Sunday, December 30, 2007

Free Patterns on Pierott

There are some great free Japanese knitting patterns but if you don't know Japanese then it can be hard to find them or to know what the links to the pages say.

Luckily, I've been able to find some sites through Ravelry's Japanese Knitting and Crochet group and Yahoo's Knitting In Japan group. If you are anywhere interested in Japanese knitting and crochet patterns, I highly recommend both groups. The people on the lists are so nice and there are some fluent Japanese speakers that are often willing to help with translations of parts of patterns.

One of the best places to find free Japanese knitting patterns and Japanese crochet patterns is on the Pierott (Gosyo Co.,Ltd) website. The first time I got on the site, I was a little overwhelmed because I didn't know where to click for the patterns.

I use the Google search bar with the Translate feature turned on to help me read the words on the pages that aren't images.

Here's a list of some of the them:

Fall and Winter Patterns, Volume 1:

Fall and Winter Patterns, Volume 2

Fall and Winter Patterns, Volume 3

Bags (knit and crochet):

Amigurumi (crochet)

Motifs (crochet)

Caps, Mittens, Scarves (knit and crochet)


Tops (knit and crochet)

Tops, vests, ponchos (mostly knit)

Tops (knit)

Kids and baby (knit and crochet)

Men's (knit)

Shawls and stoles, with tops and a couple of suits (mostly

Short sleeve tops (knit and crochet)

Shawls, Scarves (knit and crochet)

Interior (Zakka)

Just click on an image and you'll be taken to the information page about the pattern. There are usually 4 sections next to the garment patterns.

The first section is the yarn information. The second section is the needle section (Be careful! These are Japanese needle sizes, not US or metric. Use the Basics of Japanese Knitting page for a conversion of needle sizes). The third section is additional items needed. And the fourth section has the link to the PDF pattern.

Unfortunately, the PDFs don't have pictures of the items. So I just print out the information page and the PDF and keep them together.

I could spend hours looking at all the patterns and I have quite a few I'd love to knit. Hope you have fun looking through them too!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Online Japanese Knitting Pattern Websites

Every time I find a website on the Internet about Japanese Knitting patterns or Japanese Knitting books, I create a bookmark in my favorites. Here is what I've collected so far:

Crafting Japanese Knitting Books
This is the knitting section on the larger Crafting Japanese website dedicated to all kinds of Japanese crafts. Each blog entry has a picture of the cover of a Japanese Knitting book as well as links to photos from the book.

ABC's Of Knitting
This site has some great resources that I use all the time to help with figuring out my Japanese knitting patterns:
How to Read Japanese Graphical Knitting Charts
The Basics of Japanese Knitting

Knitting Elegance KAL
This a Knit Along blog about Japanese knitting patterns and the beautiful designs from the Japanese 'Let's Knit Series' books. There are some book reviews, photos of knitted swatches, and finished objects by members of the KAL. The posts I've found to be the most helpful are the Samples of Japanese Knitting Symbols - blog posts

Japanese Knitting Symbols
Has pictures of pages from the Clear & Simple Knitting Symbols book.

Japanese Knitting Books
Has pictures of and reviews of several Japanese Knitting Books.

Habu Textiles Japanese Knitting Diagram Help
Shows a partial knitting diagram and explains knitting direction, number of stitches to cast on, and how to read increases/decreases.

Interpreting Japanese Knitting Symbols and Charts
This is the most comprehensive online resource for reading Japanese knitting patterns that I've found on the Internet. I highly recommend it because it translates several of the most important Japanese knitting words, has a needle conversion chart, and walks you step-by-step through a Japanese knitting pattern. It is available in PDF.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Sizing A Japanese Knitting Pattern - Part I

After doing all those conversion of measurements the other day for the Sleeveless Sweater Vest, I've been thinking about how to apply the measurements to a top that will fit me.

I've decided to go with 2 inches of ease for a total of 42 inches at the bust. This works out to approximately 107 centimeters around or around 53 centimeters for the front and the back. I'll round up to 108 and 54 because I like even numbers.

The original pattern size is 92 centimeters around and 46 centimeters for the front and back. So I need to to increase the width of the sweater by 16 centimeters. This is 8 centimeters each on the front and the back.

The gauge is 19 sts and 24 sts in 10 centimeters. This works out to 1.9 sts per centimeter. If I multiply this by the 16 or 8 centimeters I need it equals 30.4 or 15.2 more stitches I need to cast on.

I'll probably knit this in the round so the total stitches I'll need to cast on is 206. (88 * 2) + 30 = 206

So just to be sure this calculation is right, I'll check it another way.

206 divided by 1.9 sts is 108.42 centimeters which equals 42.7 inches which is almost an inch more then my original size but that happens with rounding sometimes.

The center panel on the front of the top is 48 stitches. I'm not planning to change this. I'm going to put the extra stitches on both sides of the panel.

Since 206 divided by 2 is 103 which is an odd number, I need to either go up 2 stitches or down 2 stitches with my cast on. I've decided to go down since I don't want the top to be any bigger. So that is 102 for the front and the back or 204 around.

102 - 48 = 54 / 2 = 27

So, all that math boils down to:

Cast on 204.

On round 1, Knit and place markers after stitch 27 and after stitch 75.

The stitches between the makers will be where the cable panel goes.

Well, that was a lot of math and enough to get started but there are other measurements I going to need to calculate like the length and the waist shaping. I'll do that in my next post.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Men and Women's Knit

I saw a really cute vest from a Japanese knitting book call Men and Women's Knit on Agnes's website.

I love the diamonds going across the front. Here's the link to Men and Women's Knit on

Orlane also has some pictures from the book here. The hoodie vest looks great too.!

I may need to look for this book the next time I'm at Kinokuniya (where I need to stay away from right now because I need to spend money on gifts for OTHER people!)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Converting Japanese Knitting Pattern Measurements

I've started the process of converting the Sleeveless Sweater pattern. This is from a free Japanese Knitting Pattern for a vest and a set of wrist warmers.

The first thing I have done is convert centimeters to inches in the measurements. The pattern has a diagram for both the front and back of the sweater vest.



I used Google to calculate the values for me using their "convert" search. For example, if you enter "convert 46 cm to inches", the search result will be:
46 centimeters = 18.1102362 inches.
Pretty cool, huh?

I rounded the measurements two places. I will wait to do the final conversion to fractions of an inch once I do the conversions to my size.

As you can see, the bust measurement is approximately 36 inches. So the next thing I need to do is convert the pattern to fit my bust measurement of 40 inches. One of the things I can't tell from the measurements is what the ease is. I think I'll add 2 inches for ease so that the top isn't too tight. What do you think?

Look for the next step in the conversion process later this week.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Keito Dama Winter 2007 Magazine (#136)

I picked up a copy of the Keito Dama 2007 Winter #136 knitting magazine at Kinokuniya in Seattle today along with some other instructional knitting books that I'll write about in a later post. Three of them are about reading Japanese knitting symbols and the last one is a Japanese knitting pattern book.

I think the Keito Dama is a magazine rather then a book. From what I've read on the internet it comes out 4 times a year. It has ads and articles (which of course I can't read because they are in Japanese!) like a magazine, so that's what I'm calling it: a Japanese knitting magazine.

I paid $16.80 for my copy. has it for $15.75 which isn't to bad because you get free shipping with orders over $25. But I do like flipping through the magazines at the bookstore so I can decide if I want to purchase them or not.

There are over 64 different knitting and crochet patterns. Jenny has pictures of several of the patterns in her post about this issue.

Here's a couple of pictures from the Knit Index on the back cover. Click for a bigger image.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sleeveless Sweater and Wristwarmer Patterns

Free Japanese Knitting Patterns for Sleeveless Sweater and Wrist warmers

Yarn - Worsted Weight,
300 grams (10.58 oz), 653 meters (714 yards)
Gauge - 19 sts and 24 rows in St st
Needles - 2 Japanese Size 5 needles, 2 Japanese Size 7 needles for the Sweater Vest, 4 Japanese Size 5 DPN for Wrist Warmers
Notions - Cable Needle, tapestry needle

Knitting Pattern PDF

The thing to note about the Needle sizes is that they are Japanese and are not the same as US or Metric needles. In this case a Japanese Size 5 needle is approximately a size US 4 needle and the Japanese Size 7 is approximately a size US 6 needle. I used the needle size chart from The Basics of Japanese Knitting to come up with the needle sizes.

I really like this sleeveless sweater (vest) and wrist warmers set, especially the yarn, made by a Japanese company, which has a tweedy look to it. I bet the Rowan tweed yarn would be a good subsitute yarn. I probably won't end up using the size 4 and size 6 US needles to get gauge. I usually have to go down a needle size or two.

The pattern has only one size for a 36 inch bust. It is 22 inches long. There is some waist shaping and a turtleneck.

I'd like to convert the pattern to fit me. Since the cable pattern only goes up the center of the sweater, I think I should be able to do it. I like to use the front section of Stitch 'N Bitch Nation that shows how to convert patterns. I just need to sit down with my calculator and figure it all out.

This should be good practice at converting Japanese knitting patterns and a good beginning pattern (after the neck warmer I want to do from My Favorite & Mens Knit).

Monday, November 26, 2007

Japanese Knitting Symbols - Basic Stitches

The Knit Stitch is represented by a vertical line or a blank box in Japanese Knitting Pattern Graphs.
Watch Japanese video for Knit Stitch.

The Purl Stitch is represented by a horizontal line.
Watch Japanese video for Purl Stitch.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Japanese Knitting Book - My Favorite & Mens Knit

Title - My Favorite & Mens Knits
ISBN - 978-4-529-04458-5
Pages - 82
Style - Aran
Patterns - 23

This Japanese knitting book is divided into 2 sections. The first is called, My Favorite, and has the following patterns:

  1. Cap
  2. Muffler
  3. Muffler
  4. Neck Warmers
  5. Cap
  6. Vest
  7. Cap & Gloves
  8. Cap
  9. Hat
  10. Cap
  11. Muffler
  12. Bag
  13. Sweater
  14. Bag
  15. Shawl
  16. Cushion Cover
  17. Blanket
  18. Room shoes

The second section is called Mens Knit and has the following patterns:

  1. Cap & Gloves
  2. Vest
  3. Cap & Muffler
  4. Cap & Muffler
  5. Sweater

I really like this book because of all the great looking cable knitting patterns in it. The patterns include beginning, as well as, more advanced patterns.

There is also a section after the photos of the projects but before the actual patterns that shows what several of the more complicated stitch symbols mean. Each of these stitch pattern graphs are shown and then the steps for creating the stitch pattern follow with knitting diagrams.

More common, easier stitch patterns are diagrammed in the back of the book along with diagrams for casting on, binding off, making increases and making decreases.

I plan on making one of the Neck Warmers in this book as my first Japanese knitting pattern. It seems to have a relatively easy stitch pattern to follow and is a small enough project that I should be able to finish it quickly and be able to move on to a more advanced pattern.

Japanese Knitting Patterns

I fell in love with Japanese Knitting Patterns about a year ago. The patterns seem timeless and not trendy. They have a clean, classic appeal. I especially like the Aran style patterns with cables that seem popular in the Japanese knitting books.

However, when I tried to order some books from the Internet, I had difficulty getting past the language barrier. Most of the books have little to no English translations of the titles and since the descriptions of the books are in Japanese, I had no idea what was actually in the books and magazines except from the cover photo.

I did try ordering a few Japanese Knitting pattern books from Amazon Japan's English Language version website, but somehow my order didn't go through and I ended up not getting the books. And since it had been so difficult to find and order them in the first place, I just gave up.

Well, since that time more resources have popped up on the Internet regarding Japanese Knitting patterns and the book sites now include previews of some of the pages in some of the knitting pattern books.

I also moved to Seattle recently where there is a Japanese bookstore called Kinokuniya (here is a list of their overseas book stores). I was able to browse through the knitting books and I purchased 3 to start with.

Since there are still limited resources on the Internet when it comes to finding, reading, and knitting Japanese knitting patterns, I've decided to start this blog as a resource for other knitters who want to knit these wonderful patterns and to record my learning process.

I'm looking forward to my Japanese Knitting Adventure!