Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Trip to Kinokuniya...

I was at a conference in midtown, Manhattan on Friday, and so I took the opportunity to skip the usual chicken lunch and visit Kinokuniya. This is a wonderful Japanese bookstore, and they recently moved their NYC store to new (bigger) space. Here is the map of the new store, at 1073 6th Avenue, across from Bryant Park. They also have a much smaller store at The Palisade Center, in West Nyack. Now that I have been to both, I can say that the selection of knitting books is only modestly better at the NYC store. No matter, I adore Japanese knitting books. They are so well charted that my inability to read a single word in Japanese is no barrier. I was able to add two new books to my collection...
First, I got this lovely book, which is part of a series on traditional knitting. There are some good classic designs in this one.
Second, I got this really cool stitch guide. All the pattern books use charted symbols, and this book has all those symbols, with a knit swatch of what the technique should look like if you do it correctly, and really clear, move-by-move illustrations. I recommend this book to all knitters, even if you don't love these Japanese patterns as much as I do.

I am going to show you just a few of the Japanese books I already had at home, so you can see what else you might find if you venture into Kinokuniya yourself...

These two books are part of the same series of traditional knitting, with that wonderful Japanese attention to detail. Wow on the lacework, colorwork and textures...
This lovely book is the newest in the traditional knitting genre, with more great lacework, colorwork and texture. I got this before they "recalled" it. There are some chart errors, but they are pretty obvious and I got the corrected charts on-line. There is a reprint coming and it is serious eye candy.
This is also some serious eye candy, with that traditional take on gloves (and a few hats!)

Last but not least, here are the Japanese stitch collections I have at home.
This one is the most unusual, with lovely combinations of lace and cables.
This second 250 volume includes both crochet and knit patterns, and also has some unusual stuff.
This 300 pattern book is all lace, and is presented very nicely. The swatch pictures are wonderful. And finally, this grandma of all Japanese stitch collections has enough stuff to keep you swatching into knit on!


  1. You got most of the good ones, that's for sure! Have fun with them!

  2. I just got an order from the West Coast store on the weekend. They are very fast. I got the 250 and 300 pattern books and the book with the vest on the front. Enjoy looking at the pictures. Thanks for the info on the update. I'll have to get that. I'll be interested to see how some of these patterns can be used in your designs.

  3. yup, you got the basics, now on to the "Let's Knit" series! How do you like the 300 st. lace book? that's the only one I don't have and wonder how much duplication there is between the books?

  4. I work only a couple of blocks from Kinokuniya. You have officially blown my book budget. :)

  5. O'my gosh! You have to go see my blog entry...I just read yours and I almost fell of my chair.

    Sue Fulay

  6. I love that book store. I hate the mall on 287, but I agree, the amount of knitting books is almost as good as the Manhattan one.

    Beautiful Corfu shawl!