I'm Yumiko Isa, a design intern working at MillaMia. At Christmas I went back home to Japan to spend the holiday with my family and whilst I was there I visited some of the most popular yarn and haberdashery shops in Kyoto and Tokyo. I thought it would be fun to show you an insight into what people in Japan are knitting, the current trends and inside some of these amazing yarn shops.
Avril in Kyoto and Tokyo is one of the most popular yarn shops. They produce and sell many decorative and fun yarns for felting, creative weaving and knitting of course. They sell more than 300 types of Avril's own brand yarns in more than 1,200 colours in each shop! These are some pictures of inside the shop but you can see what is inspiring them now, on their pinterest page.
Another favourite shop is Keito in Tokyo. They sell thousands of yarns imported from all over the world, particularly from Europe. Some of the brands that they stock are Lana Gatto and Vimar from Italy, Plassard from France, Be Sweet from South Africa and Jamiesons from the UK as well as many others.
Okadaya in Tokyo is the biggest haberdashery shop situated in two buildings, each of which have 6 levels. There is also a haberdashery corner at Isetan, a big department store in Tokyo.
|Haberdashery department in Isetan|
While I was in Japan I picked up some knitting magazines and books. Scandinavian (Arne and Carlos are featured in one magazine) and British design (Rowan and Jamiesons) seems to be very popular and the book features many of the European knitting designers. In general fairisle and cable designs are much more popular than lace - as you can see in the pictures there are lots of accessories knitted in fairisle style. Also, individual knitting books costing from £6-£10 are more common than knitting magazines in Japan.
There is huge variety in the types of yarn you can buy in these shops, but as is the same in the rest of the world, knitting follows trends in Japan. Currently, fancy yarns - loopy, decorative, embellished and boucle are extremely popular, as are mixed colour or self striping yarns. There is a trend towards naturals - off-white and greys too which is often seen in the cable designs. The pattern trends are for something easy to knit and with a relaxed style - accessories, bags, capes, snoods and scarves.
(posted by Yumiko)