It’s been one of those odd weeks. Work has been hectic, I’m feeling uninspired with my current knitting projects and my mind keeps floating back to my recent trip to Japan.
To fuel my desire to learn more about Japan, I picked up Japanland: A Year in Search of Wa.This quick insightful read was just what I needed to help take me back to Japan. Not only did it cover aspects of Japanese culture that I missed but also reminded me of previous home stay situations that I’ve encountered in the past.
Unfortunately I probably won’t be going back to Japan anytime soon so to satisfy my craving for things Japanese, I went to the Kinokuniya book store within Uwajimaya grocery store yesterday. I was curious to see if they carried a 2006 calendar that I saw at their Shinjuku store but didn’t purchase.
Not only did I find the calendar but I also ended up browsing through the Japanese knitting books and found one on how to make mittens, gloves, and socks. Despite the fact that I do not read a word of Japanese (and have no idea what the actual title of this book is) I purchased the book because of its wonderfully detailed diagrams and pictures. It walks the knitter step by step through the whole process, sparing no detail. Gosh, this book puts almost all of my English books to shame. The prices also wasn’t that bad; only $10.
Today, I’ve been studying the “Ladies’ socks” in this book; learning yet another method of doing short-row heels. I think it shows a way to use “Japanese short-rows” for shaping sock heels, but I’m not sure until I try it out and compare it with some of my printed resources on Japanese short-rows.
Mmmm, yeah. I have that same book — I bought it because I wanted to learn how to do short row heels too! I love their step-by-step detailed photographs and illustrations. Extremely thorough. Now I just need to learn how to properly translate their schematic patterns.
My Japanese is nearly non-existant but it appears to be “first time handknit gloves and socks.”
Felicia, I also bought it mostly for the short-row heels. They do it a bit differently then I’ve seen in other books. If I get a chance I’ll try stepping through the heel instructions in another post.
I just found this website that gives info on Japanese knitting, including how to read those charts.
If you are interested, I took a course at Stitches West last February, which specialized in Japanese short rows. Let me know – I can email you the information if you like.
Was the class taught by Susanna Hansson?
I took her class on Japanese short-rows in August 2004. She’s an excellent teacher.
At that time she said that Japanese short-rows can’t be done on every row. I wondered about that because every short-row socks I’ve done use a wrap/turn on every row.
Considering Susanna’s comment, my interest was peeked when I saw that this book included short-row socks. After looking a bit at the diagram it doesn’t look like they do the short-rows on every row!
Hopefully, once I get done with my current sock project, I’ll be able to do one of these socks and post about it.