About Me

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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Knitted Japanese Hat

I love, love Japanese design and I buy Japanese crochet, knitting and quilting books whenever I get a chance. When I go to San Francisco to see my sister-in-law I always visit the Kinokuniya bookstore on Webster Street and Geary Boulevard. The books are in Japanese, with sometimes very minimal English, but are just wonderful for their patterns and techniques. There is a Japanese Knitting and Crochet Forum on Ravelry for all of us who share this enthusiasm.
I found this book in the Book-Off Japanese book store in Paris - there are Book-Off stores in New York, Los Angeles and Paris, and formerly in Vancouver but that sadly closed this summer (2012) because of rising rents.
I knit the hat on the back cover, see below. It was such fun to knit and turned out great. It fits wonderfully. I used hand-spun wool that my neighbour Barbara Pryl gave me this summer.
The schematics in Japanese patterns are excellent, and measurements are in numerals in centimetres. For the rest of the detail, I used Interpreting Japanese Knitting Patterns, and The Basics of Japanese Knitting: Japanese-English Knitting Dictionary. I found this to be a great brain stretching exercise and proof that being 59 does not mean that you cannot learn anything new :-)

Front cover of the book.

Back cover of the book and illustration of the hat that I  knitted.

The pattern that I used, with my pencilled notations where I translated the Japanese characters.

The hat from the top. The colour is misrepresented in this photo, as the yarn is actually brown.

The hat brim. This is slightly better for the colour, but is still over-exposed.

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