by Hitomi Shida
Translated by Gayle Roehm
available October 10, 2017 (but pre-order now from Amazon for $11.56)
This is a beautiful collection with some lesser well-known stitches. While there are quite a few that I recognize from other books, a lot seem new and if you aren’t as much of a stitch pattern junkie as I am, you’re likely to be happy with this addition. Very happy.
In addition, the beginning of the book has some good info too. Don’t just skip to the stitch patterns.
Or more likely, make sure you go back and read the beginning 😉
The Beginning Stuff
In explains that most Japanese knitting books use just charts and that they use the same symbols. So the symbols are standard and the reader is expected to know them. However, for the English audience they do include a key. Here’s a bit of that so you get a taste of what’s included.
While I didn’t do an exhaustive comparison, it appears they’ve included all the symbols used in the book. As the editor of a magazine, I can tell you that this is no easy task, and it tells me that they’ve spent a lot of time on the translation. This is much more than just slopping into Google Translate and taking what it spits out.
There are 260 stitch patterns in the book for you.
There’s also a big variety of stitches for you too, including:
- Twisted Stitches
- Popcorn Stitches
They also show you a few ideas for how to combine the stitch patterns and make them work. Here’s an example of how to use the main stitch pattern and a pretty end treatment:
I didn’t see any lace to speak of, although I wonder if that’s coming!
And a couple patterns too
There are also several full-size patterns for you to get used to working with these stitch patterns and they show you how to combine several patterns successfully. They have a scarf, a pair of socks, a hat, a pair of fingerless mitts and a decorative collar. All the patterns will give you a taste of using Japanese Knitting patterns. I’d say they’re more for experienced knitters and they rely more on charts and graphs than English language patterns do. For example, the sock pattern is a half a page of writing and a full page of charts and graphs. It has its pros and cons so it’s good to know how they’re presented.
And even if the patterns aren’t your cup of tea, the stitch patterns are worth it alone.
But wait – there are tutorials too!
In addition, they do picture tutorials of some of the more unusual stitches, such as the butterfly stitch (I’ve done it but it was good to get the confirmation).
I’m also taken by the chapter on edgings. I can see putting them on a pair of mitts, mittens, socks, cowls or even sleeves. Here’s one based on garter stitch (but they have edges based on 1×1 rib and 2×2 rib as well). It’s another way to see some of the stitch patterns in the book used in a different way.
The book is a great combo of stitch patterns, clear pictures, illustrations for the fiddly bits and a few patterns thrown in for good measure. It’s a worthy addition to your library and something for you to consider. I’m glad to have it at my reach! And of course, it’s another way for me to lose countless hours thumbing through and daydreaming.