Project Ideas

Let’s Love Shibui for Spring

Last week the new collection of Shibui patterns were released, as was their brand new yarn Vine.  The new Shibui collection is small, modern and refined.  Shibui has made it their business to give us extraordinary fibers and to put together patterns that let these beautiful yarns speak for themselves.  These patterns are no different.  The patterns are simple to execute and the texture of these yarns is what makes these pieces distinctive.  On top of that, Vine has inspired designers to create some really amazing designs, so we’ll take a look at some amazing stuff that has been created with Vine!

Shibui’s Reed has been on my mind lately, in part because one of our knitters just finished her version of Caitlin Hunter’s Tegna with this yarn.  Reed is 100% linen, but it’s smooth and easy to work with, especially for linen.  It starts out soft (also unique for linen) and it has great drape.  When I saw Simone, a new scarf and wrap pattern, I took note.  Simone uses Reed in wide blocks that bookend a wide stripe of Rain (Shibui’s worsted-weight cotton chainette yarn that has a ton of slink).  This piece is worked side to side, beginning and ending with Reed, and with a chunk of Rain in the middle.  I love the drape of this piece, it’s a gorgeous summer layering piece.

Simone Wrap
Shibui’s New Simone Wrap


Amos from Shibui Knits

Amos is a simple striped tee, except its stripes are totally unique because they’re made by alternating Reed with Vine.  Reed and Vine are two different yarn weights, so the result is sheer stripes of Reed next to the crisp texture of Vine. 

Holiday from Shibui Knits

Holiday is a long tank or tee – the pattern is written for both styles.  It’s knit up using Fern, Shibui’s matte brushed cotton which is incredibly soft.  This simple silhouette is timeless and easy to wear.  Interest can be added with a bit of color-blocking, or you can choose to make it in one color.  Either way, it’s a versatile piece that makes for easy knitting.

Mitchell from Shibui Knits

Mitchell is this spring’s poncho pattern and features Vine. Mitchell has a cool high-low hem and an angled cut-away shape that make the most of this unique yarn’s crispness.  I happen to be working on this project right now, and this gives me an opportunity to talk about Vine.  Vine is made of paper, cotton and silk.  It’s unlike anything I’ve ever worked with.  It’s more well-behaved than a typical linen, and there’s something delightful about working with its unique texture.  That said, I’m not able to knit at my typical speed with this stuff.  The fabric feels papery as you work with it, but after being washed and handled, it softens into an absolutely unique and lovely fabric.  I love the modern, architectural aspect of this poncho’s angles – they also happen to be feminine and flattering.  I’m trying to pick up the pace in my knitting on this one so I can share it with our community of knitters… it really lets you see that Vine is special stuff. 

Linea © Shellie Anderson

Designers are clearly picking up in the delights of Vine.  Shellie Anderson (former in-house Shibui designer, now independent designer) has just released a Linea, a pattern featuring Vine.  This is one of my favorite summer knits to come out in ages.  I am absolutely in love with the bold, uneven stripes of this boxy, summery pullover.  While I think this yarn absolutely makes the most of Vine and it’s unique texture, I see an endless range of yarn choices with which you could make this summery top.  My first thought goes to Rowan’s Cotton Cashmere, a new yarn at Wool & Grace.  Primarily cotton with a touch of cashmere, a little is just enough to make this cotton yarn an absolute delight to work with.  Also try knitting this up in Criative DK, Daisy or Cozette from Knit One Crochet Too, and Queensland’s Savanna to name a few.  And of course, there are endless possibilities with which we can couple Shibui yarns to make uniquely luxurious version of Linea.  We love this project so much that we are doing a KAL with it – so stay tuned (or email us) if you’re interested in participating!

Hayward Again
Hayward Again © Julie Hoover

One more Vine interpretation comes from Julie Hoover (who just so happens to one of my favorite knitting designers). Hoover held Vine with Shibui’s Silk Cloud to make an ethereal version of her Brooklyn Tweed classic, Hayward.  It is divine beyond belief, and takes two yarns one wouldn’t expect to see together and blends them harmoniously.  Hoover clearly appreciates the fact that Silk Cloud makes everything better, and it elevates Hayward, making it a little unexpected. 

Shibui continues to be one of our favorite yarn lines at Wool & Grace, and with good reason.  Luxurious fibers combine with classic, sophisticated shapes season after season.  New combinations of yarns are suggested.  Classics become brand new all over again, and new shapes continue to dazzle us. 

Stop by to see Vine and the full range of Shibui yarns available at Wool & Grace.  We hope to inspire you as much we are!

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