Book Review: Shibori Knits

October 2nd, 2008 | View Comments

Cover of Shibori Knits

Author: Gina Wilde
Publisher: Potter Craft
Rating: 4 Skeins
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I first read about shibori felting techniques a while ago, and my initial reaction was that the result looked…diseased. Like Starr’s infamous tumor dress from Project Runway metastasizing to knitting. Though sometimes tying bottlecaps and whatnot to your perfectly good knitting would produce a more benign condition, say hives. Or pox.

I hoped that Shibori Knits would show me a softer, prettier side of shibori. And it did. Thanks to Potter Craft for sending me a review copy.

The book opens with an introduction to shibori and then jumps into three chapters with different emphases. “Surrender to Shibori” contains beginning shibori projects, most only using one yarn and exploring different resist techniques. The projects in “Shibori Creativity” use felting and non-felting yarns with a variety of stitch techniques to produce fabrics with mixed textures. “Subtle Shibori” is anything but, featuring projects with bright colors and bold styling. The use of shibori, however, is quite subtle—you won’t find any tumors here.

The patterns in the book cover a range of difficulty from simple knit/purl to lace, intarsia, and fair isle. Almost half of the projects (9 of 21) are scarves, wraps, or shawls. The remaining projects include bags, baby items, hats, and other garments and accessories (including a dog capelet). All of the projects in the book use Alchemy Yarns.

It was surprisingly hard to pick just three to showcase, especially considering that I previously associated shibori with disease. However, I settled on one project from each chapter.

Pick of the Projects:

Wood Grain Scarf, from Shibori Knits Wood Grain Scarf (“Surrender to Shibori”; Level: Easy). Shibori can be sexy and romantic! This scarf uses Alchemy Yarns Haiku, a mohair/silk blend. The main body of the scarf is worked in a simple knit/purl stitch pattern. The lovely ripple effect is achieved by gathering the long edges of the scarf prior to felting. The end result is luscious and beautiful.

The Poet's Shawl, from Shibori Knits The Poet’s Shawl (“Shibori Creativity”; Level: Intermediate). In the introduction to the pattern, Gina Wilde describes the fear and surrender she experienced in working on this shawl for six weeks and then committing it to the washing machine. The finished shawl is soft and sheer. The effect is achieved by contrasting a feltable laceweight—Alchemy Yarns Haiku again—with a heavier non-felting boucle—Alchemy Yarns Pagoda.

Wild Side Skirt, from Shibori Knits Wild Side Skirt (“Subtle Shibori”; Level: Experienced). Lace mesh panels in a non-felting yarn (Alchemy Yarns Silken Straw) alternate with stockinette stripes in a felting yarn (Alchemy Yarns Sanctuary). The felting yarn shrinks in the wash, creating the drape-y scallop effect.

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CogKnition posted this on October 2nd, 2008 @ 12:35am in Book Reviews | Permalink to "Shibori Knits"

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