A Knitter in Transition

My adventures - in knitting, marriage, and moving across hemispheres.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Japanese Knitting Books!!

I found some! Yesterday, a I went with 2 of my new girlfriends to the "Jusco Mall." It's a Western style mall, and Jusco is the anchor department store, kind of like a Mervyn's. Down near the food court there's a bookstore, I knew it was my moment. I went in, made several "konnichiwa" (good afternoon) and "arigatoo, ohayu gozaimaasu*" (thank you so much), and pointed to a book and brought out my knitting**. Next thing you know, I was in the knitting section. Yet another benefit to carrying a project around with you. The girl knew just what I was looking for, she even made knitting hand motions.

But, the moral of the story isn't just that politeness and quality knitting will get you anywhere, but that I found Japanese craft books!!! There were some really awesome ones, they all had great pictures, and were all really well priced, averaging $10! Most of them have a mix of knit and crochet, and (at a glance) the schematic drawings looked pretty clear. They use Arabic numbers and metric abbreviations, and I've got a link to Japanese knitting translations. The Lt keeps asking me why on earth an American would want Japanese knitting books. He just doesn't get it, does he?

Here's what I found:
1. Baby patterns: the majority of these are crochet. Lots of lacy, open stitch patterns.
2. Funky patterns: I'm calling them this because they are very modern patterns. Stuff like capelets, fun tanks, lots of bolero/shrug type sweaters. All gauges and smooth and furry yarns. Fun colors, lots of hats and scarves. Style: think Glampyre, or knitty's Tubey.
3. Office patterns: I'm calling them this because you could wear these to the office. (Duh, Ashley) Anyway, they are all practical, easy to wear stuff that I think a lot of us would like to knit. The kind of pattern you knit so that people at work can be wowed by your skilz. This makes them sound boring, they aren't at all. Lots of texture and color. Style: think Jaeger or knitty's Bristow.
4. Toys: I found one book of crocheted toys, and one of sewn toys. The toys in both were very cute and quirky. Kind of oddly styled, with an eye here, an ear there, extra legs and arms. Really cute. Style: think Jess Hutch.
5. Learn to Crochet. Well, that's what the pictures look like. This looks like it would be an awesome reference for any Japanese crochet pattern you want to try. It's got very clear drawings of each stitch, with the stitch name in bold kanji. You could also compare it side-by-side to an American crochet reference to make it even clearer.

If you're interested in a book (or 10), let me know, and I'll get one flying your way. If there's something specific you want (quilting/paper crafts/shamisen sheet music), let me know that too, and I'll look for it. If you want a knitting bag, let me know what colors and style, and your price range, and I'll look for that too. OH NO!!! NOT MORE SHOPPING!!! Plus, I get to spend YOUR money. The dollar is stronger than the yen right now (Y118 to $1), so I try to think of everything I buy as 18% off. I'm not here to make money off you, just hook my peeps up with cool stuff, so you pay what I pay. I'll probably end up with at least one of these books in the near future, so if you want to see pics***, that's cool.

*Japanese Lesson: Where you see me double up on the vowels, that doesn't make the vowel long, as we know it in English. It draws the sound out to double length. It's not "ari-GAT-o", with a short choppy "o," but "ari-GAT-ooooh" with a carried out "o" sound. So, with gozaimaasu, (silent U, don't ask, I'll let you know when I find out...) you say it with a chopped go-, a chopped -zai-, and a carried out 'masu:" go-ZAI-maasu"

** See, I've been carrying around the super-secret Dale gift. As the needles and yarn are painfully tiny, it is taking FOREVER, so I work on it every bleeding chance I get.

*** The LT has mentioned buying a computer this weekend!!! We'll probably have an apartment next week, so that means pictures soon! I think I have about 50 pictures in the queue, so that'll be some fun posting.


  • At 6:52 PM PST, Blogger illanna said…

    I love your posts from Japan! Can I paypal you some money to pick up some things for me? Nothing specific, just anything knitting related and Japanese is great. Your style is like mine, so I trust you :)

  • At 8:31 AM PST, Blogger Heather said…

    What fun!! I'm loving hearing all about your adventures in Japan. I can't wait to see some pictures. Did you find the crack? I mean Koigu?


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