August 31, 2007

My simple scarf.

Knitted using the Kusha Kusha scarf pattern but knitted in Kusaki zome 100% silk in colour 23 held with silk mohair colour 2.

Instead of felting it when finished I was very naughty and steam ironed it to even out the stitches! This has given it a lovely drape and it is so soft to wear. The sheen of the silk can be seen and the colour of the mohair gives it an almost variegated look.

There is another picture of it on my blog in the sun and it looks quite different there!

I am looking at the silk stainless yarn now as this was such a simple pleasure to knit.

Lin x

August 30, 2007

Habulishious Tunic

I have had a love/hate relationship with Habu. As I spoke about in this HabuTextile post, I hate spending money. Habu is not, what you would call, a yarn that you can get on sale at Michaels. However, Olga (my friend, enabler, and huge reason why my credit card bill gets bigger) got me HOOKED. Like, addicted, I would almost say I am nearing crack addict status, but I strive for a PG rated blog, so I will not go that far.

The Habu Tsumugi A-1 for this tunic was actually a left over Olga had. I had always wanted to make this Tunic in the Rebecca #31.

However, this yarn did not yield the same gauge, so I had to recalculate the entire pattern. I am fascinated with this yarn. It is completely organic, and the result is a nice and flowy and (dare this wannabefashionista say it) utterly comfortable! There is this boho look and feel that comes with this tunic, but I am going to see if I wear a white tailored shirt underneath, and some dress pants how this looks.

Project Details

Project name: Bramble Tunic from Rebecca #31
Yarn: 6 skeins (double stranded) of Habu Tsumugi A-1 2/1 Coloway 83- Cork
Needles: Addi Turbo's US 5
Modifications: Umm... I recalculated the entire pattern to fit my gauge. Time consuming, well worth it.

The only problem is...what Habu project will I do next... trust me... more of that to come.

August 29, 2007

arrived today

I´m happy my order from Habu Textiles arrived today, 20 days after my order.
You Pals already know the stuff, so just a short entry with some photos:

Kusha Kusha Kit with black silk stainless steel and coffee merino

Shippotail Kit with gray silk stainless steel and khaki and eggplant linen paper

2oz wool stainless steel in purple

and 2 skeins XS-45 Bamboo in green

I can´t decide what to start with...

August 26, 2007

habu trunk show

for all who live in the los angeles area. there will be a habu trunk show at 'wildfiber' ys in santa monica. Takako Ueki will bring her fibers, kits and finished projects.
i am very exited about this, since i never made it to the habu headquarters and usually the stores i go to have only just a small selection of habu yarn. the show is sept.6 & 7. you will find me there
most likely getting more yarn then i should, but also having a fantastic time.
i hope this is useful information for some of you,

Florence: A Design in Habu Cotton Gima

Greetings, everyone! Vanessa invited me to join this knitalong, because I recently completed a top in Habu Cotton Gima. It's called Florence, and this is what it looks like:

There are a bunch more pictures of it and a blog round-up entry here.

I had fun working with the Habu Cotton Gima for this project. It was tricky to figure out what to make with the yarn, for a number of reasons. First, it looks quite different when you knit it than it looks after it's been washed. (I should point out that the label says to hand wash and air dry the yarn, but it's cotton, so I decided to machine wash and dry. You'd probably get different results if you washed by hand, but I'm happy with how the yarn softens and evens out when it's machine washed and dried.) Here's a picture of a piece that's half blocked and half unblocked:

The other difficulty I encountered was that the fabric made by the yarn is very transformable. When I knit several inches to the 17" width and washed and dried the piece, I found that I could make the swatch be, say, 15" wide and 6" tall, or I could make it 20" wide and 4" tall, and so on. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to figure out what gauge the yarn *wanted* to be, so that the top would always be transforming as I wore it. As it turns out, the larger the size of the piece you knit, the less transformation effect you get from the yarn. This was a relief!

After flirting with a knit/purl leaf pattern (total disaster) and with basketweave stitch (looks good, but decided against it), I settled on a simple stockinette top with seed stitch edgings and a deep-V neckline with a gather at its base. It's sized for a 34" bust. It has a 31" waist, and it widens to 40" at the bottom, where it also has side vents. I originally planned to have short cap sleeves, but the Habu fabric was so floaty and insubstantial that I decided it would look better with longer, floatier sleeves.

I'm going to make the pattern available for free sometime next month -- I'm still working out the various sizes and so forth. I'm also planning to make another top in some green Cotton Gima for my sister-in-law using a different pattern of my own making. It may be a while before I get going on that, but I'll post about it when I do.

Oh, and I have 2.5 skeins of Cotton Gima leftover from this project that I don't think I'll ever use. If anyone has leftovers they'd like to swap, it would be fun to try out a different yarn. I think mine are worth about $13-14, so an equivalent swap (or somewhere in the neighborhood) would be great.

August 24, 2007

kitty: The love of habu and what is on the needles

White Item #: A-20 1/20 silk stainless steel
Green Item #: A-60 "shosenshi" paper

It is hard to believe this yarn started it all and has been setting in my stash box since March 17, 2005. This yarn marked the first step of my Habu Obsession. I even set up a water strength test back then because I couldn't believe how easy this yarn tore that it would hold up as a garment. I remember just holding the yarn and looking at wonder at the folds in the hanks.

I knew back then exactly what I wanted to make with it, but I guess I was too chicken to start until now. So after talking to Olga & MG a couple of weeks ago, I got the nerve to just do it. So we will see how the cover sweater of the"Knit" book turns out.

The other day I was in my LYS and some one asked me why I loved Habu yarns so much. The answer came so easy; it is the unusual texture, the natural colours, the lack of the feel of commercial yarns, and most of all it is the feeling that you are buying one of the last remainders of textile history. Cottage industries that are still hand making yarns that they have made for hundreds or years. These are yarns and fibers where the sheer skill set need to create them are slipping away from us due to steps that began with the Industrial Revolution and the desire for cheaper faster products.

A Habu though you can still find rare treasures you might have only read about. Hand tied twisted ramie made from the stalks of a ramie plant and hand tied together. A yarn made from fishnets sourced out of Indonesia that has been cut apart and hand tied back together. A traditional northern Japanese yarn from Nigata, Japan made of Fiddlehead fern cotton and silk. Or a handspun yarn from Indonesia made from a rare silk cocoon and it the colour of gold naturally. And if you are feeling like you would rather spin your own fibers there is the under hair of Guanaco that is the colour of nutmeg.

There is an element where history and tradition lives on, and Habu is bringing it to our doorsteps.

August 22, 2007

habu cashmere scarf

hi there,
it is not that long ago that i discovered this wonderful company and fell head over toe in love with it. my first encounter was in a wonderful yarn store in austin. i bought the #19 kit, a paper silk short sleeve jacket. i felt a little unsure about the yarn and just let it sit in my shelf. but than i saw the amazing jacket vanessa from colourknits made and now i am on it.
but i am talking much to much, here is a picture of the cashmere scarf

it is cashmere nep in color #1. it knitted up 2 skeins. i came up with the design, which is pretty simple. the stitch pattern is called 'vertical drop-stitch'. the cashmere was lovely to work with and it got even softer after washing.

Hyperbolic Plane with Stainless Silk and Stainless Wool

Here is a work in progress, and it will continue to progress for I-don't-know how long. Until it is big enough. It is crocheted from Stainless Silk and Stainless Wool, holding three strands together at a time, and changing one strand at a time to get a subtle gradation of color. I think it is a desk sculpture. At least it is for now. It may become large enough to be a wallhanging -only time will tell!

Hi from Frankfurt, Germany

I´ve already followed your posts in this interesting blog for two or three weeks.
All started with iSeL´s Kusha Kusha scarf - I saw it in Ravelry, fell in love with it and knew I must knit it.
I took a tour at Habu´s homepage and was inspired by all the great stuff. I contacted iSeL to get informations where to order but can´t wait and at the same time I wrote an email to Habu to place an order. So to give a good return I ordered the Kusha Kusha scarf kit, the Shippotail kit, additional stainless steel merino yarn, a necklace and 2oz laceweight bamboo yarn :o
Two days later I already received the receipt, it´s just 12$ shipping fee for 18oz to germany, and the patterns for the 3 kits. Now I´m waiting for my yarn... keep your fingers crossed that it will not get lost on the way from NYC to Frankfurt.

And I must also confess, today I also ordered the fabulous book from Setsuko Torii at

I´m beyond remedy :o, but I think here I´m right because it seems that I´m not alone ;-)

I´ll keep you updated :-)


August 20, 2007

Oh, Habu...

I've just done a small swatch in various combinations of the Silk Mohair Kusa and the Kakishibu Tsugumi Silk. Lovely...Full post at TussahSilk

Some finished and some new...

My Gima silk top is finally done! I used a very simple stitch pattern for it: a combination of purl/knit to keep the fabric flat. The hem was decorated by a crochet border (reminiscent to a Brugge's lace). The top is very light; I will definitely return to Gima silk again.

I was so inspired by Linen and Silk jacket, that I had to make one. I ordered this wonderful Linen-Silk combo a couple of days ago, and about to embark on my own adventure: I will design the pattern myself, possibly using the same stitch pattern as for the top.

Kushu Kushu Jacket Update

I posted about making Kit 75 the Kushu Kushu Jacket in mid July before leaving town for 5 weeks. Hoped to have all the pieces knit by now but not as much knitting happened as I had hoped.

Both sleeves are finished and felted though and the back is 2/3rds knit. On the left is a photo of the sleeve before felting. And on the right are the sleeves after felting and stretching them out. I've described the felting process at

Let me just say a bit about the stretching out process here. It's like blocking but using your fingers instead of pins and an iron. The knit pieces look quite misshapen when you pull them out of the wash but I put them on our table and just gently began tugging on the sleeve to get the shape I was after. It takes time but you just keep working at it. It's done when the sleeves are still wet and you just ease them into the shape you want. I'd tug a bit and then hold the sleeve up to my arm to see how it was fitting and then tug some more. The edges curl under quite a bit and you have to grab them and slowly stretch. The shapes are still wonky but I think it will be fine when sewn together and put on. If you have any questions about the process you can e-mail me at hannabirke AT gmail DOT com.
I highly recommend this kit.

August 19, 2007

:: needle sizes ::

On the general information, I have recieved a lovely email reply from Takako, I have sent the links to flickr group album and KAL:

" What a beautiful site you have created! The photos are great. Thank you so much for letting me know, and for your creativity. I look forward to seeing more!"

It's applied to all of you contributors, knitters, Habu enthusiasts! Thank you again for participating in out KAL and sharing that beauty created by your hands. Keep up the creative juices flowing!

For those of you who have or plan to get the japanese books, I have decided to post a Japanese Needle Sizes Comparison Chart. They do differ from the USA sizes that's why I give them in metric, as there are NO exactly corresponding sizes in the USA measuring system:
Japanese Needle Sizes.
0 = 2.1mm
1 = 2.4mm
2 =2.7mm
3 = 3.0mm
4 = 3.3mm
5 =3.6mm
6 = 3.9mm
7 = 4.2mm
8 = 4.5mm =US 7
9 = 4.8mm
10 = 5.1mm
11 = 5.4mm
12 = 5.7mm
13 = 6.0mm = US 10
14 = 6.3mm
15 = 6.6mm

There are couple resources where one can get the books: - there is an option where you can check it out in english and also love using google language tool by simply inserting the link and translating the whole page - site is in english, their search engine is tricky, best way is to search by ISBN number, fast shipping and many times books are qualified to free worldwide shipping.
Kinokuniya stores - if you do not have one in your area it's worth giving them a call for a book you are searching for and give them the ISBN #, they would mail it for you. In NYC there is a location in Rockafeller Center, but I saw a new store is opening this fall on 6th Ave right across from Bryant Park.
Needle Arts Book Shop - Place to buy various japanese craft books online.
Superbuzzy - An online japanese craft store located in the USA, currently having all their books on sale.
Chocolate swirl - etsy store that sells japanese craft books.

August 18, 2007

Linen and Silk (Part II)

Howdy guys! Thank you so much for all your emails about the purl bee post. Let me tell ya...I had hot flush all day after I saw all those emails in my inbox. You guys are really sweet. So, jacket is finally done and I love it!!

habu linen jacket

habu linen jacket

habu linen jacket

habu linen jacket

Read more over here.

August 17, 2007

:: Fabulous News from Habu ::

About couple hours ago I got off the phone with Habu, I got a chance to speak to Takako Ueki, who is running the showroom in NYC and you can often see her during Habu Trunk shows all over the country and at Stitches shows. I have good and bad news, start with the bad.
The subject of my inquiry today was the information about Avril Anniversary Book by Setsuko Torii that was supposed to be getting translated and published in English hopefully next year. The mystrerious disappearance of the announcement has started to worry me. Unfortunately, things has changed, the publishing of the book has been postponed till indefinite time. Takako explained the reason I believe the designer (Setsuko Torii) is being very busy at this moment and it all depends on her. Do not lose your hope, folks, we will still be looking forward for the whole book to come into availability soon, but better BEST NEWS that took me hyperventilating today and up to this moment I am in shocke/awe/extatic..

Habu Textiles is now offering ALL kits from that book available for purchase...
my jaw slammed on the desk when I heard.
I wasn't believing my ears so I had Isel call and confirm it too.
Takako explained that she hasn't placed them on their website yet, but for example
Number 7 kit in Avril Book: Paper (washi) and tsumugi silk coat is kit#100 , for 105$ and is available in 4 colors: grey, green, charcoal and brick red.
Washi Bisu and Tsumugi Coat

Number 16 in Avril Book: Tsumugi Gradation Skirt is Habu kit#102 and costs $95.
Tsumugi Gradation Skirt

About 2 weeks ago, I honestly with the help of Priscilla was trying to find out how much will it cost to get the kits directly from Avril from Japan. We learned that coat's kit price for example was 90$ from Avril, now available at price only 15$ extra from Habu Textiles, trust me shipping from Japan directly can be about 80$ alone, plus all lost in translation rutine.

A Habu Enthusiast among us is going to visit Habu next week briefly to learn more about the details and I also informed Takako about our community here, so hopefully she may stop by and share extra information and see how keen we have grown.

Off to bed, for so many weeks I keep going there with my inspiration book. Don't take long to guess what that might be.

Metal + Silk: Combined

It’s rigid; severe, yet soft to the touch
It’s deep, dark and black, yet sparkles in the sun
It’s primal and basic, yet aesthetically beautiful
It snags and curls and tangles, yet gently moulds into place
It appears so fragile and fine, yet is unbreakable; strong
It’s steel, a metal, yet is coated in silk
It acts as a trim, yet comprises the entire piece...

The photos above show the beginning of a wrap using the tsumugi silk that Janet sent me a while back. I’ve mixed it with a strand of silk stainless steel left over from my Kushu Kushu scarf - an amazing and precious combination. There is something beautiful and serene about the Habu silk range. The sample ball combined with the SSS produced the wrap’s edge and I’ll continue with only the tsumugi.

I’m just waiting for something special to arrive…

:: Black Dog Knits: The original entries for this post appeared here and here.

Another Trip to Habu

So, all of the beautiful things I've been seeing on this blog and the Flickr page all became too much for me, and I had to make Veronique accompany me to the store for some enabling. That's what friends are for, right? I fully intended to get just one thing, a Kusha Kusha kit, which I had called about in advance so it would be ready when I got there:Black Stainless Steel and Terracotta Merino. I can't wait to get started on it!!!
But as usual, there were way too many things there that caught my eye. There was this lovely stuff:Now, I have used Habu's cashmere (2/26, I buy the single strand and hold it doubled, knit on size 1's) in the past, and it's one of those that doesn't feel soft at all till you wash it. And then, oh then, it is luscious. The perfect thing for soft little mittens and gloves....I'm thinking about this combo (the yellow-green is leftover from the Anemoi Mittens) for some very special fingerless gloves....
And then there was this!Bamboo (20/18) in Slate (color 4). Seriously, who could resist? Not I!
I got 5 skeins of it, which will hopefully be enough for a slim little cardi, we'll see. I had to cast on right away:and I am loving every minute of it.
Cross-posted at Yarnmonster.

August 15, 2007

wool + linen

I'm putting my p.s. at the beginning of this post, so you won't miss it.

p.s. Oh, if you haven't seen it yet...exciting news! Today The Purl Bee blog has featured Vanessa! And, as if that weren't enough cause for joy, they are offering the Kusha Kusha scarf pattern free right here.

In charcoal. If there's anything that might make this winter hating squirrel long for a chill in the air, it's the idea of wearing something knit from this gorgeous yarn, which knits up dry, soft and weightless (I did swatch). It's Kit #70 from Habu, the lamb wool linen jacket.

I just found out the other day that Alison (who has unwittingly become my official charcoal enabler and muse) will be knitting the same jacket, in the same colorway, which just goes to show you that great minds do think alike.

Okay, then, I think I'm set for a couple months in the yarn department. (A couple months. That's pretty funny.)

(originally blogged here)

My First Habu

I had a good news/bad news moment today when the postman put a little grey card through my letterbox this morning. The good news: my Habu had arrived at long last. I have been lusting after some of their yarn ever since I read a review of their cashmere in Knitter's Review. The bad news: Customs & Excise and the post office between them were "taxing" me another 50% of the purchase value... Grrr. I didn't want to buy it from the US, as I knew I was likely to be clobbered by C&E. I had searched all over the Internet for UK retailers - there are perhaps two, and neither sold what I particularly wanted to buy for my first exposure to this unique company's yarn.

I checked Habu, and saw that they would be putting in an appearance in London in October. I told myself to wait, at least then I would be able to touch the stuff before I bought it. I began to exercise a level of restraint previously unheard of in my lifetime, and then one day I innocently wandered over to Coloursknits and read her post from 31-Jul-07. Oooh boy, oh boy, oh boy... Let's just say that from Vanessa's blog, somehow or other with no conscious thought on my part, and entirely on their own, my fingers typed out Naturesong Yarn. Click, click, click and 15 days later, I received this... Kakishibu Tsumugi Silk A-1B 2/17 (100% silk) in #52 Bengara.
And this... Silk Mohair Kusa A-32B 1/12 (60% mohair and 40% silk) in #26 Madder. I can't begin to tell you how beautiful these yarns are... The colours are so subtle, so natural, so restrained. I can't imagine that I will get anything other than the most elegant article made from this.

I am hoping for many new experiences with these yarns, not least of which is trying the Shibori felting technique.

Originally published at TussahSilk

August 13, 2007

My small contribution

Thank you for letting me join this KAL. Your projects and posts are extremely talented; it is a pleasure to find that I am not the only one appreciating Habu.
I fell in love with Habu yarns last year, and can't get enough of them since then.
I made two projects with Habu yarns so far: a crocheted vest and a light summer tank.
For the vest I used A-44 (kanpyo cotton) - a truly amazing yarn, crisp and light. Darker flowers were crocheted with regular (non Habu) cotton.
I used A-66 paper in brown casuri for the tank: it is the nicest tank a have - so airy and light!

Right now I am working on another Habu yarn project: summer top. I am using A-22 silk Gima in color "linen", and again can't get enough of the way this yarn handles! I will post the picture when it is done. Believe it or not, I am already thinking of my next Habu project: it is addictive.

August 12, 2007

Linen & Silk

I'm getting there...just a couple of more buttons to go!

linen & silk


coconut shell buttons

August 9, 2007


I finally gave in to the lure of Habu yarn and bought 2 balls of the kusaki zome 100% silk in colour 23 and 2 balls of the silk mohair in colour 2.

I am planning on making a simple scarf knitting the 2 together, possibly using beads as well although that may distract too much from the beauty of the yarn. I will have to try it and see.

I am not particulary creative and normally tend to knit from patterns so if anyone has any thoughts or other ideas let me know!

I love looking at all your beautiful projects here on the knitalong and Flickr.
Lin x

kitty: Kit 5 Fringe Ribbon Choker

item #: KIT-5 fringe ribbon choker
content: acetate & polyester
price: $18.00
time: Like the instructions said only about 15-20 minutes. (Though you do needto make sure that you reserved more yarn on the second half of the ruffle yarnthan the first side.)

In my great justification of my Habu purchases, yes I am weak and I would be the first one to admit it. I see a small Habu kit and I have to add it to my special Habu stash bin. The textures, colours, fibers, call my name and my creditcard suddenly appears. It is really kind of funny there are very few things in life that really motivate me to spend money on and few bring as much pleasure.One tiny hank that I really have no idea what to use it for is suddenly ok.

I picked the kit up from Kpixie a while ago during one of their Habu kit updates. It saddens me that they haven't updated their Habu collections in a while. It seemed like it sold well, the kits were always gone soon after they were posted. Though as we all know the ones currently listed have been there awhile. Hopefully for fall we all need our Habu fix.

I am glad I picked up the kit, because I seriously doubt I would have ever picked up either yarns. They were both really fun to work with though. I could definitely see wearing it under the collar of a dress shirt for those boring business meetings that I seem to be getting forced into a lot lately. Habu Love to the rescue of yet another long meeting.

:: Blueberry Dreams ::

Blueberry Yogurt Breakfast

What can be ever better on a day off than a cup of a fresh made coffee from a French Press, blueberry yogurt, some Knitting with Habu and an Setsuko Torii book to get inspired and look at endlessly!
My own copy, from Siow Chin in HK!

For the yarn for the kit I acquired while out trip in NYC I have to thank Vanessa, as I have made this Jacket already before but in A-60 Habu Linen Paper in red and some recycled Cashmere from a sweater I got at goodwill for 4$.

Habu Linen and Cashmere Jacket

And loved every minute of it: the progress, the drape, the wear, it behaves like nothing else I ever had knit before... and making a second one - I didn't even hesitate for a moment, the same, but with A-1 Tsumugi Silk this time as the pattern calls for it.

But My Dear Friend Siow Chin who made a great effort to get me this book and which I am so thankful for.. inside it I came across this coat.. Same principal, same designer, longer length.. bestill my heart, I decided I want this duster now and I will use this blueberry combo and hope there is enough for this coat. SO whatever you see on the top is going to a frogging pond as soon as I have a window apart from my deadlines to make this beauty live.

Washi Bisu and Tsumugi Coat, click to see superzoom

This coat is calling for Washi Bisu and Tsumugi silk yarns and with help of Nora who translated as Washi Bisu means "Thin Paper" in my understanding it is A-60 "shosenshi" linen paper and that amazing combo makes you see these fibers anew, takes me on adventurous trips every day that's why I can't stop loving it and probably will never get enough...

On info matters:
I must thank again all enthusiasts for posting and sharing your most intimate thoughts and impressions. Please keep them flowing! AND we are 30 members now! Yey!