What Happens When You Combine Knitting with Shibori

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I just love when I hear about new ways of crafting. Like for me, it really floats my boat when I find out about something that is completely foreign to me. It's not even that I am going to do it, but I love knowing about all the creative people out there doing awesome things! The fact that we have great fibers that help people with their creative, mind-bending ideas, is even better!

Shibori

Shibori

So first, what's shibori? Is it just tie dye? No, shibori "can be" a dyeing process and is a very vast technique with many ways to do it and infinite patterns. Shibori is far more intricate and detailed than that old tie dye t-shirt of yours! Here's more details of this Japanese tradition for resist dyeing for those who are curious!

That being said, Shibori is a technique dating back to 8th century Japan and has many, many interpretations. But more broadly than dyeing, shibori is the art of reshaping fabric to add texture and depth –- think: ruffles, bobbles, and spirals. So knowing how the Darn Good Yarn team loves to stretch our creative lines, we are google-eyed over this definition of shibori!

Bamboo knitting needles - darn good yarn

 Knitting

So, knitting is far more common a tradition for many of us though Shibori has been around for a very long time. Here is the knitting definition from dictionary.com. Easy right? Well, knitting can also be defined as"to form or create from diverse sources or elements" and this is that a-ha moment! Knitting can be a pairing of things that might not be common together!

Mistakes Happen

I think some of the greatest inventions can be just a matter of screwing up. And sometimes, it is a matter of having a person who is willing to take that risk and experiment! Perhaps that is how shibori and knitting got entangled?

Wool - Darn Good Yarn

I mean, have you ever pulled something out of the dryer that should never have made it into the laundry? I once had a lovely wool jacket and my dear husband decided to do laundry and threw that jacket in to the wash....and then, the dryer. Hmm....he learned how to felt!

East Meets West and West Meets East

And that's where knitting and the Shibori idea of texture, patterns, spirals, etc. meld. Literally, you are taking different unique fibers and adding wool that felts to create a whole new look! And remember not all wool is created equal. They all have varying levels for felting.

Knitting and Shibori - Darn Good Yarn

Gina Wilde had such an accident with her combination of unique fibers. And through that mistake she created the book, Shiboni Knits, with lovely patterns such as the hat above! Amazing to see the areas that felt and those that don't, giving this hat diversity in texture as well as color! 

Learning about Gina Wilde's fiber discovery is totally one of those a-ha moments for me. Will I try knitting and shibori? To be honest, I am not sure right now. I love the idea though and it has me thinking about Darn Good Yarns. If Gina came up with this unique combination by accident, can you imagine what we ALL can do with the unique options at DGY?

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  • Janis Minshull