Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Knitting Patterns Book 250

This book is probably my favourite knitting book ever. ( The links in YesAsia and Amazon Japan are listed on the right side of the page).

I did a swatch for the cover pattern - following a discussion on the knittinginjapan yahoo group - just to see how it goes. It's pattern 086, page 40.

Pretty much straight forward, but I did a mistake on row 12 - it's a WS row with a kind of 'unexpected' change in pattern.
Apart from this, there are no particular challenges, it will only require an ambitious beginner to use it.
And I guess It will only work well with a yarn with a very good stitch definition.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Vintage Knitting in Tradition

Remember the famous Am Kamin sweater and the acorn leaf motif ?
Well, Shimada Toshiyuki is out with a new book.
Arans, shawls, fair isle, a bohus style sweater and the acorn leaf slightly modified.
Click on the image bellow in order to browse a few pages on Amazon Japan.

The book is available in YesAsia, as well, at this address.

There are a few mistakes in this edition, an but there is an errata available in pdf format.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Let's Knit Series new book - Autumn Winter 2007

New book out.
Browse a few pages in Amazon Japan (just follow the link with the same image, on the right side of the page).

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

250 Knitting Patterns Book - Part 1

More on the topic of deconstructing Japanese knitting symbols.

The symbols bellow are from 250 Knitting Patterns Book, which is gathering lots of patterns from the Let's Knit Series books.

I will use the 'translations' provided by the KnittinginJapan group members, your comments and any other contributions I will obtain further. (So don't think it's me being very smart :)).

The numbers on top of the symbols refer to the pattern number in the book.

003 Procedure from itsacardigan:
right to left: o/ slip stitch 1 to cable needle, hold at back, knit stitch 2, yo k3t it's that funky centered k3t; you want to position the stitches so that the center stitch is on top. so, slip stitch 3 from left to right needle, slip stitch on cable needle (stitch 1) onto right needle, slip next stitch (stitch 4) onto cable needle, hold at front. you now have stitch 5 remaining on the left needle. slip stitch 1 from right to left needle, then slip stitch 3 from right to left needle, k3t\o yo and knit stitch 4 from cable needle.


At a first glance the symbols involve a decrease (stitches no 1 and 3 merge together) - a twisted stitch (knit through the back loop) and an yo.

093 - 1 Procedure by Neel:

Slip one stitch to Cable Needle and hold back, Knit one stitch Through Backloop (right slanted 'fish' along the front), Yarn Over, Knit one stitch and Pass Slipped Stitch (of the cable needle)

093 - 2 Procedure by Neel:

Slip stitch, Slip stitch to Cable Needle and keep in front, Knit Slipped stitch Together with next one on left needle(k2tog), Yarn Over, Knit stitch on Cable Needle Through Backloop (left slanted 'fish' along the front).

Friday, 2 November 2007

Swatching in vain

Remember this cover sweater?

I did three swatches and still not sure about the yarn.

From left to right:

1. Jaeggerspun Zephyr DK - it has a certain plastic feeling - somehow I don't like knitting with it.

2. RYC Silk Wool - beautiful yarn - everything looks great - not my colour and nothing else appeals to me from their colour card. Maybe bramble ?

3. Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool - a definitely no-no for this pattern. Too thin and tweedy.

So I'm still looking for a nice DK merino-silk blend.

Any suggestions more then welcomed.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Swatch for Pattern 7 in Let's Knit 12

This weekend I swatched for pattern 7 in Let's Knit 12. The gauge calls for:

27 stitches x 31 rows = 10 x 10 cm in pattern A

And I got:
30 stitches x 29 rows = 10 x 10 cm in pattern A (unstretched and unblocked)

Verdict: This is a very pretty pattern but it is unlikely I could do a whole sweater with twisted stitches (ktbl) and ptbl for an entire sweater. I think my hands would likely fall off before I completed the sweater. That said, perhaps someone else would like to knit the sweater and so I included the photo of my swatch for chart A above. The pattern as knit is quite stretchy but I am not a big fan of the large yarn overs on a sweater, maybe there is a trick to make them looks smaller. I used size 4mm (US 6) needles with Lana Grossa Merino 2000 Superfein in color 510. This is a very light sport weight yarn and I think the needle size is a bit large for it. In any case, this was a very fun swatch to knit with the wrong side being charted out as well; I did not get bored!

Next I will swatch for Pattern 8 (a vest) and Pattern 10 (a cardigan) in the same Let's Knit 12. In the magazine they are both knit up in black but I will probably swatch in a lighter color.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Scarf Completed

I have been very busy over the last two weeks working on this scarf for my partner in the International Scarf Exchange 5. The scarf is from Let's Knit Series 3. The ISBN number is 4529042758. I bought my copy from The Needle Arts Book Shop. I am not affiliated with this website in any way. I am just a satisfied customer. I don't think I could have done the scarf without everyones help from the KnittingInJapan Yahoo group. Silvia did an earlier post with the mechanics of the scarf.

The scarf is worked IN ONE PIECE from beginning to end. I have never seen anything constructed this way. It's pure genius if you ask me. I did change a few things when I did the last section and edging. The edging is a crochet edging where you chain 7, single crochet in the next stitch, skip the next stitch, chain 7 etc. I did two rounds of the edging instead of 1, doing the single crochets in the stitch that was skipped the first time around. Also instead of keeping the entire scarf stitches live after finishing chart D I chose to cast off each D section and single crochet around to the next section where you would pick up the stitches to work another D section. For me, this was much easier than working it with all the stitches live. I would have gone nuts and this way I was able to do the double row of edging.

I must admit, I am very pleased with the final result. I hope the person it is intended for will feel the same way.

Pattern 7 from Let's Knit 12

Hi, I'm fbz, I'm new here and I have a quick question. If anyone has Let's Knit 12 and perhaps can understand the yardage requirements and/or needle size, gauge, etc., I am going to attempt to swatch for pattern 7 (shown above). I received yesterday both Let's Knit 12 and Let's Knit Start Series Mittens/Gloves (which is amazing by the way, it is pictorially very clear if you are interested in basic beginner glove construction). I don't speak or read Japanese, but I would love to learn. Thanks for any and all tips on the gauge and needle and yarn requirements for pattern 7. It does look quite a bit like the scale lace pattern of Pomatomus, but I am also eager to swatch the border to see how it looks.

edited to add the yarn requirement section of the pattern (click for large view):

Cheers from Berlin, Germany,

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Japanese scarf - Episode 2 - D

Finally finished all A, B and C segments.

(If you read this and feel like not quite understanding what's all this about, you might want to check this post first.)

We are ready for the first D. Pick up 31 stitches along the C. I've switched again to a different colour - otherwise just keep knitting with the same yarn.

Fig. 1 - Ready to start Row 1

Work in pattern. D is a sequence of short rows. In order to avoid the holes at the end of these rows I've used the YO short row method. Every time you encounter a circle symbol in the chart, just make a YO, then ignore them on the next row.

Fig. 2 - Beginning Row 5 with an YO (RS)

After row 16, I ended up with 3 YOs on each side, marked by pins.

In the last two rows (15 and 16) you will have to work the YOs together with the next stitch. This will close the gaps.
Next, remove the provisional cast-on at the end of C - recover the live stitches and knit until you reach the border with B.

Pick up 31 stitches along B and make another D.

Carry on like this - knitting along the edges and filling all required D segments.

Cast off and voila. One tinny colourful scarf :).

I left out the crochet border out of two reasons: one is that I can't crochet, the other is that I feel I had enough of this scarf :).

It was entertaining and I should not forget to say THANK YOU Judith and May for helping with the translation and THANK YOU Joan for explaining the circle.

What else did I do apart from knitting?

Well, we've had a brilliant day today so we've just tried to make the most out of it, by going for a long walk along the reservoirs in Marsden, in West Yorkshire, the very heart of the Rowan empire.

What you get in return is Autumn at its best.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Japanse scarf - Episode 1 - ABC

We recently had an interesting discussion on the group, about this scarf construction, and no way could I understand it unless actually knitting the bloody thing.

Let's start with the beginning. This is the scarf. Picture courtesy of Rochelle.

The pattern is published in the Let's knit Series #3; the links to the book, both for YesAsia and Amazon Japan, are published on the right side of the KAL main page - just scroll down a bit and you'll see them.

The scarf has an amazing architecture and it's meant to be done in one go - if you feel you need to break off the yarn between segments be sure you're doing something wrong !

Step 1. First segment, which is called A.
I've started with a provisional cast-on which is not in the chart by the way. At the time I thought I'm smarter then the designer - realised later it was not the case. Anyway - it's not crucial - both ways you'll be fine.
No challenge afterwards, just work in pattern.
I broke off the yarn when I finished the casting off row and that's only because I was changing the colours. Otherwise just carry on using the same yarn.

Step 2. Starting the second segment - B
Pick up 31 stitches from the left edge of A and carry on with the B segment chart. (Or pick up 30 and use the last loop of your cast off). Just make sure you've got 31 stitches.
I always slip the first stitch of each row so I had exactly 31 stitches along the edge.

And, by the way, the segments stitch patterns are identical.

If everything goes according to the plan, one hour later you'll be the proud owner of two segments : A and B.

You might notice I've broken off the yarn again - Only because I'm using a different colour next !

Otherwise leave it there and move towards the next step.

Step 3. Starting C

Start with a provisional crochet chain cast on. This will give you 31 loops on your left needle. Carry on using the same yarn ! and knit the first RS row. Now you've got B and C linked together at the bottom (see bellow). It's where I've got that knot between yellow and blue.
Knit the WS and turn. You are here.

Step 4 - Linking the C and B again.

Before beginning Row 3, transfer the SECOND stitch from the bottom from the B edge, on your left needle.

Begin the third row working the k2tog : the blue stitch and the yellow stitch, then just work in pattern for Row 3 and Row 4.

Getting ready to start Row 5 now.

Again - transfer the next edge stitch on your left needle and start with a k2tog.

Carry on like this - making sure to link the parts together with these k2togs, at the beginning of each RS row, picking up every single stitch from the B cast-off edge.

That's all. Next is another B, then another C and so on - till you reach the end of the pattern chart.
And then again, after finishing the last C - do not break off the yarn but move to the next step - The Ds.
This is to come in the next episode : maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Understanding The Rising Sun

Weekend exercise - let's see what we make out of this combination.

1. Stitch no. 3 merges into stitch no. 2, so this will be a decrease. Stitch no 2 is the longest one, so it's a LEFT leaning decrease. Looks like a right leaning decrease but it's NOT. Just watch for the longest line.

2. Stitch no 1 and the decrease are crossing each other - this means we are dealing with a cable.

3. The first stitch has that small horizontal line underneath, which means Purl.

So, in real life that's what we've got to do:

-Drop stitch no 1 at the back, on a cable needle

- Slip, knit, pass over

- Yarn over

- Purl the stitch from the cable needle.

Was this easy or what?

I found this symbol on fleegle's blog here:


I thought it was very well explained (I specially enjoyed the Rising Sun story :)) - if you want to understand more about Japanese knitting symbols make sure you don't miss it.

Monday, 1 October 2007

FO: #11 - No. 3 Shawl

Finally finished, wet and currently being blocked. Notice anything different?

Yes, the edging. This is one huge shawl as it stands 200 x 103 cm , and I don't really like the original edging anyway. So I stopped after Row 166 and knitted the traditional scalloped edging.

My thoughts on knitting this shawl:

  1. It's easier on my eyes, copy & enlarge the charts. I marked the row numbers after Row 49 all the way to 145.
  2. Beware of K2tog's & SSK's on chart 2, especially row 43 & 45. I have made a number of errors, although I managed to fix them without having to rip out stitches.
  3. While knitting, be sure that you could knit without being disturbed. Row counter & life line certainly would help. Since I did not use life line. there were times I feared that I might have to frog the whole thing.

As my next project (for work) will take me to York, England starting Oct. 6 for 5 weeks, return to Canada for 1 week and then back to York again for 5 and a half weeks for the remainder of the year, as well as other obligations, I will not be knitting any Japanese design till around Xmas time.

However, I will check e-mails and visit this KAL daily so that I would feel I still belong.

Japanese knitting

Sometimes I just wonder: was all this Japanese Knitting too much for some of us to digest?

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Understanding Leaves

This white top is one of the patterns from Let's Knit Series #3.

The book is still available and it is listed on the right side of the KAL main page.

Let's see our understanding of the Leaf knitting symbols, in the chart bellow.

- Purl all the blank squares. (This is stated at the bottom of the chart)

- A blank region on the chart means just this : a blank region. No stitches there. Just ignore it.

Row 1: The Swimming Fish symbol is a twisted stitch. Knit through the back of the stitch.
Row 2: The same, if you work in the round. Otherwise purl through the back of the stitch.
Row 3: 2-st Left Cross
Row 4: Purl through the back
Row 5: K, Yo, K, YO, K
Row 7: Drop one stitch on a cable needle at the back, knit 5 stitches, purl the stitch from the cable needle
Row 9: K, Centered decrease, K
Row 11: Centered decrease
Row 13 : Drop one stitch at the back on a cable needle, K, Purl the stitch from the cable needle.

Centered decrease- slip two stitches together as if to knit, K next stitch, pass slipped stitches over that knit stitch.




And here is the result:

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Understanding Swimming Fishes

Basically a 'Swimming Fish' stitch is a twisted stitch - knitted through the back.

Here are combinations of several 2-stitches cables, in which the foreground stitch is twisted - creating a leaning 'Swimming Fish' stitch.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Let's Knit #12, patt. #18, cable deciphering needed!

hi all -

This is the cable framed by skinny ones on each side, shaded in gray.
Any help translating how to do this cable would be much appreciated. It looks deceptively simple, but I believe it requires a fair amount of manipulation. I believe the center sts. are always held in front, but am not sure how the other sts. are crossed.

Many thanks!


Monday, 24 September 2007

More Japanese Knitting and Crochet Patterns Books

Japanese Knitting And Crochet Patterns Books

Knitting Patterns Book 250

Knitting Patterns 250 in

Knitting Patterns Book 300

Knitting Patterns Book 300 in YesAsia

Knitting Patterns Book 300

Knitting Pattern Book 300 in

Knitting Patterns Book 500

Knitting Patterns 500 in

Knitting Patterns Book 1000

Knitting Patterns 1000 in

Knitting Patterns Book 100 - Aran Patterns

Knitting Patterns 100 in

Knitting Patterns Book 250

Knitting Patterns 250 in

Crochet Patterns 300

Crochet Patterns 300 in

Crochet Patterns 200

Not available in

Friday, 14 September 2007

Let's Knit #11 - No. 3 Shawl

I started knitting the shawl last night while watching (listening is more what I was doing)a baseball game on T.V.

I am using JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk Yarn, colour: Iris. I have completed the first chart (row 1 - 26). It went smoothly without a hitch. The only complaint I have is that the print (chart) is too small.

I asked DH to copy & enlarge the charts for me. I will take a photo of my progress and add it to the post later tonight.

This was taken after Row 50.
Now that I have started, I am eagaer to continue.

Japananese Knitting - Reading the charts

Common Japanese knitting symbols in patterns

Common decrease/increase notation

A x-y-z sequence means: knit another x rows - decrease/increase y stitches - do this z times.
So the above decrease should be done like this:

1. Decrease 7 stitches
2. Knit 2 rows, bind off 2 stitches, do this twice
3. Knit 2 rows, bind off 1 stitch, do this 5 times
4. Knit 4 rows, bind off 1 stitch, do this 3 times
5. Knit 6 rows, bind off 1 stitch, do this 4 times

Let's do the math now: 7 + 2x2 + 1x5 + 1x3 + 1x4 = 23 stitches.

Other very useful resources on Japanese Knitting

Japanese Knitting Basics

Japanese Basic Stitches

Japanese - English Knitting Dictionary

How to read Japanese Knitting Charts

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Let's Knit Series #12

New issue out and available in YesAsia.
Check the links on the right side for a preview.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

A Website to View Porjects in Books

As I was reading through patterns, I noticed at the bottom of the book says: "Handknits is supported by tezukuritown portal site." (tezukuri means handmade). So I went to the site and had a look.

I found that there's a page for the books (Ladies & Let's Knit series books) and by clicking on each cover of the books, you will be able to see the detailed info on the books.

If you click on the book, it will take you to another page. On the right side where you could see ISBN and such, click on the button immediately below the size (257 x 210mm) of the book, it will show a virtual tour of the projects.

The link is here.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Book 11 Shawl #3

Silvia pointed out Nina's cry for help and asked if I could help her out, since I'm working on this shawl. (Which I still wish had, you know, a name. Or at least, a name I could interpret.)

Well, first, I don't read Japanese at all, so I've solely been working from the charts. Which means that, while it's possible the text says differently, I literally started by casting on 7 stitches and then just starting with Row 1 on the chart . . . knit, knit, YO, knit, YO, knit center stitch, YO, knit, YO, knit, knit.

The first chart is pretty self-explanatory . . . just knit straight across each row. The blank squares are stitches that don't exist yet (each row grows by four stitches).

The second chart is actually used 5 times, with one extra repeat section each time. (Currently, I'm on the third repeat.) Then, charts three and four are used one time, each.

Did this help? It's my first Japanese pattern, too, but I find it to be pretty much the same as any other triangular shawl lace chart I've done. There might be something I'm missing out of the text-instructions that I can't read, but . . . everything seems to be going smoothly.

You know, even if I haven't worked on it in a couple of weeks now, poor thing.


New Member

Hi, another new member here. Very happy to be part of this talented group.

I was born and grew up in Taiwan where just about all of the knitters learned to knit the Japanese way. In fact, it took me a long time to learn how to read written instructions when we moved to Ontario, Canada way back.

I do read, speak & write Japanese fairly well and would be more than happy to help if there's any questions regarding patterns, etc.

Just received #11 last Friday, and would like to start the shawl as soon as I could find time between my new home & new project at work, hopefully soon. :)

Monday, 10 September 2007

New Member

Hello all. I am glad to be a member of this group. I live in Pacifica, California overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We need shawls all year, fortunately! I am hoping someone can help me find a translation of the shawl on the back cover of Let's Knit 11. I see that Queen Mudd has knit it and her version is lovely. I have a cone of sage green Zephyr waiting. Is there a written translation of the instructions someone can share? I can figure out the symbols on the chart with the help of Fleegelsblog but the rest of the instructions are a mystery. Thanks in advance!
Nina, Pacifica, CA

Let's Knit Series Book

This is another beautiful book I just received. It is still available in Amazon Japan. I could not figure out the title, but I am posting a few images bellow.
I will swatch the pattern for the cover sweater tonight - I think I've got the right yarn for it as well.

My favourite one.