I remember the first time I saw Shibui at the trade show. So beautifully displayed – different fibers lined up in rows of coordinating colors against a black backdrop. I loved it all so much, but to be honest, I was a little intimidated, and I just moved on. I told Mary and Ginni about this yarn line I had seen, and they were intrigued, and when we were all at the show together, I decided to make an appointment in the Shibui booth – just to talk to the owner and the designer. Well, many thousands of dollars later, you could say we were sold. Shibui Knit is special, but it isn’t immediately accessible. By design. Not in the least snobby, or pretentious, in fact just the opposite. It’s quiet and understated. That’s what shibui means.
Shibui is a Japanese adjective (noun form shibusa) that describes a Japanese aesthetic of organic minimalism and deliberate restraint. It is a controlled understatement that reveals itself slowly over time. One must carefully examine a shibusa to see and appreciate the details, the subtle touches that give it elegance and richness.
Shibui Knits fully embraces the shibui aesthetic in both their yarns and their designs. Their line features yarns with unusual fiber blends and interesting construction. There is a subtlety to the yarns that you don’t notice at first glance. You have to look closely and study the yarn a bit to appreciate what makes it so special. It’s more than just yarn. It’s a careful and thoughtful blending of fibers to create an exact look and feeling. Each yarn is specially crafted to evoke not just a look, but an emotion for the knitter. There is a haiku associated with each yarn furthering that emotional response. Maybe it sounds a little out there, but I promise you that there is something very special going on.
Similarly with Shibui Knits designs, there is a quiet elegance. Simple shaping and elegant details give their garments a timeless appeal. You don’t minds spending whatever on a Shibui Knits garment because the process of knitting it is so satisfying, and the finished garment is so lovely. I compare them to Eileen Fisher--clothing of exceptional quality and understated elegance with beautiful and unexpected details. Luxurious fabric that is always appropriate, and flattering in a way that whispers rather than shouts.
I could go on and on, but really, words don’t quite convey. Please join me Wednesday, May 6 for my Facebook Live and I’ll show you what I mean.
I look forward to a time when we are once again in the shop and around the table, but until then, join me on Facebook Live and all the social media, stay safe, and create something beautiful.