The way of Japanese Knitting!
Last week I realised
that it was probably about time
I stopped 'winging' it with my crochet projects.
I have been lucky so far with my yarn choices,
but there comes a point in a woman's life
when she really must get grips with yarn
& their many qualities .
Especially, if that same woman wants
to crochet her own cardigan!
Plus, I reckon that if I take the
time to learn about yarns that I will
a) reduce the awkward silence I get in yarn shops
when I explain that I have in fact been working with yarn
(crocheting) for 4 years.
b) I might be more inclined to continue with that
other yarn munching hobby - knitting.
(I learnt to knit last month)
But, more importantly it gives me a great excuse to
buy new books.
Having recently discovered Amazon Kindle,
This is where I headed and bought two books.
Thinking my brain was ready for 'written instructions',
I bought a knitting book and one yarn.
But, I was wrong - very wrong.
As soon as I opened my new knitting book to the
'Reading Written Instructions'
chapter and saw this
(k2tog, sl 1, k1, psso) 3
my brain yelped and promptly shut down.
When my brain finally decided it was safe again,
I found myself at the cash register at Kinokuniya (bookstore)
paying for two Japanese Knitting books.
Some habits are hard to break.
One of my 'newer' of new books teaches you
the basics of knitting.
(isbn: 978 457 911 4016)
I have learnt that just like Japanese crochet books,
symbols are used to represent
the different stitches.
that the Stocking & Garter stitch patterns are
visually condensed down to a single symbol, making for some very nice
clean looking diagrams (knitting patterns).
Of course what I didn't pick up (because I don't read Japanese ),
is the fact that there are RULES to reading
Japanese knitting patterns.
It took me the better part of two hours studying a basic
striped stocking stitch scarf pattern
in my other new Japanese knitting book
(isbn: 978 483 473 4300)
to realise I had missed something important.
But, thanks to the ABSs of Knitting site
and yet another Kindle purchase
I finally found the missing link.
It turns out that
there are two different ways to read
a Japanese knitting pattern!
HOW you read a Japanese knitting pattern
apparently changes depending on whether you are flat knitting
or using circular needles.
(Good to know)
If you are using circular needles you read
ALL pattern rows from RIGHT to LEFT
if you are flat knitting you read
ODD numbered rows from RIGHT to LEFT &
EVEN numbered rows LEFT to RIGHT
(a little less easy).
To make things even more interesting,
If you are flat knitting you also need to know that as
ODD numbered rows refer to the
front of your knitting,
EVEN numbered rows refer to the
back of your knitting
you need to do the OPPOSITE of what the symbols say on EVEN rows.
That's right, you need to reverse the symbols on EVEN rows.
It's actually a lot easier
and less frightening than it sounds.
If you remember this other vital bit of information
about Japanese patterns;
ODD Rows always = Knit Stitch
EVEN Rows always = Purl Stitch
ODD rows = Knit Stitch
EVEN rows = Knit Stitch
(or Purl, Purl if that's YOUR way).
The way of Japanese Knitting
was hard learning, but I got there in the end.
I am now happily (flat) knitting a lovely striped
Baby Alpaca scarf with ribbed edges.