Saturday, October 16, 2010

Habu Textiles

Habu Textiles

I had the unexpected pleasure in August of dropping in on a Habu Textiles Trunk Show at Websters in Ashland, Oregon.

On my way back home from meeting Debbie Bliss in Portland, I stopped in at Websters.  Websters is always a must stop for me anytime we are travelling Interstate 5 between California and Oregon.  I generally stop  in for a Louisa Harding fix but this time it was all about Habu!

Habu Trunk Show

It was definitely a Habu weekend at Websters.   

Too bad I missed the party the night before my visit.  There was a sushi party and book signing for
 Ori Ami Knits. 

Takako Ueki

The best part of the Habu Trunk Show was meeting Habu Textiles owner, Takako Ueki.  I had the pleasure of chatting with her and her friend Darlene Hayes of Nature's Palette for quite a while.

Takako was born in Japan.  She originally opened her Habu Textiles Showroom in New York City in 2000 for showcasing her beautiful hand woven textiles.  Today she imports very unique yarns, like fine silk stainless steel yarns,  from Japan. 

Curious me, I asked Takako what Habu translated to.   She told me that it can be translated like this:  ""ha" means the number 8 for lucky and the word "bu" means fabric.

Lucky me for meeting her!

Knitting with Stainless Steel?

Kusha Kusha Scarf

As a knitter, I had heard about Habu yarns for quite some time and "that" scarf you knit with stainless steel!  It wasn't until I saw the Kusha Kusha scarf in person that I instantly became a Habu convert.  That's the beauty of going to Trunk Shows.  You get to see and touch the garments and yarns.

Since I am not a big garment knitter I decided to start with the popular Kusha Kusha scarf designed by Setsuko Torii.  I chose a tea leaf colored green merino to knit with the silk stainless in black.  I named my scarf Sencha because it looks just like the color of my favorite Japaneses green tea. 

I started my scarf and it's an easy project.  You combine and knit the two yarns together.  The yarns are very fine and slippery so it takes a while to get in the "zen" to knit this scarf.  I am on my way now and can't wait to finish the knitting so I can felt it. 

Once it is completed you gently felt in a sink of warm water and then it transforms into a beautiful work of Japanese art.  I can't wait!

Felted Shawl Kit -73

I was so enamored with Habu Textiles that I ordered  Kit -73 to knit a Habu Felted Shawl.  My kit finally arrived yesterday. 

Takako helped me select the colors for my shawl.  Of course, it is a blue merino combined with black silk stainless steel. This pattern  is the same process as Setsuko's Kusha Kusha scarf only on a larger scale. 

 My Habu Felted Shawl is going to be a I better get to knitting! 

PS:  I'm not the only fan of Habu Textiles, Martha Stewart is,too.  You can read more about the Habu Textiles Showroom on Martha