Sunday, 8 August 2010

Japanese Inspired Knits

BookDepository Link Ravelry Link

Types of patterns: Women's clothing

Number of Patterns: 12 - Cardigan (5); Jumper (4); Top (1); Poncho (1); Coat (1)

Split of patterns: Women

Size Range:36"-54" (91.5-137cm)

Colour/Black & White: Colour with some black and white illustrations

Schematics: Yes, and notes if the schematics don't necessarily fully reflect finished garment

Target Audience: Intermediate to advanced. This book has colour work, lace, entrelac and modular work among others.

How to knit guide: Nope, guides to the more advanced stitches yes and some clarification of what terms mean.

Experimental/Classical/Modern: I think it's pretty classical stuff with roots in Japan

Comments: I find this an interesting collection, some of the designs are not really for me but several of them are quite interesting. There are 12 patterns taking a theme from the months of the year as the book progresses, also taking concepts from some of the Japanese traditions around certain months.

(All links below are to the Ravelry Page for the pattern)
January: Stone Garden Jacket - a side tied jacket with coloured tips to the cuffs and fronts and some colour to the tie. The moss stitch and honeycomb body is interesting. As common with a lot of Marianne Isager's work it's in fine yarn used double. I like this one.

February: Winter in Tokyo - Entrelac jumper with diagonal patterned sleeves and some bobbles to add variety to some of the lighter boxes, this is followed by a workshop on Entrelac, not a me design but interesting.

March: The Fan - interesting construction top with radiating fanlike front, elbow length sleeves, another one I like

April: Flower Buds - a cardigan with a shawl collar, ties and stripes that are broken up by being bobbles and a variety of colours.

May: The Carp - this one is my favourite piece and has potential for some interesting uses for a fine yarn, like sock yarn and possibly in a variety of colours. It's a short sleeved top. Slight shaping.

June: The Umbrella - an interesting poncho with intersting patterning on the top. I'm not sure about the entire pom-pom thing.

July: The Sun - Almost shadow knitting these are suns in either a large or small size depending on taste on a jumper that's an interesting effect but not for me. Could be a great use of a subtly variagated yarn.

August: Summer in Tokyo - fairisle cropped raglan jumper whose sleeves end just below the elbow, could be lengthened to taste, probably using more repeats in the first pattern or the body pattern depending on how much extra you would like. Not really for me.

September: Rice Fields - a zipped cardigan with panels at the end these create triangles with colour use. It's not really my kind of top but it's an interesting inspiration for colour use and shape play.

October: Indigo - the cover jacket, worked from the neck down this is a long flared jacket with three buttons on the top. It also has a wave-like pattern on the bottom. It's an interesting pattern but it's not something that my bodyshape would like.

November: Maple Leaves, knit either in stripes or in a solid colour this is a lace piece that gently flares with 3/4 length sleeves. It could be a great use of some fingering-weight yarn, possibly some yarn that's too good to use for socks! Could also be a good piece to use a variegated yarn to make the variegated yarn play a bit more with itself, like this project

December: Sake and Soba - a long-line jumper with cables and turtle-neck, a nice piece.

Overall I'm quite impressed with this book, there are a few pieces I'd like to knit (Maple Leaves, The Carp and Stone Garden Jacket with a possibility for the Fan) and a few that I could see getting inspiration from. She does go into detail about how to do any vaguely complicated technique. These are pieces to stretch your wings with. Pieces that made me think. She also has a lot of photographs and detail shots which is very useful.

There would appear to be extra patterns in the German version of the book that aren't included in the English.

Buy/Borrow: Another one to borrow and see if it inspires, I'd be inclined to add it to my collection, almost more for inspiration and ideas than actual patterns, though a few of the patterns are calling to me!

Where found: Wicklow County Libraries via Borrowbooks.

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