If there’s on thing I love is a challenge. And when it comes to knitting patterns there is a plethora to choose from.

But, because I like to really challenge myself, I recently bought the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible.  What can I say? There are so many incredible stitch patterns it’s hard to choose which to try out first.

After going through the book a number of times, looking at and studying the levels of experience, I decided to pick something simple – and landed on #28.

Pattern #28 is a 28 row, 20 stitch pattern, which once you’ve mastered it (and written out the symbol meanings) the chart abbreviations, its really quite simple. The pattern mainly consists of wool overs, knit 2 togethers, knit through back loop, normal knit and purl stitches, and one twisted knit 2 together stitch. All pretty easy for the average knitter.

This little beauty I am doing with two repeats until I get the hand of the charts, then will add more repeats for bigger items. As I only have 50g of this particular 4 ply  yarn, it will stop when I get to the end of the ball. Thinking forward, for maybe a cushion cover, with around four repeats of a pattern, I’ll ensure there is enough yarn for the project. At the moment, I am on a finer yarn spree, so all my knitting is in either 3ply or 4 ply, the latter being easier to get hold of. I can spin a finer yarn, but for speed am using commercially spun.

When working the pattern I did add a ‘selvage’ stitch as the patterns do now allow any extra stitches, only the pattern itself. Other designs could be added to the repeats, making wonderful looking pieces of knitting.

To make sense of the charts, I enlarged the one I am using, the wrote down the symbol and its meaning. Using a cross-stitch magnetic board and ruler, I can follow the rows and tick each off as I do. It works well.

The book is set out in sections of Lacy patterns, Overall patterns, Crossing Stitch patterns, Pattern Panels, Pattern Arrangements (with more than one of the designs worked together), Yokes, Edgings, and a couple of patterns such as a scarf, and socks. It also have detailed charts, illustrations in both photos and diagrams of some of the stitches. There are also eleven pages of knitting symbols. These are the standard symbols used in all Japanese knitting, therefore every book will have the same symbols for the same stitches.

All in all, I love this book. It will give many hours of pleasure exploring the pattern designs, working out what I want to do with them, and learning the symbols as I go.

So, get your needles out, your yarn of choice, and dig in and have a go!

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