The Shy Knitter

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

One thing leads to another

Funny how when you open one door, others tend to open. The same day we were in Richmond looking at Janet Morton's knitted installation, we went to a Japanese dollar store called Daiso. I wouldn't of known about it, but for the article in Spun magazine that lead me to all those yarns stores in Vancouver. I wanted to check Daiso out as the article indicates that bamboo knitting needles could be had for $2 each (apparently it is a $1 store in Japan, but it becomes $2 in North America). Anyway, we went in and had a blast. It was a great store with half decent things for $2. I got two sets of knitting needles, and two crochet hooks for my friend Shauna who endures arthritis but manages to crochet anyway.

Getting back to T.O., I thought that would be the last of the Japanese - knitting connection, but it appears it has only just begun. Heather was telling a colleague at work about our advertures to knitting stores, Daiso, and how I am a little 'obsessed' with knitting, and she tells Heather about the differences in Japanes and western knitting. According to the site she referred her to ABCs of Knitting, the technique is the same but there aren't any written patterns in Japan. Everything is done via chart in a standardized language.

I also have the good fortune of having two colleagues at my work who speak Japanese (one is from Japan, and the other lived there for 4 years). I am thinking about getting a pattern or two, and hope that by having a live translator (rather than using babel fish) I might be able to do some Japanese knitting. The ABCs of Knitting also has a translated page of terms, so one way or the other, I should be able to accomplish this.

My final obstacle to trying this will be getting hold of a pattern in Japanese. Heather's colleague said she can loan me a book, but I have also heard of a knit designer who does very beautiful work based on European designs. I am tempted to order one of his books from, but my co-worker Yoshiko has offered to pick it up for me next time she flies to Japan.

I will let you know how this one pans out.


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