10 Reasons Why Japanese Knitting Books Are The Bee's Knees

August 31, 2015


Japanese knitting books are my obsession. I didn't realise just how many of these things I had until we moved recently. Boxes and boxes later, I finally came to the conclusion that I have a problem: I think all knitters know 'that' feeling!  But I admit it's a good problem to have.  These books are SO worth the post-move backache; I look through them regularly and they never get 'old'.  So, today, I thought I would share with you 10 reasons why I think these books are the bees knees.



The first thing that always takes my breath away is the photography.  Every Japanese knitting book that I have ever seen has beautiful photos, with simple yet stylish backdrops. Their use of light and props gives such a fresh modern look; it's total eye candy and very inspirational.



The second thing is the styling. I love perusing the outfits and the way the knitwear is incorporated into a 'look'.  If you're ever after ideas about how to wear your knitwear, check out these books - they are full of inspiration.



The layout of these books is always so pleasing: simple yet organised, making them easy to navigate.



Oh, and let's not forget about the knitwear!  Interesting design elements, style, stitch patterns - makes you want to knit EVERYTHING!




Crochet is featured heavily in these books; usually there is an equal number of knitted and crochet items. There are always beautiful garments, shawls and cowls which will make you want to get out the crochet hook and cast on!



Each book has its own self-contained instruction section, which is usually located at the back of the book. There are LOTS of detailed diagrams showing you how to do all the stitches mentioned in each pattern, as well as special technique diagrams.



Unlike the western use of written instructions, the Japanese use symbols and graphs for all of their knitting and crochet patterns. This means that their patterns can be read universally with no language barriers.



There are always lots of detailed schematics which provide a wealth of information about size and shape.  It's also very handy if you need to make pattern alterations.



There is a HUGE variety of these pattern books available: basic knitting, fair Isle, cables, children, babies, men, blankets, slippers, amigurumi - the list goes on. There's also fabulous stitch dictionaries for both knitting and crochet.


So, if you haven't yet discovered the wonderful world of Japanese knitting books, here's where you can find them! 

(I have found that it is easier if you have a book's ISBN number when searching amazon.jp and YesAsia.)

And, if you want more information about how to read Japanese knitting and crochet patterns, check out these links:

Plus if you're keen to tackle a Japanese knitting or crochet patterns, I highly recommend these two books, both of which cover all stitches and symbols that you will find in a Japanese pattern:

  • Clear and Simple Knitting Symbols (ISBN 978-4-529-02413-6)
  • Clear and Simple Crochet Symbols (ISBN 978-4-529-02412-9)

Happy knitting!

5 Responses

diana hill
diana hill

September 01, 2016

oh how I love your page – I do so know what you mean. I have lately found Japanese knitting styles and find the photographs so appealing it just makes you want get started, the only problem is in the translation but yes you have said it, graphs, well what a life saver. I just cannot wait to get hooked:)

Keiko Soga
Keiko Soga

September 29, 2015

Hi, I am an editorial staff of Japanese publisher Nihon Vogue Co., Ltd. publishing knit & crochet books & magazines.
I am very pleased to know that you are interested in Japanese knitting.

Since April 2015, we start to sell Japanese knit & crochet graphs translated in English at Ravelry.

And also you are able to download free the basic information how to read Japanese charted pattern

As the new patterns are released ongoingly at the group of nihon-voguesha, please check it out

Best regards,


September 07, 2015

How timely is this post? I have just been to the NSW Knitters Guild Camp and one lady who was doing some lovely crochet work was extolling Japanese pattern books and now I’m reading this post. Methinks this means I should ignore my “fear” of these books because of what I can’t read and concentrate on what I can understand about them and maybe delve into a pattern book or two. Thanks for this – and thanks also for the links which may also help give me courage to try a few patterns I’ve loved but been to nervous to truly add to my queue.


September 02, 2015

fo’ real.
I have some sewing books.
I think I need some crochet/knitting books now.

Andrea @ This Knitted Life
Andrea @ This Knitted Life

August 31, 2015

very cool and sleek.

Glad to have found your blog this morning via My Sisters Knitter.

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