Japanese pattern reading: more advanced?

Lately I’ve been thinking it could be useful to blog about slightly more advanced Japanese knitting & crochet pattern reading. Tips for things not covered in most tips for Japanese knitting & crochet patterns, beyond the basics, etc. It could include reading from Japanese yarn labels, too. Would that be something people would find helpful?

There are some great resources for Japanese pattern basics. For example, most sites that offer tips on knitting or crocheting Japanese patterns provide hints for non-Japanese speakers to identify yarn, needle, and gauge information. But it’s not always as straightforward. In a pattern, you might painstakingly decipher the list of yarns and such, then get started and find out that your gauge is astronomically off target. One reason could be that the instructions for knitting with 2 or more strands are not often easy to find.

Do you see 2本どり floating somewhere off the side of a pattern schematic or stitch chart? If so, you’re supposed to be using 2 strands of yarn at the same time, which can obviously have drastic effects on gauge. (It could be 3本どり in rare cases using 3 strands at once.) Unfortunately, that won’t be listed in the yarn section (most of the time), so that means you’ll have to look around for it. If you don’t see it anywhere on the page, it’s safe to assume it’s just one strand.

Please leave a comment if you’d be interested in seeing something like this. Suggestions on what you’d find helpful are also very welcome.

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8 thoughts on “Japanese pattern reading: more advanced?

  1. ohh thats such a good idea.. would love any help. As of yet I’ve not done any garments from Japanese books purely and simply because of the need for this ‘extra information’…

  2. Thanks for the feedback, littleberry and Emily. I’ll plan on starting a series of more advanced tips and tutorials after my travels are over.

    Emily, I’d be happy to help with that pattern, and there’s also a Japanese knitting & crochet group on Ravelry that helps out with Japanese patterns.

  3. I would be very interested in this. I too belong to the Ravelry group as well as knittingjapan Yahoo group.

    I will be starting Setsuko Torii’s Gradation Cardigan soon. The diagram contains a symbol which I assume designates “short-rowing”. However, in searching for confirmation that my assumption was correct, I could only find the basic information you stated.

    Also, a dotted line across a diagram is another symbol that I cannot identify.

    Thanks for your post!

  4. That wwould be wonderful.. I have found many patterns that I would like to knit for my family…
    Thanks for doing translating for us…

  5. Hi!

    If you make those tips I’d really appreciate it if you gave us a chart of needles and hooks numbers and sizes and their counterparts in english because I’ve heard japanese use a very different chart on their hooks, is that true?
    Also I never really find if there is any way to see the yarn weight. I have several books but have only made some granny squares since I feel like I don’t get the instructions right, less say I just can’t find the yarn weight.

  6. I would love help. They have several v neck sweaters that I love to lay; but all I see is the diagram. As a beginner, That is so difficult to follow.

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