1/11/14: Virtual Shibui Trunk Show

Happy 2014! We’re down to the last two days of our Winter Clearance Sale – yes, we will be open tomorrow (Sunday!) from 11-4, just so more great yarns can find loving new homes at great prices, 30-60% off. And if this is the first you are hearing about it, please zip right over to our website and sign up pronto for our mailing list.

Shibui-Pebble-Peak-4__1__mediumLast year (just a couple of weeks ago, actually) we hosted a trunk show from one of our favorite yarn companies, Shibui. When the box containing the show samples was delivered, we discovered a few extra shipped to us by mistake that were meant for another LYS’s trunk show. Did I photograph them before packing them back up? You betcha. Even if you saw the show, read on – a few surprises lie ahead!

The samples were all part of Shibui’s Mix Collection. As you can guess from the name, these patterns call for a mix of different yarns held together, creating unique textures and colors. Featured yarns were Cima, Pebble, and Silk Cloud.

Mix No 20* is a cowl that gets its kitten softness from a strand of mohair/silk Silk Cloud and a strand of wool/alpaca Cima held together. It gets its stripes from picked up stitches, in the manner of log cabin knitting. Easy peasy.

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No. 19* by Lidia Tsymbal is worked in Silk Cloud held double. I love the detail of the neat folded hems at the neckline and sleeves. (I might make this one in a solid color…)

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Double knitting takes on a graphic sophistication in No. 23*, also by Lidia Tsymbal. Two strands of Cima make it soft, supple, and light even though it’s double-sided.

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Pebble is Shibui’s newest fall/winter yarn, a fine blend of cashmere, merino, and silk. True, the Cliff Hat, a free download, and the Cliff Sweater* from Shellie Anderson may only be for the most adventurous stranded knitters among us, but how gorgeous are they, both outside and inside?

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Trunk show samples are always size XS. Even Maude had to hold her breath…

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…but it was worth it. Whoever knit this sample is one amazing knitter.

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Staccato is Shibui’s amazing merino wool/silk fingering weight yarn. Another Tsymbal design, No. 21* is knit side to side with Staccato held double (would that make it staccatissimo?). The clever construction ensures stability in the fabric, comfortable drape without the droop. The hem is slightly tilted toward the back, resulting in a modern silhouette and a bit more coverage where many of us will appreciate it.

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Susan Lawrence’s Peak Scarf* (and its partner, the Peak Hat* pictured above on the model) are worked in Pebble. Shibui calls it “a study in asymmetry.” Here it is in the cool color Sidewalk…

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…and hot Brass. Twisted stitches create the peaks and valleys of the ribbing in this unusual – but versatile – quadrilaterally shaped scarf.

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It was too bad that the Ridge* sweater was one that had to be sent off to another LYS. Another design from Lidia Tsymbal with two strands of Pebble held together, its simple shape belies its couture detailing. Check out the projects on Ravelry to see some nice modifications as well as some very expert knitting.

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The very talented woman who brings news of Shibui’s latest creations to our doorstep is our sales representative, Antonia Shankland. She is a designer herself (Mix No. 20, above, is Antonia’s), and the next five are all hers. First, her Multi Grain*, a spin on the popular Gradient cowl, takes Pebble, Cima, and Silk Cloud in the same colorway and sends them off on an ombre journey from one end of this luxurious scarf to the other.

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A super scrunchy cowl that can also be a scarf? Why not – when the fabric is next-to-skin soft and weightless Pebble. This pattern is simply called Pebble Scarf/Cowl*.

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Antonia loaned us her original sample of Kinetic for the trunk show, resulting in our needing to reorder Cima big time. The stitch pattern is a simple mistake rib. Two colors get mixed up in the middle, resulting in the third stripe of color. Lace weight Cima’s merino/alpaca blend is unlike any merino or alpaca you’ve ever met. Kinetic has the warmth you’d expect from those two fibers with absolutely none of the weight.

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Surprise – we’re bringing in Shibui’s beloved Linen for Spring 2014! Antonia’s scarf known as L.1 is just one way to fall in love with this remarkably soft and airy yarn. Linen can be soft, you say? Yes, when you let Shibui spin it. If you usually put your needles and hooks away for the summer, this yarn will change your mind.

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This last design is a work in progress. (Looked done and perfect to me.) Antonia was kind enough to let me photograph it with the promise that we would see it again once it had formally joined the Shibui pattern collection in the fall. Her eye for pure colors and strong, simple lines has produced another triumph, this time in silk worsted weight Heichi, the first Shibui yarn Jill ever brought in.

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And speaking of the 2014 fall collection, I pulled out my spy camera and snapped off these sneak peaks of line sheets with Antonia’s own notes on yarns the Shibui Mix Collection designers have chosen for some of the fall patterns. Good thing we’ve got so many wonderful stitching projects to enjoy between now and then to make the time fly!

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* Patterns marked with an asterisk are available for sale at Gosh Yarn It!

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