Knitting Around the World

Last year I read a couple of blogs about Japanese knitting and was immediately drawn to the patterns and the idea of trying something new I fell in love with the sweaters in a book called "New Style of Heirloom Knitting" . I really wanted to knit the cover sweater! The problem I faced was my lack of the Japanese language. NO, it wasn't the language barrier in terms of making the sweater. I was bold enough to think if I could conquer a french language pattern, then ...Japanese-schmapanese.. this would be no problem! (yeah, yeah... I know...I'm an idiot). My biggest problem was order the book from a Japanese website. I was clueless and afraid I'd order a million dollars worth of books (a million yen might be a little cheaper). Luckily for me, after joining the yahoo group --Japanese knitting, I found an English website and ordered the book. Turns out Japanese knitting depends more on charts than text in making garments and they have standard knitting symbols! Maybe I'm not such an idiot. If you don't like working with charts, your SOL. I have to say, the patterns and the layout of the book are great and the pictures are beautiful. With a little patience and references from the knitting group, I could tackle any item in the book. Many people went Japanese knitting crazy (that old knitting OCD) and bought several books. Me..I bought two and that will keep me busy for a long time. (With my knitting OCD and ADD, they could just be coffee table books for a loooooooong time). The other book I bought is called "KNIT" and I love the patterns in this book too. they're a little more funky than the Heirloom book.

French patterns were my first trip in transatlantic knitting and Japanese the second and now in 2008 Denmark is the "it" knit! My first glimpse of this book was on Fleegle's blog last spring. At the end of her post on this book...sad news! It was not available here in the states and it was not in English. Damn, not another language to decipher!!! What's a knitter who has plenty of English knitting books to keep her busy for this lifetime and a future lifetime to do? Don't let unavailability of the book or not being born in Europe where people grow up learning 20 or so languages ( I know I'm exaggerating aaaaaaand I'm envious... Europeans do learn at least a few different languages!), find it! I e-mailed a Nordic yarn website and asked about the book. I got an e-mail a month later stating were interested in the book and would pursue getting it here! They are now the only U.S. distributors for the book. It became available in October and I was right there ready to order a copy. The book is not in English, a full 3 page translation from danish to English of knitting terms is included and the charts in the book are clear. The book was worth the wait! There's not one pattern in the book I dislike (this is rare!). So who knows, I just might be knitting a something danish. That's the nice thing about knitting..do what you want,when your want or not... or Hmm, it just might make a nice addition to the coffee table.
356 knitting and blogging


Chris said...

Wow, you're a brave and international knitter!

Meagan said...

I have a question about knitting pattern books. I'm interested in getting a really old pattern book from the 40's and its also British. Are knitting patterns written in the same sort of 'language' that knitters understand, even if they're really old? And if not, how would I translate? thanks, if anyone can help me