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inspired knits
marianne isager collection

2 japanese inspired knits

In Japan, we celebrate the New Year in January by going to the temple shortly before midnight. We
write out our resolutions and secret wishes on small wooden plaques decorated with the animal
motif of the year we are about to enter—dog, pig, sheep, goat, etc. We also draw out a prophecy
and save it throughout the year if it is a good one. To prepare for the New Year, we clean up our
homes and make decorations to invite the gods to visit. We also prepare special food to eat on the
first day of the new year—along with a lot of sake. One special treat is winter mikan—little orange
fruits loaded with vitamin C that help us withstand the cold Japanese winter. A January specialty is
skagami-mochi, which is a two-layer viscous, sticky rice cake. A smaller piece is laid over a larger one
as a symbol of the new year taking over the old. On the second Monday in January, anyone who is
celebrating their twentieth birthday goes to the temple where prayers are said for a good life path.
The girls, of course, wear their fine kimonos.

january 3
Finished Size
36½ (42, 48)" (92.5 [106.5, 122] cm)
stone garden jacket
bust circumference, tied. Sweater
shown measures 42" (106.5 cm).

Yarn Right Front completed, with RS still facing slip sts

About 250 (300, 350) g of main color
Double Knitting Lower Front back to left needle without working them,
1 (MC1) and 325 (350, 400) g of main
color 2 (MC2) used held tog; and about With smaller needles and holding one in position to work the next row as a RS
100 g each of two accent colors A and B strand each of A and B tog, CO 58 (66, row. Change to larger straight needles and
of fingering-weight (Super Fine #1) yarn. 74) sts. Set-up row: (WS) Sl both A and B one strand of each MC color held tog.
Shown here: Isager 1 (100% wool; strands of first CO loop as if to purl with Next row: (RS) K1 (selvedge st), k2tog
610 yd [558 m]/100 g): #0 natural
both yarns in front (pwise wyf ), *with 56 (64, 72) times, k1 (selvedge st)—58
(MC1), 3 (3, 4) skeins.
Alpaca 2 (50% merino, 50% alpaca; B, knit the B loop of the CO st and leave (66, 74) sts; piece measures about 11/2
547 yd [500 m]/100 g): #2105 (MC2), it on the left needle, bring both yarns (3.8 cm) from CO.
4 (4, 5) skeins; #011 steel blue (A), and to front, then with A purl the A loop of
#012 grayed olive (B), 1 skein each. the same CO st, sl the CO st off the left Textured Pattern
Note: We used 1 strand each of Isager 1 needle, and take both yarns to the back; Next row: (WS) Sl 1 pwise with yarn in
and Alpaca 2 held together for MC.
rep from * to last st, knit last st with both back (pwise wyb), sl 1 pwise with yarn in
Needles yarns held tog—114 (130, 146) sts total; front (wyf ), work seed st set-up row (see
Double knitting lower fronts and cuffs— 56 (64, 72) knit/purl st pairs; 1 selvedge Stitch Guide) over next 4 (8, 12) sts inc
size U.S. 2 (3 mm): straight. Body and
st at each side. them to 6 (10, 14) sts, place marker (pm),
sleeves—size U.S. 4 (3.5 mm): straight
and 24" or 32" (60 or 80 cm) circular Next row: (RS) Sl first st pwise wyf, *p1, [p1f&b (see Glossary), p2] 3 times,
(cir). Adjust needle sizes if necessary to work Row 1 of Lower Front chart in p1f&b, p1*, pm, work seed st set-up row
obtain the correct gauge. double knitting (see Notes) beg and over next 6 (10, 14) sts inc them to 8 (12,
Notions ending where indicated for your size, knit 16) sts, pm, rep from * to * once more,
Stitch holders; stitch markers; cable last st with both yarns held tog. pm, work seed st set-up row over next 18
needle (cn); tapestry needle. Note: For size 36½", do not work any sts inc them to 20 sts, [sl 1 pwise wyf, k1]
Gauge partial motifs; instead, omit the outer- 2 times—72 (80, 88) sts.
22 sts (one layer) and 37 rows = 4" most motifs at each end of the chart and Next row: (RS) Sl 1 pwise wyf, k3, work
(10 cm) counted on one face of double work those sts in the background color. 20 seed sts, slip marker (sl m), work Row
knitting patterns from charts on smaller Work Rows 2–15 of chart, working the 1 of Aran pattern (see Stitch Guide) over
needles (see Notes); 22 stitches and
first and last sts (not shown on chart) 16 sts, sl m, work 8 (12, 16) seed sts,
38 rows = 4" (10 cm) in seed stitch on
larger needles with one strand of each by slipping the first st of every row sl m, work Row 1 of Aran pattern over
MC held together; 16 stitches of Aran pwise with both yarns held in front, and 16 sts, sl m, work 6 (10 , 14) seed sts,
pattern measure 2" (5 cm) wide on knitting the last st of every row with both k1, p1. Cont in established patts for 11
larger needles with one strand of each yarns held tog. When Row 15 has been more rows, ending with a WS row, and
MC held together.

january 5
project gallery february



Stone Garden
Winter in Tokyo
Flower Buds

June May

July August
Summer in Tokyo
Rice Fields
Sake and Soba

Glossary of Terms and

Japanese Ideographs
Time Wheel

East meets West
in innovative
knitwear design
inspired by the seasonal festivals and
traditions of Japan, Marianne Isager blends Scandinavian
knitting with a distinctive Japanese influence. True to the
Japanese ideals of high-quality design and materials, Mari-
anne presents sweaters designed around the months of the
year and knitted using almost a dozen different techniques.

Inside, readers will learn:

+  The techniques required for each sweater by knitting a
gauge swatch that doubles as a wrist warmer.
+  How to combine fine (lightweight) yarns to create new
textures and colors.
+  Useful insights on how to translate travel inspiration
into beautiful knitwear.

In addition to standard knit and purl combinations, the

patterns feature double knitting, domino knitting, shadow
knitting, lace, cables, entrelac, intarsia, and stranded two-
color knitting.
Knitters of all skill levels looking for innovative women’s
wear with new techniques for sweater design will gain
insight on how to translate travel inspiration into beautiful
knitwear with Japanese Inspired Knits.

Marianne Isager earned her degree as a textile designer from

Copenhagen’s School of Design and Handicrafts. Her signature yarn
line is distributed in the United States by Simply Shetland. Her previ-
ous books include Knitting Out of Africa (Interweave, 2005).

Paperbound with flaps

8½ x 9, 144 pages
60 photographs, 36 illustrations
ISBN 978-1-59668-114-9
March 2009