Elegance with a touch of bitterness.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sock On This

It may seem arbitrary, looking in from the outside, but we do have a plan at work here.  In fact, the release of our upcoming booklets Shibui Luxury and Shibui Socks is so organized that we have spreadsheets with dates, locations, and all sorts of other serious information.

But that isn't half as interesting as a lot of other topics like, oh, pretty pictures and my own brand of introspective color theory.  I was browsing ravelry (looking for new Shibui projects to admire) and found quite a few that are worth fav'ing:
  • Murf's TINY Tea Leaves Cardi, knit with Shibui Sock in 'Mulberry'
  • Knittimo's Wisp, knit with Shibui Silk Cloud in 'Mulberry'
  • Nonsie's Girasole, knit with Shibui Sock in 'Wasabi'
  • Erron's Swallowtail Shawl, knit with Shibui Silk Cloud in 'Mulberry'
  • Annika72's Friedas Decke, knit with Shibui Sock in 'Orchid', 'Peony', and 'Wasabi'
Which tells me one of two things, either: a) 'Mulberry' and 'Wasabi' are the bestest colors ever as far as our loyal knitters on ravelry are concerned; or, b) I only noticed the projects knit in red-violet or green yarn.  Let's hope it's (a).

But even if you're not tickled pink by 'Mulberry' and 'Wasabi', you should try browsing the Projects pages (all 458 of them!) for Shibui yarns on ravelry.  It's amazing to see what people have been making with our yarns.  And quite inspiring, too.  I've found many new patterns to try that way.

Speaking of inspiring patterns on ravelry, did you know that Shibui Luxury and Shibui Socks are now in the ravelry database as sources?  Not all the patterns have been added (see first paragraph re: schedule), but expect to see a new pattern every couple of days or so.

You'd better believe I went and clicked that little heart button the moment Eustacia was up (shown above).   I just love this pattern.  It's so sensual looking.  And the way the fabric feels?  Oh... my.  I helped Kristin block the sample shown in the booklet and that was an decadent experience I won't forget soon.  Staccato and Silk Cloud really do make for a dynamic duo.

And not just for enveloping wraps, either.  See Isabella:

A pair of bedsocks worthy of the Medici.  Silk?  Check.  Merino?  Also check.  And add the softest kid mohair available to give the pair a subtle halo and super-fuzzy feel.  Now, Isabella isn't on ravelry... yet.  But I have it on good authority (thank you, again, schedule) that the pattern will be up soon.

We do, however, have two more patterns from Shibui Socks that are on ravelry.  The first, Willamette:

Were knit with Sock in 'Marine' and they feature a modified half-linen stitch pattern that does really cool things with hand-painted yarn.  The socks are mirrored because the designer is ever so slightly OCD.  (Ahem.)  Then we have Alameda:

Knit with Staccato in 'Green Apple'.  This pattern has three sizes (Child, Woman's Man's) and is shown in both adult sizes in the booklet.  You can see more pictures on ravelry.  The design features seed rib, making it perfect for almost anyone.  Men, women, children, you name it.  It's a great simple sock that won't bore you to tears while knitting it and that the recipient will actually wear when it's done.

As of 4:30pm PDT, six of the ten patterns from Shibui Socks are on ravelry.  But you can only get a sneak peek at what's coming next here...

Waterfront.  Just don't tell anyone I told you.  And be sure to act surprised when it pops up.

But now I must away.  Until next time, stay cool!
~ Sara M.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Eye candy

Marj is still drowning in orders, especially since the new Staccato solids came in, and can't come up for air yet. But that doesn't mean we aren't thinking of the blog. In all honesty, we often say "We should blog about that!" and then have to go do something else (like fill or ship orders) instead. You understand. Real yarn is much more important than virtual yarn.

We've had a lot going on behind the scenes here at Shibuiland. Two new booklets, Shibui SOCKS and Shibui LUXURY go to print next week, and we're already working on another booklet for our newest yarn, Heichi. I can't say much (it's all very hush-hush) but the goal of this book it to create a collection of beautiful and wearable garments for year-round use.

So, before I divulge any more, how about some visual loveliness? Jenny (our very G&T photographer/ graphic artist) took our Yarns On Stage sock and yarn for a spin yesterday:

It's kind of overwhelming the response we've had to this color.  People are going nuts for it.  Which makes me a little sad that it's a limited edition, one-time-only thing.  I know that I'll be at the front of the line on October 16th, to get a couple (or four or five) skeins of Dahlia when it hits the shelves.

The sock pattern shown, for those of you who are interested, is Tika.  By Sara Morris*, author of the upcoming Shibui SOCKS.  Personally, I just love this color.  It's so rich and vibrant.  And the way it flashes?  Fabulous.  It makes me think of a gypsy dancer... or something colorful and captivating.

Anyway.  If you like it want it gotta have it, you'd better contact Bruce at Yarns On Stage, because a little bird told us that our special color is outselling it's cohorts at a rather remarkable rate.

But back to the topic at hand - pretty pictures.  First, guess what I found on ravelry?  Kristin Spurkland, author of Shibui LUXURY, has begun adding the patterns from the book to the ravelry database.  Elinor, shown below in Pagoda, is a luscious scarf that was inspired by our beloved Cabled Rib Wrap:

Knit with Baby Alpaca DK and Silk Cloud held together, Elinor is, in a word, decadent.  And really quite elegant...

I know I'm contemplating making one for myself.  In the new Baby Alpaca DK and Silk Cloud color, Cranberry.  Can you imagine?  Yumm.

Lest I drool all over my keyboard, let's move on.  To Jane, in fact:

A pair of enchanting fingerless mitts.  These are knit with Silk Cloud and Staccato held together.  The finished pair is just unbelievable.  The high silk content gives the fabric this luminous glow that's almost otherworldly.  Eustacia, the out-and-out favorite from Shibui LUXURY, is also made with Silk Cloud and Staccato held together.  This is definitely a winning combination.  I hope more designers experiment with the two in the future.

Then, from Shibui SOCKS, we have a design inspired by Elizabethan stockings.  Belmont, a modern sock with a classic twist, features a clock down the outside leg:

The pair shown was knit with Staccato in Ivory.  Unfortunately, the designer is a bit of a deadbeat* and hasn't added any of the Shibui SOCKS patterns to the ravelry database... yet.  I have a feeling that she will soon.

And, after several requests, a stocking version of Belmont was also written for the book.  But you'll have to wait for a peek at that photo - I seem to have lost mislaid it.  Check back next week, we'll definitely have it by then.

But, before you go, have a gander at Hawthorne:

A classic sock with a sleek cable and slip stitch pattern (also from Shibui SOCKS).  I quite like this design and think I shall have to make a pair for myself.  The sample pair, shown in Mulberry, really caught my fancy.

But now I must away, because yarn is "slowly killing" a coworker.  That'll be an interesting rescue.  Until next week, enjoy the pretty!

~Sara M.

*It's so weird to write about oneself in the third person!

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