Saturday, February 2, 2008

Japanese Knitting Flip-Flop Book

I came across this Japanese Knitting Flip Flop book on Amazon Japan. I must make some of these!

Cast On For Japanese Cable Vest

I cast on for my Japanese Cable Vest for the KAL that is going on at the Japanese Knitting and Crochet site on Ravelry the other night. I was a little stumped about the stitch pattern for the bottom band since I can't read Japanese and the picture isn't big enough to really tell.

Luckily, I have a friend, Emiko, at my regular Wednesday night knitting group who speaks and reads Japanese. She was impressed with how much of the pattern I could desphir without knowing Japanese. But, of course, the Japanese make it really easy to do that with their great charts and schematics.

But sometimes it is nice to have some things translated. And what Emiko told me was that the bottom border is Garter stitch. This makes sense since the rest of the vest is in reverse stockinette. The two stitches look relatively similar so they are a good match.

I did the math so I knew how many stitches to cast on. Here is what I figured for a size 44 inch bust measurement:

Instead of casting on 70 stitches for the back and 39 stitches for the two fronts, I need 84 stitches for the back and 41 stitches for the two fronts. I've decided to knit the fronts and back all together instead of separately so that I'll have less seaming to do. So in all I needed 166 stitches for my cast on.

I used a cable cast on because I like how it looks compared to a long-tail cast on, plus you don't have to guess how much yarn you need for the tail.

The other thing I realized about the pattern once I got the 4 rows for the Garter stitch border done is that the charted cable pattern is flipped on each of the front sides so that they are a mirror image of each other.

This makes it a little more tricky, but I've been using the top diamond as a guide on how to mirror the bottom diamond and vice versus. Plus I have my swatch as a reference.

Another change I made was to do the main body of the vest in stockinette instead of reverse stockinette. I am purling the two stitches after the chart on one front and two stitches before on the other, so that the twisted knit stitches on either side of the diamonds on the chart are more pronounced.

The last change I'm making (for now ) is that I'm not going to do waist shaping on my vest. I'll be knitting straight up to the armholes without any decreases. At that point I'll separate the fronts from the back and work on each separately.