My introduction to Ito Kinu yarn, happened over 7 years while living in Germany. At the time I had a small atelier with my textile work in the ‘Artist Quarter’ of Magdeburg. My lovely friend Dagma owned a beautiful specialist yarn shop Maschinistin filled from tip to toe with a huge selection of artisan yarns from all over the world. During many tea session at Dagma’s atelier (which was always done in the most beautiful ceramic cups), my appreciation of yarns began as I started to learn the vast variety of yarns available which contained no lanolin. Unfortunately at this point I was new to world of crochet & was unable to use such beautifully precious yarn, but the delicacy & rawness of the Ito silk yarn always stayed with me.
Last year I made an order for a small collection of Ito Kinu Yarn (colours Cayenne, Angora & Denim) with Dagma, getting it shipped over to England, then brought over to Brazil in my parents suitcase (I did not want to chance this precious yarn getting lost in the post, it is silk!). For months I would gaze at the beautiful artistry skill used to create the ‘organic silk’ which is made from the leftovers of spun filament silk. Every batch of Ito yarn is handmade by small family run yarn mills in Japan, creating artisan yarn which is composed of part handcrafted & partly recycled materials a skill which is onlys passed down from generation to generation.
The yarn I had chosen where created from two differently coloured fibers, creating the most gorgeous, earthy, organic colour & texture. After a few months of trying to find a pattern which was worthy of this special yarn I decided to make a copy of a top I had made earlier in the year for a client. Normally I would use a much heavier yarn to make this top, but after making a swatch test sample with some of the silk yarn I fell in love with how the crochet pattern came to life. Using the Ito Kinu Silk yarn in Angora I created this ¾ sleeved Pineapple motif crochet top.
The colour is a rustic creamy oat with tiny flecks of light brown created from the effect of the two colours intertwined together. My top is light a feather, perfect as a light layer top for the hot summer months here in Santos, when you want to look a little more sophisticated (a change from shorts & a cami). The crochet pattern formed into an intricate & delicate fabric reminiscent of a dragon fly’s wing, yet don’t let that fool you this yarn is strong & will not break easily. I was amazed at how much yarn was on each dainty (425 meters), I managed to make my crochet top plus this little project bag from just 2 cones!
Now I felt more confident using this yarn I wanted to make something else with my remaining yarn. This time I wanted to use the richly coloured cayenne spiced yarn, so sample testing was made from a recent cardigan pattern I had designed for pod.
I loved the fact that the yarn was so fine that when you made repeat row after row of dc the fabric did not become square & still be retained the graceful drape of silk.
Here I am modelling my new silk summer cami! This yarn is made for tropical countries, I know it may seem a little see through but I love it, I feel cool and fresh. Plus I feel privileged knowing I am wearing a piece of artisan craft which has been pass down from generation to generation from the other side of the world. Then I have been able to use my own craft to create an item which I will love & wear for many summers fulfilling my Crochet Conscious concept.
Now I am down to my final 2 cones in blue denim, some pattern testing has been made but I’m still not quite sure what these ones will become, maybe a summer light shawl? Any ideas?
Want to to try some of Ito’s yarns for your next crochet project? Click on there website HERE to see their amazing collection of silk yarn plus many more artisan handmade yarns from paper, cotton to wool blends. If you have used Ito Kinu Yarn for crochet I would love to see you creations.