Saturday, February 03, 2007

"But I can't read Japanese!" (Mondnacht & Mountainash)

In case you can't make yourself crazy enough in English, perhaps you would like to try to knit from a Japanese knitting book without your knowing a second language. I was looking at Fleegles blog when she showed a picture of Mondnacht which she is planning to knit. She's nice enough to give you all the information you need to pretend you might actually be able to knit this lovely shawl including some translations for the symbols into English as well as a friendly Yahoo Group knitting one of the shawls from this book. She even gives you a link to a store to buy the book. I already own one Japanese knitting book that I bought years and years ago. I have not knit anything from it because it was only "eye candy" as far as I was concerned when I got it. I had no intention of actually knitting from it. Really. It's not like I don't have enough to knit without try to branch out into a language I can neither read nor speak. Yeah. Right.

Please see above my copy of "New Style of Heirloom Knitting". I went to "J" town in San Francisco to the Kinokuniya Bookstore and bought it rather than send for it. I was pretty sure I could find it there since I knew where the craft/knitting section was in that store and could recognize the cover picture. Since I have a little experience with knitting Shetland Lace now, I think I might actually give these shawls a try. The book also contains wonderful projects in cables and color knitting as well, but that's not why I bought it.

You can also see a shot of Fir Cone. Borrring! Take a last look because after I post this, I'm frogging it. It's "not worth the powder to blow it away" as my friend Louise would say. That poor slate grey Zephyr deserves a better, more elegant fate. We will endeavor to do it justice later. Lastly, here's a shot of Phoebe the Skip and Jake the Sheltie. Our dogs who don't understand why we sit there night after night knitting instead of throwing the chew toys repeatedly for them. They are knitting orphans, it's true.


fleegle said...

Ah, Jane. If you join the Yahoo group, you can download an English translation of Mountain Ash. Really! And I am working on Mondnacht now, so I will post a translation for that as soon as I can. Really! If you have trouble with either one, let me know and I will figure out the answer.

Sorry about Fir Cone. My similarly boring Mystery shawl is about to transmute into something else as well.

Jane said...

Dear fleegle,

I have just joined the Yahoo group and will get me hither to see what can be done to support my unnatural obsession with these lace patterns. It's not like I have anything else to do, right? Someone shoot me before I pick up another pattern.

Anonymous said...

Your shawls are so beautiful! My question is: How do you have the time for them? I can't do a stitch of lace without peace & quiet & that's not always available in my house! How do you do it?

alice said...

You and Fleegle need to stop tempting me with the Mondnacht! :)

Jason said...

Just what I need when I am sick. More lacy things to look at. Hard to resist!

Oh, add our Trstian to the knitting orphans list. Poor doggies. :-)

Jane said...

Dear anonymous,

Considering I finished virtually NO lace in the year 2006 and am only now, in 2007, finishing what I started, I'd say I don't find that much time :-) Actually, that is the hardest thing to do, finding quiet time to knit. Most lace I can knit anywhere as long as it's simple lace like Flower Basket. The Wedding Ring Shawl I knit with the door to my bedroom closed to avoid distractions. Kinda like a knitting hermit! I have to be a little selfish and knit my lace. It helps that my sister also knits! Thank you for yor kind words about my knitting. It's alot of fun and I hope you get a little time to yourself to knit too!

Jane said...

Dear alice,

Lace knitting is just filled with temptation and the siren song of Japanese knitting patterns is just a symptom of my lace addiction! I can't start this shawl yet but at least I have the pattern and can let the idea of knitting it marinate in my brain for awhile! I will try to stop tempting you but but it's difficult not to share!

Jane said...

Dear jason,

Knitting lace will make you well. No, really! Looking at it while ill can at least make you happy while you get well soon!

Opal said...

What a gorgeous book. What temptation!

Jane said...

Dear Opal,

I have to hand it to the Japanese book makers. Their instruction manuals are beautifully photographed with wonderful and clear visual instructions. Now if I could only read the instructions. The Yahoo Group has given enough information to make this shawl so I will have to consider hard before I begin it. It may have to wait until after Peacock Feathers is done. Can't fry all the brain cells at once!

Anonymous said...

I want so much to be able to knit lace, but am very intimidated. You are giving me the incentive! What is the super easiest pattern out there?????

Jane said...

Dear anonymous,

I'm no expert but if you know how to make a yarn over and know how to k2tog and ssk, you can knit lace. I don't really know what lace is the easiest. It's been a long time since I did anything a lace newbie might consider easy. But my first lace was not knit with charts. When I started knitting lace I could not understand the charts for knitting so I knit patterns that were WRITTEN out. Hence, my first lace was a shawl for a book called, "Traditional Knitted Shawls & Lace" by Martha Waterman. It was the "Kerry Blue Square" knit in the round. Example

Round 1 Cast one 8 stitches and transfer 2 stitches toe ach of 4 double pointed neeedles, knit with the 5th. Knit around (8 stitches)

Round 2 *K1, yo repeat from *.

and it goes on from there. You do need to use markers or you can become confused, but it was easier than trying to understand the charts at the time. I just kept a post-it under the line of knitting on the page that I was doing.It took the fear out of knitting lace for me and was very understandable to me. You might want to look at that book.

Another easy shawl would be the Pi Shawl from Elizabeth Zimmerman.

If you like charts, try "A Beginner's Triangle" shawl from the book "A Gathering of Lace" gathered by Meg Swansen.

We can try a shout-out to others looking at this blog for suggestions too!

I hope we can help you with some suggestions and welcome to lace knitting!

AnneV said...

Hi! Just came here to push you forward with your Mountainash ;-)

It can be done, just have a look in my blog in December 2006. In retrospect, that was the best thing I could have done - I was involved in a car accident and had a lot of knitting time on my hands. This babe isn't something you'd knit while commuting.

I have posted notes of the modifications both in my blog and in the Yahoo group, and after the whole ordeal I'm still knitting from this book, so it shouldn't be too bad. "Herbstlied" is currently on the needles, and in March I'll also start "Mondnacht" in its original blackness.

And sorry, don't want to sound so egocentric but I'll be back later when I have some more time - will leave comments for your fabulous shawls.

Jane said...

Dear annev,

Thank you for directing me to your blog! You made wonderful notes and alterations to that pattern. I will look taking some of your suggestions, particularly for the holes that should have gone over the mountain peaks! Your knitting is lovely. I just love to look at what everyone else is knitting. It helps to spur me on!