January - In Japan, the New Year is celebrated shortly before midnight and resolutions are written on wooden plaques decorated with the animal of the year about to be entered. Stone Garden Jacket - This kimono style jacket includes double knitting and a unique textured pattern that will have you feeling good about your knitting New Year???s resolutions. February - The first day of spring, celebrated on February 3rd, Japanese welcome a change in season and the fulfillment of good wishes by throwing soybeans out the doors and windows of their home which represents out with the evil, in with the good. Winter in Tokyo - Learn to knit in entrelac pattern, a method in which blocks rather than rows are worked next to each other, in order to create this fashionable sweater that will keep you warm all through winter. March - Girls??? Day is celebrated on March 3rd when girls display beautiful Japanese dolls that represent the royal court, and launch small paper boats into the river with their names and misfortunes they wish to avoid. The Fan - This feminine style sweater displays a delicate fan motif the works out from each sleeve. April - When the cherry trees blossom throughout Japan, it is an unbelievably beautiful event celebrated with a picnic with family or friends under the trees. Flower Buds - Knitting the beads on a string pattern adds color to this comfy sweater that has a swing-like silhouette and seed-stitch front edgings. May - Boys??? Day is celebrated on May 5th where different size wind socks that look like carp hang from houses and trees to symbolize fish swimming upstream, an ability boys are expected to acquire as they grow strong and independent. The Carp - This cozy sweater knit in gorgeous light blue and cream is made of diagonal strips of mitered squares to add texture and design. June - In Japan, June is full of rainy weather, umbrellas and rubber boots. If the rain continues, children make little dolls out of white napkins to hang in the windows to stop the bad weather. The Umbrella - This chevron pattern poncho made from soft wool will keep you warm and in style. July - Summer is full of festivals including the star festival celebrated on July 7th. According to legend, two stars which are kept apart all year all allowed to meet this day. To bring good luck, people write good wishes on colored strips of paper tied to bamboo. The Sun - Make two versions of this sweater, one with smaller suns or one with bigger suns and either will remind you of watermelon, cicadas, and festivals that come with July in Japan. August - The 15th is the day the Japanese commemorate their ancestors by erecting a small alter to offer prayers. Fireworks and dancing accompany the day and families enjoy time together. Summer in Tokyo - This pattern was inspired by a lovely woven band that borders a home???s tatami mats and the rhomboid motifs are an old Japanese design that symbolizes a waterfall. September - Many of the late summer festivals are dedicated to wishes for a good fall and are celebrated with lively events in the streets. Rice Fields - Using contrasting colors that alternate every 2 rows; this fitted sweater zips in the front and has lower panels worked in garter stitch to create unique style. October - In earlier times, kimonos were dyed with indigo, a natural dyestuff that originated in Asia. Indigo - Wave and running water designs appear repeatedly in Japanese art because water symbolizes life and warmth. This jacket is worked in one piece November - Autumn in Japan creates fantastically brilliant colors in the landscape. Nature walks are often taken this time of year to enjoy the scenery. Maple Leaves - The color of this button-up sweater was inspired by the changing red maple leaves. You can knit the solid-color version or use the intarsia method to knit a fun multi-colored sweater. December - Japan has an impressive food culture that has influenced the world. Sushi, small morsels of artfully arranged raw fish is extremely popular. Sake and Soba - The Japanese chef is known for his exquisite preparation of raw materials but also for his arrangement. This long sweater is artfully knit with cables in a soft combination of wool, merino and alpaca. Glossary Abbreviations Seasons Wheel Japanese Ideograms Index
Marianne Isager grew up in Vendsyssel, Denmark. She earned her degree as a textile designer from Copenhagen's School of Design and Handicrafts. She divides her time between living in A...rhus, Denmark, and Tokyo, Japan. Her previous books include Knitting out of Africa (Interweave, 2005).Marianne Isager's knit garments are sold at many places in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Germany. She has had numerous exhibitions of her work in Europe as well as in Japan and the United States. She has taught at design schools, vocational colleges, and at Denmark's Teacher's College. Her signature yarn line is distributed in the United States by TUTTO Opal-Isager.
"Like pointillist paintings, Isager's designs rely on the detail you can only get at a fine gauge." --Clara Parkes, editor, "Knitter's Review," and author, "The Knitter's Book of Yarn" Japan is known for its sense of style, from the classic beauty of a ceremonial kimono to the edgy street trends worn by teens. This collection picks up a variety of influences to create a lovely and wearable collection, which stands out from the crowd. Each of the 12 knits has been inspired by a different month in Japan, and each is flanked by photos of the month, giving you a glimpse into the world which inspired the designs. Ideal for an adventurous knitter, the complex patterns use techniques that will stretch your skills and challenge your needles, from colourwork to entrelac. We love the clever construction and delicacy of the March pattern: 'The Fan' was inspired by the Girls' Day Festival, pretty and pink, and the lacy fronts look like an open fan. It's a far cry from the August pattern. 'Summer in Tokyo' is a complex stranded colourwork design in hot and cool colours inspired by traditional tatami mat designs. Marianne Isager has managed to create patterns with a distinctly Japanese feel which wouldn't look out of place on the British high street. You'll spot traditional aran stitches nestled alongside distinctly Japanese elements to create knits which will turn heads and shake down a rain of compliments from knitters and non-knitters alike. Marianne's use of shape and colour makes this an inspiring collection, and you may find these pieces make you rethink your wardrobe - or book a holiday in the land of the rising sun.-Simply Knitting