Lace Trench Coat is still in progress. It has been a slow progress, as the couture method requires a lot of hand stitching and precise sewing. That said, it is coming along nicely. Here’s a work in progress photo so you can see the lace and the scallops, which I matched to run along the center front edges as well as the hem. It is an interesting fabric — the base is a navy blue lace with white cording stitched to outline certain motifs.

Soutache Lace Trench Coat


I have more details on my sewing blog, if you are interested. I’ll get rolling on my knitting projects again soon — warmer weather is coming and I need to be ready with some cute cotton knits!


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Lacy Knit for Spring 2013

I need to dub spring 2013 the “season of lace” because it seems that the projects on my sewing table and on my knitting needles all have to do with lace! I guess it is on-trend with all of the lacy styles in the stores, so perhaps my mini obsession is ok.

Here’s my swatch of a new stitch I’m trying out. It is an interesting mix of simple cables and yarn-overs and, when blocked, becomes a very pretty lace fabric. The stitch pattern comes from one of my Japanese stitch books.

Lacy Swatch


I used one of my fave yarns — Classic Elite’s Provence, which is a great mercerized cotton. A quick note about the yarn — the manufacturers have changed the weight of the skeins so now they are 50g rather than 100g each.

I’ve been thinking about wrap styles recently, so I might make up a simple wrap top using this yarn/stitch — slightly fitted with side seam shaping and perhaps flared sleeves. Or maybe just a simple boatneck top with no sleeves? This is the best part of the knitting process — planning what to make. Should be fun!

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Design Friday: Tiny Little Purses

This is the cutest way to use up yarn scraps!

Mini Purses

Image and instructions here.


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Fall 2013 Fashion: Celine’s Cozy Collection

All of the major fashion weeks are over and the NYT did a great wrap-up article and slideshow of some of the highlights. For me, Celine’s collection really caught my eye. It was a mix of soft and structured, which created a very comfy-looking, yet thoroughly chic, collection. The NYT dubbed it “slob appeal” — in a good way — but I just think it is a great counterpoint to all of the highly fitted styles that we’ve been seeing in recent collections. All images below are from here.

I love the look of the fulled fabrics (they are knits) and how they can drape but still maintain a structured shape.

Celine Fall 2013 1


Of course, the beautifully chunky sweater is a highlight. Love the cuffs.

Celine Fall 2013 2


This look is so fun. It reminds me of when I used to tie my sweaters and around my waist  when the weather got too warm!

Celine Fall 2013 3


Love the mix of plaids and the simple shapes.

Celine Fall 2013 4


A new take on a sweater and skirt set.

Celine Fall 2013 5

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