Free Knitty Pattern: Japan Style

I’ve been obsessed with Japanese knitting for a few years now. And clearly, I’m not alone. Classes on understanding Japanese knitting patterns are among my most popular workshops. I can’t stop admiring (and buying) Japanese knitting books. I want to use stitches from Japanese stitch libraries in my own designs. I love the consistency and cleanness of Japanese knitting charts, the sparse whiteness of the pages, and the clarity of symbols that are coded representations of the stitches to be knit. The aesthetics of the books and the knitted garments blend elaborate ornament, fine detail, and clean elegance in a way that has a different feeling than design from the West.

Although the patterns are written entirely in Japanese, they are not impossible for English-speaking knitters to read. Very light on text and very heavy on charts and schematics, with a cheat sheet of translations, any adventurous knitter can

enter the world of Japanese knitting. Understanding Japanese patterns is based on learning how to follow charts and schematics. Knitting these designs for ourselves often requires learning how to resize a garment. The stitch patterns themselves are complex, because Japanese designers combine many simple elements into very elaborate pattern stitches, but if you understand basic US chart symbols, you’re well on your way to learning to follow Japanese knitting charts.

Get the pattern and

  1. Such a great job! So beautiful. The back is so original.

  2. Thank you so much for the knitty article on Japanese patterns. I have a Japanese book of scarf patterns which I have knit one pattern from, but your article will definitely help me decipher more info in the future.

  3. Hi! Thank you for the wonderful article and pattern. I am considering making the sweater, and am curious if it is intended to fit with negative, positive, or neutral ease. The model of course looks fantastic, and I’d like to know how to choose my size.

    • I’d wear this snugly so it’s not hanging out baggy under your bust, plus it’s really open above the waistband, so there’s no worry about it looking too tight. I think I would choose a size based on the shoulder width I wanted. On the other hand, I hate tight underarms so I would not want negative or zero ease. Maybe 1” positive ease. Just thinking aloud about making it for myself!

  4. I can’t seem to get on to look at the free patterns.

  5. This is the direct link to the knitty article. Maybe their site was down temporarily.


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