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Babette Blanket turned into Hexagon cover

April 12, 2010 - - 9:16 PM

Instead of the Babette Blanket, I have decided to crochet a Japanese throw with hexagon flowers.

The book is “Organic Cotton Knits: Easy on the Skin” by the publisher Ondori. The pattern is called Hexagon multi-cover (六角モチーフのマルチカバー).

This is my first piece for the project.

The photo was processed with the “Old Toy Camera” Photoshop action by Dave Ward.

(4) Japanese craft books: How to read a Japanese pattern – Knitting

April 10, 2010 - - 4:56 PM

As I have listed in my last post about crocheting from Japanese patterns, there are many useful resources on the web that can help you. The same is true for knitting Japanese style:

As for crochet, these things also apply for knitting:

If you know about any other useful websites, I would love to hear about it.

(3) Japanese craft books: How to read a Japanese pattern – Crochet

- 9:31 AM

When you are looking at a Japanese pattern for the first time, you are probably wondering what to do. Here is some information to get you started:

Start with something small or manageable like an amigurumi or a scarf. You will soon find, that finding your way through these visual instructions is much easier than you have imagined.

If you have decided to try a particular pattern and have trouble figuring it out, there are still more ways to get help:

  • There are language tools – add-ons – for your browser that translate text found on web sites for you.
    For example, there is the Google Bar for the Internet Explorer and Foxlingo for the Firefox, which I am currently using. The results are mostly helpful in some way, but sometimes the translations might sound like  plain non-sense ;-). You simply have to give it a try to see if it gives you any additional information for your particular project.
    If you want a little tutorial how to go about it, then We’re all Mad here has one for you.
  • If you cannot copy and paste text into the translation tool, because your pattern is from a physical book or an image that does not allow for text recognition, then there are many kind people you can ask.
    There is, of course, Ravelry (highly recommended), where you can become a member of the Japanese Knitting and Crochet Group. Just reading through their forum was extremely helpful for me.

Good luck with your Japanese crafting!

Mori girls, the modern forest nymphs

March 30, 2010 - - 8:01 PM

Japan has brought us a new trend for women called “Mori” (Japanese for forest).

Favorite places of the so called “Mori girls”:

  • Outdoors (mostly nature, but apparently you can be an urban nymph, too)
  • Cafés (the older and cozy ones)
  • Libraries (to emphasize the introspective character)
  • Markets (for healthy and fresh food)

Favorite activities include:

  • Exploring new neighborhoods with a bike
  • Reading (preferably in cozy places)
  • Photography (for documenting all the adventures)
  • Journaling (practice creativity and self-expression)
  • Shopping (for good quality and natural fiber clothing)

While reading about the life of “mori girls” I had several questions:

  • Is this really a sub culture or more or less just a fashion trend?
  • Can men also join the fun and be a Mori boy?
  • Where do I get all the wonderful Japanese clothes here in Central Europe?

There is more information and images over at:

Of course there are already the “Swamp girls” who state that they are much more edgy and challenge the forest girls.

(2) Japanese craft books: How to read a Japanese pattern – Sewing

March 17, 2010 - - 1:25 PM

I have just learned how to use a sewing machine a few months ago, so I am not making cloths yet. But the Japanese sewing books are a great inspiration and most have also small(er) projects and hand-sewn items you can learn a lot from.

The following blogs and pages will help you find your way:

For even more inspiration check out this wonderful blog called My Daruma or the Japanese sewing Flickr group.

Do you have more useful information or craft blogs you love to visit?