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Topic: Japanese Crochet Books VS. English-Language Books  (Read 1304 times)
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« on: February 16, 2011 06:59:37 PM »

It seems to me that Japanese crochet books have so many better patterns than those of English-language books (I'm from the USA, so most of the English books are from here, but I'm sure there are some that originated from Great Britain or other English-speaking countries). Why is that? What about crochet made it catch on outside of the US, and especially in Japan?

After doing a search on ebay, I found so many great books. If only I had money! Here are a few that caught my eye:

Lace motifs. There are barely any thread crochet books here, yet Japan has so many! The crochet books here use worsted or heavier weight yarn and just makes the stitches look thick and ugly. Japanese lace books seem to use crochet thread or fingering weight yarn, and the patterns are so much more whimsical. Looking through a recent Delia's catalog, it seems to be a trend here for some women's clothing to have delicate crochet trim, such as on tank tops. I'd like to reproduce that, but there just aren't many pattern books to use as resources for lace trimming.

This "basic" book has colorful projects, better than the plain beginner books here. Are these projects supposed to be for beginners?  Shocked

This book has some neat items. I like the mesh vest with floral and sun applique, as well as the strawberry bag. I cannot stand the freaking golliwog, though. What the hell?

As a sidenote, it's not just the crochet books that are better. Here are two sewing pattern books for men that have wonderful quality items:  jackets & coats and pants, to name just two. The sewing books released here have garments that really look hand-made ,and not in the good way. But the garments in the above sewing books look as if they were bought from a store. Also, there are barely any sewing books for men released here. Grrrrrrrrr!!!

I'm no Japanophile (such people annoy and scare me), but instead of making new books in America, Japanese crochet pattern books should just be translated into English. Tongue The only one that I know of that's been translated is the Kyuuto book, but the preview images I've seen aren't attractive to me.

Are Japanese patterns easy to understand for someone who doesn't know Japanese? I've read that they have charts and very few text instructions. Even if one cannot read Japanese or if there are no charts, one can still use these books as inspiration just by looking at the beautiful garments and trims. Though, I believe that if one has a decent knowledge of crochet, then the items could be easily replicated just by looking at them.

What are other people's thoughts on Japanese books? Do you feel that they are better than the drab books that we get here in the USA (or wherever other people are from)? Are the books worth the money? I think it might just be the US books that are boring. I've read another poster's comment on here that Russian and German pattern books have good crochet lace patterns. There are barely any of those here, and crochet is great for lace.  Roll Eyes

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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2011 05:22:40 PM »

I've only used one Japanese pattern. It was an amigurumi pattern, and I liked it more than I liked English patterns because IT TOLD ME THE PROPER PLACES FOR THE EYES, ETC. I absolutely hate doing English patterns most of the time because I never know where exactly to put limbs, etc. The pattern was very specific too: "2 sc down, 3 sc over". I wish Americans could do that.

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