Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Crossed in Translations - Japanese Translation TIPS

I'm excited to join in the Crossed in Translation knitalong. For this beautiful sweater set. And I just got in my copy of the book. As mentioned here on my blog, I don't know Japanese. But have worked on interpreting a toddler japanese pattern from another book. So here are a few hints on interpreting the pattern.

Crossed in Translation:
Aran Knitalong Translation tips
Added Dec 19, 2005
Added Dec. 21, 2005

Added Dec. 22, 2005
Added Dec. 27, 2005
Updated Jan. 03, 2006

Suggested Cast on method:
Looks like a tubular cast on is the method I'll try on the ribbing. There are several tutorials for Tubular cast on that require cutting the waste yarn. But I like this one the best. Using a string of crochet stitches to start with and then just pull the end of the crochet stitches to remove quickly, without cutting.

Gauge - On the project description, line 8. It mentions 10cm. On the same sentence is 28 a boxy charater then 24 and another character.
edited: In addition it lists A~I with a four character phrase before it. The phrase = pattern stitch

Translation: Swatch size is 10cm or 4" square. 28 stitches, 24 rows
in pattern stitch A through I.

Yarn substitution possibilities - Aran weight yarns: Cascade 200, Blackwater Abbey, Virtual Y arn 3-ply (Stitches have less definition), Jamieson's or Jamieson & Smith (Stitches have more definition). They're all nice yarns. On the Hebride knit list, it's been suggested that DK yarn may work too.

Yarn substitution calculations:

On the a top of the back panel chart is 14 (40 boxy character)
Translation: 14 cm (40 stitches)

Increase and decrease notations. For example the sleeve increases noted as 2-1-6 and then 4-1-2.
Translation: First number is how many rows before an increase,
second is how many stitches to increase, third number is how
many repeats.
From example increase every 2nd row, 1 stitch at each end,
repeat 6 times, then increase every 4th row, 1 stitch at each
end, repeat two times.

Additional decreases by sets.
On right side of the back panel are three sets of decreases. Then a '> 9 with box in box character'.
Translation: You decrease as noted 1-1-3 and 2-1-1, repeat the first then second decrease sets 9 times before doing the third set of decreases.
(Box in Box is the charactor for 'Repeat')

On each of the diagrams is a bold arrow.
Translation: Cast on from that edge and knit in arrow direction.
(I've seen on another pattern where there were two arrows on the
diagram. Indicating to cast on above the ribbing to knit up and
then pick up on cast on to knit down for waist ribbing.)

The script 'L' symbol is knit through the back so the stitch twists.

I don't know about the symbol that looks like a flying fish. Someone mentioned the Austrian Twisted Stitch (Bovarian Twisted stitch) is part of this pattern. Is this it? I'm going to look up this stitch in the 'Knitting in the Old Way" book.
edit: "Knitting in the Old Way" describes the traveling cable as a cable formed by a knit twist stitch with the knit or purl background stitch. Twisting the stitch gives the cable more depth.

In the aran pattern, there are two types of flying fish symbols. One with a hyphen underneath the fish flipper and one without the hyphen. A hyphen means the cable is formed by a knit twist in front and purl stitch on back. No hyphen means two knit twist stitches that cable cross. For how-to diagrams (without a cable needle method) click
HERE and scroll down to the flying fish symbols. Note: Read the diagrams from RIGHT to LEFT. This link has clearer images on how to knit through back loop for a "knit twist stitch", and purl through back loop for a "purl twist stitch" .


Updated Dec. 27, 2005
Japanese Knitting Symbols - Demystified

On the Hebride list. There was a request to clarify a symbol used in the front cover sweater. And some question on the flying fish symbol. I checked my Japanese pattern books and found the two symbols in question. I also found that Tata-tatao has illustrations for the most common ones too.

Cover Sweater:
'Old fashion water pump with handle on right and hyphen under symbol'. (Hyphen means you purl the two stitches instead of knit shown in this illustration)
Old fashion water pump with handle on left and hyphen under symbol'. (Purl both stitches instead of knit.)

'puppy nose symbol'

'standing fish symbol' = Make 1 (M1) or Twist stitch. Look at next row in pattern. If more stitches appear then it is M1. Otherwise it is a twist stitch.
Make one, twist right, knit - Used in cover sweater
Make one, twist left, knit - Used in cover sweater
(If hyphen is present under symbol. You make one as shown in the illustrations above and you purl instead of knit.)

These 4 kinds of M1 stitches are used in the cover sweater. (See page 69, Chart E, next to row number 70, standing fish notations (Bold and non-bold)

Twist stitch (Used in Am Kamin, red sweater and hat pattern)

'flying fish'
The illustration in my japanese pattern book confirms this is cable cross. With the front stitch as a twist stitch. And the back stitch as a knit stitch. Unless a hyphen is present then the background stitch is a purl.
Just as illustrated previously.


Did you figure the gauge yet? I think the book gives all the gauges in the beginning, but I am not sure, and I can't tell if the gauge is in stockinette or pattern stitch.
What yarn are you going to use? I was going to use an Aran-weight by Jaeger (I need a big size).
The flying fish...could this be a front or back cross--depending on the position? Sort of like on my aran sweater on my website:


The sweater is gorgeous. My book should be here at any time. How can I join the knitalong?
I think the flying fish represents a 2-stitch cable twist (i.e. 1 stitch held to front or back) in the appropriate direction, knitting into the back of the "outside" stitch. However, note that some of the fishies have a tiny horizontal bar at the bottom. I think this indicates that the stitch in back is to be purled (assuming a right-side row).
Also note that many of these cable twists are on wrong-side rows! In these cases you have to purl into the back loop of the outside stitch. Is this confusing enough??
To join the knitalong, you obtain the book, then do a swatch, then peek at the translated instructions, then knit with the rest of us. You could also join kbth by going to their website:


and signing up for the mailing list--there is lots of chatter going on right now. Once you are approved for membership, you can view the archives to see what's transpired so far, if anything.
sign up for the knitting beyond the hebrides list serve-


you'll need to wait for approval, then you can check out the archives--just put "japanese" in your search. That should pull up anything to do with the KAL. Also stick around here. More will be added in January, I'm sure.
Excellent tips!!! I had most of what you posted figured out before I gave the book to my grandmother to wrap up as my Christmas gift. I'm having withdrawals from it! The only one I had no clue about was the "flying fish" you mentioned in your update from Dec. 21. You've done a tremendous amount of legwork on this pattern! Thanks!!!

I've never knit a sweater in pieces before--I wonder if we could figure out how to do this baby in the round?
The site for Tubular Cast on is FINE, except that she doesn't say that you start with only HALF the stitches plus one...so your chain isn't going to be the actual # of stitches, but only 1/2 plus 3 or 4 extra...

The reason is because you do a yarn over between every stitch on the first row.
What are the yarn requirements in terms of how many yards needed. Also what is the size of the sweater in the book. I know they typically only do 1 size, very small and then its up to us to up size but I don't know where I am starting from. Comparing ball bands of some Noro Silk Garden the recommended yarn guage is definitely Aran or thick. With all the twisted stiches this will be very stiff sweater.
Wow! What a great help you are. These translation tips are going to be immensely helpful. Thank you for doing this.
The second sleeve increase for CIT should read 4-1-21.
(the numbers are kind of faint)
Just wondering if you have any actual
(the stuff you chew) content on your site?
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