Being a part of knitting community is wonderful because everyone is always kind and we help each other. It is very similar to my own personal experience living in the UK because without the help of so many friends and even people that I didn’t even know, I wouldn’t be here today.
I do spend majority of my time designing and patterning my own stuff, but I think being a part of society, it is important to do something for others. So today I want to talk about a project I have been working with The Knitter mag since last year. The project is about bringing Japanese designers to the West!
There are many beautiful designs created by Japanese designers but not many are published in English. There is an obvious language barrier and it’s a real shame. I think it would be really nice that more Japanese patterns, and not just my own, are accessible in English for everyone to enjoy!
So this is where I come in. I am an English and Japanese “knitting” bilingual (LOL). I do write and speak both languages pretty well. So why not use this skill for others? The Knitter team made this possible. I have been the go between person to organise the Japanese designers and have their Japanese patterns translated and graded to English. So together, we were able to publish Japanese high profile designers’ work in English.
Mitsuharu Hirose and Hitomi Shida were our very first choice. They are the Japan’s most well-known and loved professional designers. They are true knitting artist. Working with them is just amazing. Now that this project is coming to fruition, with Mitsuharu’s beautiful design called Sanmyaku being published this month, I want to talk about a little bit about the work I did for Mitsuharu, The Prince of Knitting.
Mitsuharu is a pioneer in every aspect of Japanese knitting. On top of all the beautiful designs that he creates, he has published countless books, he teaches all over Japan and appears regularly on TV. This meant that he also became a pioneer to work with me and my clumsy communications (I was so nervous!). But you know what? He was just so superbly professional throughout. He was so nice and was spot-on with the designs, never late to reply, always to the point. I admire and respect him so much!!!
So his design for issue 43 is called Sanmyaku which means mountain range in Japanese. His love of beautiful Japanese mountain views and nature is so well presented in the design. It has a decorative zig-zag motifs with delicate lace collar pattern which is shaped by differing needle sizes.When I first saw the design, I loved it and it gave me goosebumps (LOL).
When I received the pattern files from him for me to translate and grade sizes, I was even more impressed by his precise description. The gauges and measurements were bang-on and it was just a thrill and honour to work on his work.
I was eager to see how the pattern will be published. The Knitter team has really done an amazing work on the photography, technical editing (thank you Melanie!) and putting them together. I felt so happy to be a part of a great teamwork. And I think it is a real success! Thank you so much Mitsuharu for your amazing work.
It’s a great and fun pattern to knit. Do please check it out Happy weekend!