We have another Shibui Trunk Show at Wool & Grace – this one features all of the designs from the F/W 2017 collection – my favorite of all the collections Shibui has brought us. I’ve mentioned Tuva, a piece from this collection, in the blog a few times already in the past month or two in reference to “You can make this” types of conversations we have here. All in all, Shibui always brings us pieces that are simple and chic – things that we want to and that are easy to wear. Their designs are made in the most incredible, soft and luxurious yarns – so you’ll feel the best sort of indulgence when you wear them. Plus, they are generally not difficult to make, with straightforward construction and techniques that can be easily tackled.
If we want to talk tricky, I feel like Icon is as tricky as this collection gets. This dramatic scarf is made up of blocks of trapezoids stacked on top of each other, and each one is shaped with short rows. Made up with a single strand of Birch, it is incredibly soft (I LOVE this yarn), and it’s tricky only because you shape each block with short rows. Guess what? Short rows are not tricky – especially German short rows, which are used in this pattern. By the end of this project, you’ll be a short row master!
Upon its arrival I needed to give my self a long, quiet and contemplative moment with this collection – because I’m an overly enthusiastic fiber and fashion lover. I’ve thought these patterns were easy to wear since they were published last year – whether through layering or modifying sweaters to make them work for various body types. My big take away after being able to really see the sweaters up close is how incredibly soft and luxurious they are. Shibui fibers really are special, and they actually do rival (or surpass) the luxury of some of the best things we see out there in the department stores and boutiques. After my first brush with all of these pieces I added at least three of them to my knitting queue.
Varna is that cropped sweater that most people look at and say “I would make that for my daughter.” Yes, it’s cropped and I realize that looks limiting. However once you come over and give its sleeve a squeeze, you’ll want one for yourself. Made up using Maai and Pebble, the fabric is simultaneously dense, light and squishy/soft. High armholes complement a slightly boxy shape (not too boxy, though) and it’s got that high neckline that is all the rage this year. I’d really like to make this one for myself this season. I’ll keep mine cropped because it’ll look great layered over silk blouses, high-waisted bottoms or a long shift dress. However, if you’re not into that whole cropped look, just lengthen it! The silhouette is trim enough that adding 4 inches is going to keep you covered and looking feminine and chic.
Sitka is the one piece that did NOT resonate with me when this pattern was released last year, but I’ve totally flip-flopped on this one. I absolutely love it. A ribbed, short-sleeve sweater with a mock-turtleneck, it’s got a similar silhouette to Varna. The ribbing adds natural shaping to the piece, keeping it close enough to the body despite that it’s worn with a bit of ease. It’s gorgeous layered or worn on its own, and since it’s not as cropped as Varna, you don’t need to layer it. Made of Drift, a yarn we don’t carry, I want to make mine in Pure Bliss Lhasa or Falkland Aran.
Zona is a beautiful layering piece – an open cardigan with fronts that swing or lay however you want them to – as opposed to doing whatever they want as is so often the case with so many cardigans. There must be something about the drape and weight of this fabric – a combination of Birch and Cima – that anchors this piece. Of course, being made of a combination fo these to yarns makes for another super soft piece.
Odessa is a piece you should know as we’ve had a sample that lives at the shop full time. This combination of Pebble and Birch quickly became one of my favorite hand-knit fabrics after I knit it last year. It has all of that Shibui softness and luxury we’ve come to expect, but Pebble lends a very subtle texture that doesn’t compromise softness at all. With an asymmetrical hem this popover is super flattering, highlighting all of our good parts.
Fresco is a simple garter stitch pullover knit up with a single strand of Birch. This single ply of extra-fine merino is crazy soft and the garter gives it a bit of squish. The proportions of this sweater make it a lot like a long-sleeve tee that you can throw on easily over jeans a skirt or trousers.
And of course there is Tuva, a beautiful v-neck sweater. Slightly longer length and a split hem makes it as easy to dress up as it is to wear it with a pair of leggings. I’ve mentioned Tuva in previous blogs, likening it to the sort of sweater you could spend a lot of money on at TSE and seeing it in person reaffirms that statement. It is so soft and refined. Tuva is made with a combination of Lunar (a silk & wool blend) and Cima (a fine blend of alpaca and merino) and the resulting fabric is totally dreamy. This is another of those pieces that was added to my queue!
Definitely stop by to see this beautiful collection for yourself. There’s something for everyone here, and you’ll find it lovely to think that it’s totally possible for you to create one of these pieces for yourself. The Shibui trunk show will be around until the end of September, so don’t hesitate – come in to see us and all of these beautiful pieces.