Thursday, 4 September 2014

Ready for our first day in Hirosaki

On our first day in Hirosaki, we are going to have a koginzashi (kogin sashiko) lesson with Yoko Sato, a local kogin expert.  So far, my limited experience of Kogin has been the Nanbu hishizashi sample I made for 'The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook' (above) and a small piece I stitched in Yuza in 2006, when Yuza Sashiko member Keiko Hori kindly gave me a lesson.  She had come to Hirosaki to learn kogin about twenty years ago, so I had hoped to come here and do the same.  Now we are at our hotel near Hirosaki station and I will have a kogin lesson today.

These are the special threads used for kogin.  They are stranded, more like a six strand embroidery thread, although Nanbu hishizashi has been stitched with wool as well as cotton, especially for the colourful maekake aprons popular from c1900 (my sample at the top is wool).

I've wanted to come to Hirosaki to learn kogin for a long time, so it is great to be here and I'm looking forward to my lesson very much today.  Yoko Sato was taught by Setsu Maeda (1919 - 1980?), so she will have learned all the traditional styles.  I am interested in the names of the patterns too.

Here's some more kogin and Nanbu hishizashi from the Amuse Museum, Tokyo.

This is the garment that gives Kogin it's name - a koginu work jacket. The embroidered kogin sections would be reused from one garment to another.

Nanbu hishizashi work pants. The shape is elongated because it is stitched over even numbers of threads rather than uneven numbers like Kogin.

I don't think I'll be good enough to do a panel like this for some time.  The part of the kogin I really don't understand yet is how to plan a bigger piece.  The first two photos are actually the back!

Time to go and get stitching...

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