Published: October 2019
By Nihon Vogue and translated by Cassandra Harada
Over 20 fingerless mitts and wrist warmer patterns. You get basic, striped, cabled, colorwork, lace, beaded and even the unusually decorated (I’m thinking that Loops fit in this category). There’s a big variety here that’s likely to suit most. And since they’re mitts, people are often more flexible in what they’ll wear.
Given this is translated from Japanese, the patterns are written with that same Japanese style. There are a lot more charts, and some descriptions of maneuvers are right on the chart and schematic.
The designs are gorgeous. They’re beautiful and plentiful. If you’re comfortable with the Japanese style of pattern-writing, then the book is a great bargain. 20 patterns for 13 bucks? Yeah. It would be a great addition to your library.
I’d say you should be comfortable with knitting in-the-round (probably an intermediate?) and familiar with making mitts before this. I do not believe this would be a good choice for introducing you to making mitts. While everything is there, I would say that you should know what you’re doing with mitts.
What do you get?
You get the charts, schematics/measurements, information about how to do the more unusual stitches and pattern notes. With just 84 pages, you don’t get that section that you find in most knitting books that explains all the knitting basics (you know what I’m talking about, right?).
The written seems more like the conversational way that (maybe) a mom or aunt might hand-down something to you. It’s all there, just not in the way that’s likely familiar to you.
Could this be improved?
It really depends on the target market. If you’re familiar with making mitts, then I think this is a good next step for you.
If they were the longer, written out (westernized?) way of presenting knitting patterns, then I think they would appeal to a broader audience. But I don’t think that could be done for the price of this book. In fact, I can even see it being split into two if that were the case. At least two and maybe even three. And if they did that, it would need to go through both a technical edit and a copy edit. That would NOT be a trivial task.
I’d say, if you’re confident in your abilities, if you’ve either used Japanese patterns before or if you want to start, this is a great next step. If you’ve fallen in love with a design on this book but it’s your first time making mitts, I think you’ll do better if you try to make a pair of basic mitts first. Then, you’ll know things like thumb gussets, holding thumb holes for later and the sizing needed.
They’re all very possible – I just want you to know what you’d be getting into. But if making mitts is old-hand to you, then go at it and enjoy! There are lots of designs here to love.