inspiration: michiyo

I’m still putting together my posts on Sydney and New Zealand, but in the meantime I’ve been working on several knitting designs (it’s submission season for everyone’s fall/winter collections). I really enjoy the process of putting together a design submission for a publication, but it does mean lots of sketching and swatching and not a lot of project-oriented knitting. It’s left me itching to put a project on my needles and work from somebody else’s pattern for once!

On my trip to Japan for Summer Sonic music festival last summer, I spent an inordinate amount of time in bookstores looking at Japanese knitting books (they’re hard to resist). I fell in love with Michiyo’s knit and crochet designs and picked out one of her books to bring back home, vowing to learn the basics of reading a Japanese charted pattern so I could knit the projects from it I was interested in. This is the book in question, and in English the title is Enjoyable Patterns Knit Daywear (or so Ravelry tells me – rav link). As we’re heading into spring, I opted to knit the lacy wrap top/cardigan (S. Cardigan) pictured on the right side of the cover below, probably the first piece in the book I fell in love with.

cover image from amazon.co.jp

The boxy construction and repetitive lace pattern mean it’s wonderful TV/movie knitting. I’m knitting it up with wool from my stash, some old Te Awa Natural Wools 8-ply gifted to me by my aunt. It’s undyed natural New Zealand wool, and given my recent trip, it’s nice to be knitting with! After learning a few basics and taking some notes, I find the chart pretty simple to work from. I’m excited about this, because it means I’ll be able to knit from more Michiyo patterns in the future. Because I bought this book on my Summer Sonic trip, I’ve dubbed my lace top ‘Summer Sonic’ (サマーソニック) and you can follow my progress on Ravelry here.

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