Saturday, March 31, 2007


OK, I admit it. While writing and thinking about cutting back, buying less, making do (all of which I DO believe in), I've nonetheless succumbed to the siren call of Japanese craft publications and bought two. My justification was that I will use them to use up more of my supplies, and that I'm getting more in touch with what's out there these days. So there you go.

I'd been leaving comments and sending emails to a couple of the people whose blogs are all giddy with these Japanese publications, hoping to get a sense of how easy (or not) the directions were to follow. No one responded to me (and I suspect those bloggers got that question so often that they were tired of answering it). I'd like to give you the skinny on my experience, in case you, too, were wondering if you need to jump on the bandwagon.

First, the buying experience. The Cotton Time magazine, which is the March 2007 issue, came from Superbuzzy. Total cost with shipping was $24. Turn around was amazing -- I had it two days after ordering (and that was with standard shipping). I would buy from them again. The magazine is 98 pages long and has a mini-book within it with 19 pages. At the center of the magazine is a pull-out pattern sheet with full-sized patterns. The magazine is substantial -- I wish it didn't cost $24, but I don't feel I've been had for spending that much on it. One important lesson I learned: I'd seen another blogger touting this issue -- she posted lots of adorable pictures from the magazine of projects that really caught my eye. I am sure it wasn't intentional, but she showed a number of projects that are photographed in the magazine but which do NOT have patterns or instructions -- they are ads for kits you can order, or they are simply part of companies ads, or they are previews for what's coming in the next edition. If you see something you love from a Japanese magazine on someone's blog, do try asking them to tell you specifically if that pattern is in the magazine. It's not always easy to tell -- I spent quite a while looking at the magazine and the patterns before I got a handle on this. I don't regret my purchase, but I wish I had known that what I saw was not exactly what I got. Certainly, though, having the photograph sparks the ideas, even without patterns....

The book, ISBN 4-8347-6348-x, came from Sasuga Books. They are right here in Massachusetts, as it turns out. Service was quick -- my only complaint is that the shipping and "handling" charge for a $6.95 book was $5. I almost didn't order it because of this, but checking the prices for the same book on eBay made me realize I'd be spending at least $12 anyway for the book with postage on top of that, so I went ahead. I would say that the instructions in the book, even more than in the magazine, are designed to be understood pictorially -- there are steps in the magazine patterns that make me really wish I could read Japanese, but the book seems very straightforward. All patterns are included full-size. The book, interestingly enough, opens and reads left-to-right, as a western publication would, while the magazine opens and reads right-to-left.

If you have any questions for me, I'd be delighted to answer. And just because I'm so excited about it, I'll report that the baby quilt will be finished today!


Felicia said...

Wow, thanks for sharing the nitty gritty. :)

KBG said...

Yeah, I did this same thing a while back - posted my experiences with ordering, and I do recommend Yes!Asia if you decide to get some more. It's impossible to tell what's inside (though Kitty Craft has lots of inside pics), but I was pleasantly surprised. Links are on my blog (in Feb. I think) if you ever decide to have another go at it.