Shunrai by Tokuko Ochiai

Shunrai by Tokuko Ochiai

Today we are speaking with Tokuko of amirisu for the final installment of our Issue 25 designer interviews. Her design, Shunrai, is a cotton sweater perfect for everyday wear.

Our interview series has come to a close, but the KAL for issue 25 will continue through January 13! If you're working on an Issue 25 project, hang in there and finish up before Jan. 13 so you can post your creations to Instagram with the tag #amirisu25kal to be entered to win one of our great prizes. 

amirisu: What was your inspiration for this design?
Tokuko: Generally speaking, the window of time you can comfortably wear a cotton sweater is relatively short in Japan, but I decided to design a pullover that would be fun to wear during that short season. I love everyday sweaters, so I wanted to create something casual that goes well with jeans. I went with a fitted crewneck and decided to add a little design twist, too.

amirisu: What, if any, challenges did you encounter during the design process?  

Tokuko: Since I chose a thick cotton yarn for this design, I was careful to avoid any difficult techniques. That said, it was necessary to work the pullover flat for the back detail I had in mind. The difference in tension between the right side knit rows and the wrong side purl rows created a subtle striping effect in the sample, but I've decided to think of it as an additional accent to the design.

amirisu: If you were to knit this design in another color, what would it be?
Tokuko: I would have to say my favorite color, yellow! I would love to wear a lemon yellow version while enjoying springtime.

amirisu: Do you have a favorite museum or work of art? Please tell us a little about it.
Tokuko: I always try to visit art museums when I travel. Most recently, I went to MOMA in New York and saw a lot of contemporary art. It got me thinking that it really is up to the individual to decide what constitutes art. With this perspective, I find myself thinking of my own work as art these days, too.

Thank you, Tokuko!




amirisu: このデザインのインスピレーションはどこから得ましたか?
Tokuko: 日本ではコットンセーターを着られる時期がとても短いのですが、その短い時期を楽しめる1枚を作りたいと思ってデザインしました。いわゆるEveryday Sweaterが大好きなので、ジーンズに合わせやすい、首が詰まった、でもちょっとデザイン的に捻りがあるものを考えました。


amirisu: デザインの過程で、どんな苦労や工夫がありましたか?
Tokuko: なんせコットンの太い糸ですので、あまり難しいテクニックを入れないように気をつけました。とはいえ、デザイン上、往復編みをせざるを得ず、メリヤスの表編みと裏編みの糸の引き具合の違いからサンプルがシマシマに見えてしまいましたが、それもいい味だと思うことにしました。


amirisu: もう一枚編むとしたら何色で編みますか?
Tokuko: やっぱり大好きな黄色でしょうか!lemon色を着て春を過ごすなんていいですよね。


amirisu: 好きな美術館や芸術作品はありますか?簡単に紹介してください。
Tokuko: 旅先ではいつも美術館に行くようにしています。一番最近だとNYのMOMAでそれはもうたくさんの現代美術を見ました。結果思ったのが、何をもってアートとするのかは本人次第!そう考えると私の作品だってアートだなと思う今日この頃です。

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