A few months ago, a publisher asked me if I’d like my work to be featured in a new book introducing English-speaking designers, patterns and knitting methods to a Japanese audience. I was very excited to be included, particularly as Japanese craft books are one of my secret vices — I am often bowled over by the clear layouts of these books, as well as their beautiful designs, and the quiet intimacy of their photography and styling. I also love the way that Japanese sewing, knitting and quilting patterns are charted, often making them possible for non-native speakers to interpret. Well, ‘Happy Knitting’ has just turned up, and its so nice I had to show you.


Me! In a Japanese knitting book! And I’m in good company . . .


The photography is sweet and lighthearted . . .


. . . mmmm . . . tasty yarn.

. . . so many sweaters

As well as introducing the work of several different designers, the book shows the Japanese knitter how to use Ravelry and other online resources produced in English, as well as illustrating techniques and equipment common to Western styles of knitting . . .


There are also a couple of simple patterns, which are used to illustrate English-speaking methods of pattern-writing and design.


Its a really lovely book. And how nice would it be to see an equivalent, introducing Japanese designers, resources, and techniques to an English-speaking audience? (I’m looking at you, Kyoko)!

“Happy Knitting”
BNN Publishing, Japan
ISBN 978-4-86100-847-4

34 thoughts on “happy knitting!

  1. How fun! I am of the same admiration as you as far as Japanese craft books. I think that’s what got me onto needle felting years ago. The design is so clean, simple and beautiful.


  2. This is a quote and I find it absolutely true: “ABC’s of Knitting, is a Japanese website on knitting, with some sections in English. This is the most highly regarded source of information for English knitters wanting to learn about Japanese knitting techniques.” Kinokuniya Bookstores, 1073 Ave. of the Americas, NY,NY 10018, Phone 212-869-1700, or nyinfokinokuniya.com, is an amazing Japanese bookstore where the whole lower level is filled with Japanese knitting pattern books, crochet books, amazing craft books. The knitting pattern books are all in Japanese, but the many stitch books are charted and easily followed if you write your own patterns. So many treasures, so little time!!! Such wonderful Eye Candy.


  3. This is such a Good Thing. I love the cultural cross-pollination—Happy Knitting, indeed! Also, interestingly enough, I just received Margaret Heathman’s useful book, Knitting Languages, via Inter LibraryLoan.


  4. Nicely done! I also love Japanese design, and book and pattern aesthetics. I have made several projects directly from the original Japanese pattern because they are always well charted, and with a little digging and some simple translations (I don’t speak or read Japanese), I’ve never had any issue with turning out a perfect finished piece. I also like how they are willing to explore a stitch or concept deeply.


  5. How exciting! Congrats. I actually am obsessed with Japanese sewing books – there are some lovely designs and those too have clear diagrams to follow. I’ll start looking for the kitting ones too now!


  6. i’m with you! what can we do to get the inverse printed? i looooove browsing the knitting booklets when i’m at the japanese import store, and i’ve even bought a few, just in case i feel up to the task of trying to translate them (i do not speak or read japanese, so…). lovely to see your design in there!


  7. The book looks lovely, congratulations on being included. Any hope of them bringing out an English copy of the book. It would be great if some Japanese designers did a similar book for us. Japanese embroidery books are very clear and easy to follow, being able to do it is often another matter.


  8. What fun – congratulations!

    I agree, anglophone knitters would welcome an introduction to Japanese knitters and techniques. Japanese craft books are easily obtainable here in the San Francisco bay area; I’ve been tempted to buy some and work from the pictures and charts, but would lose some interesting nuances of technique and fit, I’m sure.

    Off topic: how are you progressing with your study on wearing protective clothing? I enjoyed answering the questionnaire.


  9. I’m with you, I think it would be really interesting to see Japanese knit designers work translated. I don’t know about the knitting but I have translated patternmaking books that are very interesting.


    1. I agree. I love the Japanese clothes and knitting on Pinterest and cannot figure out how to get them. Perhaps things will be more clear in the future with more sharing in publications.


  10. I agree about the design aspect of many Japanese publications. So clean. So functional. So pleasing.

    Congratulations on your inclusion in what looks like a splendid book!


  11. Being on the periphery of the comics industry, I’ve found that the Japanese have a long history of getting information across graphically. They do it very well. It doesn’t surprise me at all that their craft books are well laid out! What a cool project! I’m glad they had the sense to include you :)


  12. Congratulations, “Keito” (your name in the contents page, in Japanese)! That book looks so lovely… I need to visit Japan again now that I am a more confident knitter – last time I was there I was a bit too overwhelmed by the patterns, now I feel like I could tackle them!


  13. Congratulations! That must be very exciting. Thanks too, for including the link to Kyoko – very dangerous. I should be working … and now I’m not, and I know where I’m heading off to once I’ve posted this!


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