If you've been following me for a while, you will know about my obsession with Japanese knitting books. A few months ago I was contacted by NEWSOUTH BOOKS, who had read my blog post '10 Reasons Why Japanese Knitting Books are the Bees Knees' and wanted to know if I would like to review a recent release called 'Japanese Knitting: Patterns For Sweaters, Scarves and More' by michiyo. Of course, I jumped at the chance and was kindly sent two copies: one to review and another to give away (more about that later!).
Before we get started on the review, I want to mention the designer behind this book, michyo. I have a ton of her books in my library, and it is fair to say she is my favourite Japanese designer. Her designs are simple yet classic; I find them to be very inspirational. I know michyo doesn't speak English, so it has taken a while for her to appear on Ravelry, but I was so happy to see her pop up there a little while ago. Do yourself a favour and check out her amazing designs!
This is an original Japanese knitting book that has been translated in to English, with an additional and informative section titled 'Understanding These Patterns' . If you're not familiar with them, Japanese patterns are not written, they are charted. So this section is a must read for anyone interested in learning more about how to read Japanese patterns, and for those wishing to knit or crochet the patterns in the book.
There is also an excellent table of knitting and crochet symbols (which I might add is different to the symbols we are used to) as well as detailed 'how to' diagrams of the stitches used in each pattern.
There are 23 designs in total, ranging from simple slippers, a cowl, and shawls, to more-advanced colourwork sweaters and cardigans.
The patterns themselves are relatively easy in terms of construction and shaping. However, what makes them more challenging is working out how to read the pattern in chart form. Of course, there is plenty of help given in the beginning of the book, so if you are a more experienced knitter or crocheter you shouldn't have any troubles reading the charts. If you are an adventurous beginner knitter or crocheter, certainly give the patterns a go, but new knitters may find the patterns a bit overwhelming. In any case, no matter what level you are, this book is eye candy and certainly worth getting just for browsing.
The book itself is beautifully presented, the photography is stylish, and the designs are simple with interesting shapes, textures, colourwork and construction. You would be hard pressed to find a design you didn't like!
I give the book a big thumbs up! If you are new to Japanese knitting books, this would be a great introduction. If you are already familiar with them, this one is jam packed with beautiful patterns. I also think it would make a wonderful and unique gift for the knitter or crocheter in your life, and I highly recommend buying yourself a copy to add to your library.
Thank you to NEWSOUTH BOOKS for sending me this wonderful tome to review. If you are keen to get your hands on a copy, click on the link to their website below.
Japanese Knitting: Patterns For Sweaters, Scarves and More. By michiyo (Translated by Gayle Roehm)
Paperback | Jul 2018 | Tuttle Publishing | 9784805313824 | 104pp | 292x216mm | AUD$19.99. Available through via NEWSOUTH BOOKS
I want to know about your experiences with Japanese knitting books! Is this the first time you've heard about them? Have you bought any? Have you knit/crocheted any Japanese patterns? Tell me in the comments below for your chance to win your own copy of this beautiful book! I will be drawing the winner in the first week of October. Thanks again to NEWSOUTH BOOKS for sending me a copy to giveaway.