Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible – Amazon link
I’m not sure I have words to describe this book. It’s amazing, wonderful, exciting, terrifying – all at the same time. The terrifying part is trying to puzzle my way through the charts and the complicated stitches. Which is also the exciting part.
The book itself is good quality, although I’d have preferred a spiral binding. I’ll be spending a lot of time flipping back and forth and it would be nice if it laid flat.
Now on to the contents. There are 11 pages just explaining the symbols plus 8 more pages of picture tutorials for certain stitches. The pictures of the stitch patterns are fairly large and clear. It’s easy to see details. Everything is charted – there are no written instructions. Now I can barely read charts in English. I’ll have to translate these to written instructions before I can start knitting.
The stitch patterns themselves are gorgeous but very few of them can be called simple. Most have lace, cables (called crossings) and/or bobbles – frequently all three. The Japanese do things to their knitting I think would never occur to most English speaking knitters.
For example: The very first pattern calls for a Five Stitch bobble from 3 rows below. This is one the stitches with it’s own picture tutorial. If I understand this correctly (and I’m not sure I do) you pickup stitches plus do yarnovers using a stitch 3 rows below the one you are knitting. Then you drop a stitch and complete the row. On the next row, at this set of loops you picked up, you purl, Then on the next row you slip some stitches, k2tog, pass the slipped stitches over. So basically you’re involving stitches from 5 or 6 rows to make a bobble. I don’t know about you, but I’m quite positive this would never have occurred to me to try. I see why they had to invent their own set of knitting symbols.
Honestly this book is so hard to describe. I would recommend that everyone buy this book if only to marvel over the beautiful patterns. This book will keep me entertained for months, if not years. I see lots of swatches in my future.
Disclaimer: Book was bought with my own money. All opinions are mine and mine alone. I don’t even get any money if you buy through my link above.
Edited to add: After spending a couple of hours transcribing/translating 2 of the simpler (simple being a relative term) patterns to written instructions and more time just paging through the book, I’ve decided to swatch my way through this book. I won’t do every pattern, just the ones that interest me (which is still a lot). I’ll sew them together into a blanket at the end. I’ll work my way up to cables, bobbles and my personal dreaded stitch – twisted stitches (I don’t mind them on knit stitches but they annoy me on purl stitches.)