Now when I think back to 2010 it all feels months and many knits away, but it was at that time when the seeds for this book sprouted. Having worked with Shibui Knits folks before I knew the experience will be great from beginning to finished result. And after seeing wonderful new (at that time) yarn Heichi, working with which was the new adventure I wanted to embark on. Here IT IS all shiny and new – Shibui Silk!
Shibui Silk booklet published January 1 this year is a work of more than just one wonderful yarn, I was lucky enough to work with 3 (!!!) silk-containing ShibuiKnits yarns. What can top that? Silk here, there and sometimes double dose of silk in a single project. Contrast between yarns’ individualities and textures is great, but main idea behind ShibuiKnits concept is to juxtapose different materials that would create “beauty with a touch of bitterness”. A true Japanese feel and approach. It’s by keeping this philosophy in mind I tried to create through combining and transforming Staccato, Heichi and Silk Cloud into knitwear. And not to forget amazing creative crew at ShibuiKnits Darcy, Kristin, Jenny and eagle-eyed Alexandra who turned this booklet into what you see today!
Last year’s summer was a very hot one in Japan and for us, knitwear designers, it’s the busiest production time to get all new and exciting things ready for cooler season. One would think that silk on it’s own is more of a gentle and summer-like fiber, but don’t be mistaken, with its wonderful properties of softness, drape and flowing fabric silk keeps plenty warm. In several garments and accessories I have paired the yarn together with Silk Cloud to give them more delight to increase its wearability during freezing months, besides give magnificent squishy comfort that reminds you of wooly winter knits.
Arnett is more than just a long coat, it’s one of my favorite transformable garments that I have created. Tricks of this coat are numerous: it’s convertible, reversible and transformable!
The construction of Arnett is practically seamless – just one on the neckline and several faux seams along the sides and raglan lines to express structure. Both fronts are actually doubled width and thanks for nature of the fabric and its positioning, these “extra” fronts turn into various shapes for collar or transform into modular and functional pockets. Turn it inside out, overlap the fronts and belt it and no winter chill would get to you since it’s made in Heichi and Silk Cloud. If I were to call it “coat-I-live-in” I would, but Arnett sounds prettier.
Innovatively constructed tee with a surprise in the back. Worked horizontally it’s full of techniques to learn, but still quick to make in tweedy looking Heichi. One may find it a challenge, but follow instructions as you knit step by step and you will find that enlightening moment when you learn something new! (But tutorial is to coming though). Worn on its own but easily layered it can even be worn backwards. Opening in the back actually helps the silhouette to flare out although there is no shaping on the sides.
Now that is another convertible piece. Jacket with long fronts actually has button front closure and hidden drawstring goes all the way around top neckline. Toss one front over your shoulder for cosier look, button it for a dramatic looped front or pull the drawstring to create gentle pleats all around the jacket. Almost mindless but lustrous and amazingly drapey knit is created using Staccato.
Fun vest or a tee worked in Heichi with uneven hem and a Silk Cloud longer hem in the front. It features an usual continuous shoulder construction and square neckline. I have chosen to make expressed faux seams even though majority of it is worked in the round. Rustic look of Heichi silk and lush of Silk cloud are a perfect example of texture juxtaposition.
Believe it or not, but this hat is completely reversible with 2 differently looking textures on each side. Stitch pattern used is very stretchy that can accommodate large hair or give more slouch as it’s worked in silky Staccato which provides visible shine and drape. Worked in the round it requires minimum of finishing.
Well-thought out use of pleating stitch creates texture and dimension in this scarf. Knit in Staccato for great drape but pleats are providing more structure and creating ruffling effect within the fabric itself. Make it wider for more of a shawl effect or longer if you desire more ruffles adorning your neck and shoulders.
This shawl will be easily favorite during winter months as combination of yarns used create tactile perfection. Staccato has great stitch definition and radiates through the nimbus of Silk Cloud and are worked in gradated welts pattern to transform it into a scrumptious shawl.
Fingerless gloves are never enough in my household whether on a bike ride or to pull over your leather gloves for extra warmth during blistering weather outside and many other occasions. Worked in same yarn combination as Marlow with textured welts pattern it can make a quick gift or treat of luxury for yourself. It will feel like putting on balm by cuddling your hands up in these luscious mitts.
To say thank you to my readers and fearless knitters I am giving away 3 Shibui Silk Booklets and 1 silky skein each of ShibuiKnits Staccato in color Chrome (seen in Prue and Marlow).
Please leave a comment below (1 comment per person please) about which design you find as your favorite from Shibui Silk booklet with your contact information (email or Ravelry ID) by March 12th, 2012 midnight PST. Thank you everyone!!! Entries for giveaway drawing have been received and are no longer accepted. 3 winners of Shibui Silk Booklet and a skein of Shibui Staccato will be announced March 15, 2012.
Three lucky winners will be randomly chosen from the commenters below.
Good luck to everyone and Happy Knitting!!!