Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I love Japanese knitting magazines. I went to a knitting machine symposium that was held in Hayward in October a few times, and one of the vendors had some old Zazas that I picked up for about a dollar apiece, plus some other random publications. A few years ago, I found out that the Japanese bookstore, Kinokuniya, had a branch in San Jose, and I was determined to find it. It turns out to be right off the freeway at Saratoga Avenue, and is a bright and beautiful store. My only complaint with it is that everytime I go there, the craft magazines are in a different place, and since they file them all in shelves like books, if you can't really read the spines, you are out of luck. However, the staff is very helpful. The magazines are not cheap at all, but are very worth having. I love the Japanese production values on the magazines, glossy paper, beautiful photos.

My favorite magazine is mostly cable knits. The pattern I am going to knit one of these days, when the Must Have is finished, is this one, a cabled hoodie. I have a book called Japanese For Machine Knitters, and this helped me to decipher the pattern. This volume had some really attractive kids sweaters and a V-neck cardigan I would also like to knit.

A lot of the magazines have pictorials on knitting techniques and lots of great graphed stitch patterns. They seem to excel in the set-in sleeve, which a lot of the current magazines have on most of the designs. Just to look through them for design ideas is worth the money.

The clerk at Kinokuniya told me that Zaza is no longer being published, and the newer ones I saw are mostly cut & sew, but in its day it was a terrific, beautiful publication.

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