Sunday, February 21, 2010
The downfall of Japanese crafting is the language barrier, but for the most part, the books are visually descriptive enough, that it is possible to get a pretty good understanding of how to do things by just looking at the pictures. There are also a couple of good websites out there on crafting Japanese.
This site has a lot of pictures from people who have completed patterns, and it offers a great deal of information. It is a good place to visit! http://craftlog.org/craftingjapanese/
If you are wanting to purchase books, there are several places that sell them online.
Crafting Japanese website has a great list of online sellers. Just remember that anywhere you buy from within the states is going to cost quite a bit more.
I personally order from Amazon Japan. The shipping costs are high, but it still comes out cheaper than buying from anywhere that I have seen within the states. The crafts books generally cost around $10 to $15, more or less a book. I usually buy around 10 books or more per order, so it balances out the shipping costs. My average cost ends up being around $20 or less per book. The shipping costs for books are 2,700 yen per order, with an additional 300 yen per item. The exchange rate changes all of the time, but at the time of writing this, that converts to $29.50 shipping per order, plus $3.27 per item. (To check the exchange rate, just type the yen amount to US dollar in the Google search bar...example 2700 yen to USD.)
I have had no problems ordering from Amazon Japan. The site is available now in English, making ordering a lot easier. The items ship very quickly (a few days), and I have never had to pay any customs fees.
The only problems I tend to encounter online, is not being able to see the inside of what I am buying. Amazon Japan does offer the look inside feature for some books, but not all of them. If I am not sure I want to take a chance on an unknown craft book, I usually Google the ISBN to try and find some more pictures or information about it. In doing so, I came across this cool site that shows all of the pictures inside of quite a few books.
http://photo.xuite.net/dada330703*5 (There are 9 pages worth of knitting and sewing books. This link drops you on the 5th page I believe).
Have some fun! Get inspired, and jump on the Japanese craft wagon! :)