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!