I’ve been completely obsessed with knitting lately. It literally does take over your life because unlike sewing, you take your knitting project everywhere you go. I knit on the bus to and from work, at lunchtime in cafes meeting up with friends and on weekends at home. I’ve almost finished this Angora Sweater by Drops Patterns; my first sweater attempt, ever.
Next up I think I want to try making a cardigan. Maybe with a bit of cabling or some other challenging detail on it. So I’ve been on Amazon Japan for hours and hours browsing Japanese knitting pattern books.
Dave and I are going to be in Japan in November for our belated honeymoon. Yay! It’s the perfect excuse to stock up on Japanese knitting pattern books too. Here’s my (growing) shortlist. I’m having a hard time narrowing it down to a couple of books!
Clicking on the image of each book takes you to Amazon Japan (Affiliate links) where you can view inside the books.
1. Hand Knit Story (Outing) – Volume 3
Not sure why this book’s English name is Hand Knit Story, as the Japanese name translates to something like “Knits for going out”. Suitably, the cover shows a pretty poncho you can throw over yourself if you’re going into town to run some errands. The patterns are all very natural and folksy, focusing on outerwear like chunky cardigans, wraps and accessories (gloves/beanie). I’m absolutely loving the look of the styling of this book.
2. Hand Knit Story (Home) – Volume 3
Same series as number one above, but this version is a book about “At home knits”. From the pictures I’ve seen of the contents of this book, it’s full of cosy knits very similar to what I already wear for lounging around the house. The pullover on the cover can actually be worn back to front as a cardigan; it has buttons at the back. This Japanese knitting blogger has made one. Also, make sure you check out the preview on the Amazon page (just click on the book image, left) to see the gorgeous chair cushion knitting pattern.
3. Hand Knit Wardrobe
How can anyone resist an entire wardrobe’s full of knitting patterns? I like how there’s seven different knitting patterns just for gloves in this one book. Wonderful detail can be seen in this mitton by a Japanese blogger. There’s also clothing and beanies – lots of them – so I’m bound to eventually knit something once I have this book in my possession. How sweet does the cream cardigan on the cover look, with the pockets and flower embroidery on the front?
4. Easy to knit and wear: Casual clothes
Bit more grown-up and sophisticated than the other knitting pattern books here, this book has simple and easy knits for everyday wear. I’m a complete sucker for sailor stripes, so the cover image caught my eye. The Amazon preview shows this striped cardigan knitting pattern also comes in a longer length.
5. Stylish Hand Knitting: Easy Knits
I’ve shortlisted this book because it’s supposed to be suitable for beginners. I am getting a bit carried away, looking at all these books when I’m only just knitting my first non-scarf item! This book seems to cover the basic necessities like pullovers and cardigans, but my favourite is the knitted cap (you can see it in the Amazon preview). Oh, and I’m also drooling over this fluffy knitted handbag (featured on back cover) as made by Natural Knit ecru Gallery.