Yarn Review: Shibui Knits Reed

When Shibui Knits announced that they were re-working their popular Linen base, many long-time fans of the chainette yarn crossed their fingers that the new yarn would be as wonderful as the original. Linen was lightweight but strong, with the perfect amount of sheen and a lovely hand - just enough drape without drooping, sagging, or the sad ‘worn’ look that sometimes happens to the best linen garments. Now, Reed is available, and as long-time Shibui Knits fans, we had to check it out for you. 

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Shibui Knit’s official position is that Reed is just like the discontinued Linen, but enhanced by a tighter chainette construction, giving it added strength. I worked up Reed in a simple slipped stitch pattern: knit two, slip two with yarn in front, alternating where the yarn in front was every other row. This is one of my favorite basic patterns for bast fibers (plant fibers) because it’s not fiddly and it gives the finished fabric a woven or even hand-stitched look. In Reed, it was shiny and a bit crisp before washing.

After a hot water bath, the fibers relaxed a bit and became the perfect blend of linen structure and soft drape. I would definitely agree with Shibui Knits that this yarn is almost identical to the original, if not just a tiny bit better. In Linen, I found that the ends unraveled if pulled, while with Reed, the stronger, tighter chainette makes this less of a concern. Another, more subjective observation is that the colors are slightly brighter and more vibrant on Reed, but I’m not sure if this is is due to an updated palette from Shibui Knits, a new mill, or maybe just my own excitement about the yarn!

We’ll be exploring Reed and sharing some of it with you this week with a giveaway from Shibui Knits, so make sure that you take the time to sign up for our newsletter, so that you have a chance to win! We are giving away a LOT of prizes to our newsletter subscribers, and subscribers will get exclusive information first as we get closer to the release of Issue #2, so you’ll want to be on that list!

Andrea Hungerford