Japanese Patterns On-Line

Veronik from Canada was kind enough to send us a link to a site offering Japanese patterns on-line. She points out that the most recent collections are for sale, but the earlier patterns are free. She says that these aren’t the most fashionable of the ones out there, but they’re interesting and should be useful for illustrating what graphical patterns look like.

Go to this page. (Don’t worry if the characters display as gibberish in English.)

Select the pattern you want to view by clicking on one of the thumbnail photos.

A page will appear that contains an enlarged photo. The writing next to the picture of the yarn balls will give yarn and yardage info (clicking on the link will usually take you to a page to buy the yarn). Ditto for the picture of the needle (needle size in mm, plus a link to a purchase page); and the button (notions for this piece, if any). The picture of the little page at the bottom of the stack is the one you want. Take a deep breath, and click on the linked text next to it. You’ll be asked to download the Acrobat file containing the pattern page (some but not all of these PDFs produce download errors on my machine).

Ahh. I can sense everyone looking at the result and hyperventilating…

It’s not that hard to interpret. Really.

The garment is presented in one size (a weakness of Japanese patterns) as a series of annotated schematics. Cast on numbers are given, along with lengths to work in pattern. Decreases and increases are described as a series of numbers (like 3-1-2, meaning every third row, decrease (or increase) one stitch. Do this twice). Texture and colorwork patterns are shown graphed. Other info is presented on the charts, like stitch counts both before and after major shaping has occurred; circumferences and depths, both in rows and centimeters, and the spots in which the graphed patterns or other special features are to commence.

Now there are limitations here to be sure. Not offering a range of sizes isn’t acceptable in the US. The format does assume far more knowledge of knitting than do text-based instructions. Most US knitters would find working exclusively from graphical patterns to be difficult. But the idea of using the schematics to present additional shaping or production notes is a good one, and one I’d like to see used more often to supplement written instructions.

Worth of Certifications

Lots of people wrote both on and off-list to say that I’m very wrong about certifications; that they really got a lot out of [insert name of program]. But lots of others wrote to say that they weren’t interested in accumulating merit badges, and didn’t see the value of a formal course of study. Still others wrote to say that they’d only take knitting classes from certified instructors; or conversely that they didn’t care what piece of paper the person did or did not have – so long as they imparted accurate info in a cogent, helpful, and useful manner.

I’m of the "We don’t need no stinking badges" mentality myself, but hey. Opinions, learning styles, and teaching styles differ. I respect yours if you do me the favor of respecting mine. (Notes that start out with a variant of "Jane, you ignorant slut" will be cheerfully deleted at no extra charge.)

Project Progress

Socks continue. One looks much like the other, so photos at this point would be redundant.

I’ve also finally been able to overcome Paypal’s obstinacy and pay for a copy of Rogue. I’m reading through it right now and am very impressed with the thing’s completeness (it’s 19 pages long!). I planning on how to compensate for the gauge difference, incorporate the cardigan modifications (available onthe Rogue home page cited above, via the "mods" link at the bottom of that page), and possibly even re-work the Dragon Skin texture pattern for use with it.

At the same time I’m thinking of taking another graphed pattern from my book, and adapting it for use as a double-sided double-knit scarf. All in my copious spare time, of course….

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