Japanese Knitting here we come!

A number of years ago when interviewing Tara Jon Manning, she suggested I visit Kinokuniya, a Japanese bookstore, in San Francisco's Japantown neighborhood the next time I was in the Bay Area.

As it happened, I was scheduled to visit a college somewhere--Santa Cruz, Walnut Creek, Oakland? memory fails--not long thererafter and was able to persuade my brother-in-law (ever up for a culinary adventure) to join me for a tour of the city's Japanese district.

Because Japantown isn't on the China Town/Fisherman's Wharf/North Beach hit parade for tourists, it feels less like a movie set and more like a quiet neighborhood where people go about their business. Noodle shops, restaurants, grocers, importers and cultural organizations are clustered in the neighborhood mall as well as in the large Kinokuniya building. Kinokuniya itself is enormous, like a Japanese Barnes and Noble, and packed with Japanese books and magazines of all kinds...including knitting and crochet.

Richard, bless him, was extremely patient--especially given the proximity of udon--while I went bananas as you can see above. (Japanese knititng and crochet books don't come cheaply.) If any of the above appeal, there's a wonderful Etsy shop that sells Japanese craft titles and you can also find them on Amazon Japan.

All this is a rather roundabout way of saying that Mom and I are headed to Estes Park to take Donna Druchunas Japanese Knitting class, hopefully a Rosetta Stone to the intricate charts and symbols that populate Japanese knitting and crochet books.

More on this tomorrow.

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