Monday, September 10, 2007

Turning Japanese*

This last weekend I had the pleasure of attending a workshop at Knitting Arts on knitting from japanese knitting patterns. The workshop was given by Takako Ukei, the owner of Habu Textiles. For the uninitiated (and that would include me before yesterday) japanese knitting patterns are completely different from English or American patterns - apparently japanese knitters are expected to work a lot harder!

In addition to the short, but extremely informative workshop there was also a 'Trunk Show' of a large number of garments knitted from Habu yarns. I had previously seen and admired the yarn - but never thought of knitting from it. I mean, the idea of stainless steel wool is intrigueing, but what would you knit?

Seeing the garments and being able to try them on has completely opened my eyes to the appeal of these offbeat yarns: natural, with subtle but often intense colours. Now, I want to knit everything. This jacket is Kit 36 knitted from linen, mohair and silk. The one I really liked is Kit 65 which looked wonderful on...but from the photo seems rather uninspiring.

I was very restrained. I had not budgeted to buy a kit, and they are not cheap. However, I am planning a trip to New York in 2008, and guess where the Habu store is? I just have to persuade my mother and sister that this would be an excellent place for us to visit.

* Turning Japanese was by the Vapours who were a 1-hit wonder band in 1979.


Lori said...

I love the uniqueness of the Habu stuff but yikes, the cost of making one of the garments is a bit too much for me. I have bought some of their unique yarns though, which I'm hoping to turn into belts or trim for sewn clothes...someday.

Anonymous said...

Think I may be drinking cocktails somewhile whilst waiting for you!Looks interesting though so I may be persuaded. x