While getting my daily dose of knitting gossip on the Knitter's Review forum this week, I happened to click on a post about a new knit along called Crossed In Translation. Apparently, a group of knitters have decided to knit one of the patterns out of New Style of Heirloom Knitting and help each other work through the Japanese instructions. While I'm not planning on joining the knit along, this site did prompt me to look further at this book and eventually lead me to another one by the same author called, European knit it is dense thing (loosely translated via Google) . The previews on this page made me zip straight down to Kinokuniya in hopes of finding a copy. Lucky me, they had one left.
This book is a real gem if you like traditional gloves , mittens, hats and scarves. Although I don't read Japanese, I can tell from the pictures that it's a book about the author's (Toshiyuki Shimada) pilgrimage to Northern European countries. Beside photos of his trip it also includes 13 patterns inspired by what he found. Pictures of the projects are some of the most vivid knitting eye candy that I've ever come across in the knitting book world. The items pop out and say, "come on, you know you want to knit me".
If you don't have physical access to a Japanese book store and would like to find a copy here's a link to it on Amazon's Japanese web site. While the site is mostly in Japanese it is possible to translate it using Google's language tool. Even if you don't want to purchase the book, translating Japanese web pages can result in hilarious reading.
While I'm on the subject of knitting books in Japanese, here's another outstanding book called, Knitting Patterns Book 250. It's full of several types of knitting stitches and stitch combinations with an emphasis on lace and cables. While I already have several pattern books this one is an excellent addition to the collection. The complicated combinations take lace knitting one step beyond other pattern books without much duplication.