I love Japanese knitting patterns. Of course not every designer from that country has the same style, but in general, many Japanese knitting patterns have a spare but stylish look, with just enough details to make them interesting to knit and wear.
Take this vest knitting pattern, UraUe by Natsuko Iida. It’s a pretty, relaxed vest worked in half fisherman rib and stockinette. The neckline is shaped with short rows. It has a bit of a high-low split hem and is reversible. It includes an optional cowl you can wear over the vest to make it look like a turtleneck, or wear it separately.
Best yet, this pattern, which is available on Ravelry, has been designed to work with DK weight or super fine yarns. Both patterns are sized from XS to 4XL, a chest measurement up to 63 and 64.5 inches, respectively. It’s intended to be worn with 5-9 inches of positive ease.
If you want to explore Japanese knitting patterns more, I have a couple of book reviews on Japanese knitting stitches: Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible by Hitomi Shida and Japanese Stitches Unravled by Wendy Barnard. These books offer stitch patterns that you can incorporate into any project you like.
There are translations of Japanese knitting pattern books available on the market, which are a good way to practice with Japanese knitting patterns. Typically Japanese patterns don’t include a lot of (or really any) written instructions, instead presenting the pattern as a chart. Techniques are explained in a section at the back of the book, and detailed schematics of the pattern show you how to build your project.
It’s quite different from the way patterns are usually presented in the west, but it’s fun to trust yourself to understand them (because you probably already know what you need to know to knit them). If you need more prompting to try Japanese knitting patterns, check out this post from Skein with 10 reasons to love Japanese knitting patterns.
If you’ve ever worked with them I’d love to hear about your experience!