Umibata by Tokuko Ochiai

Umibata by Tokuko Ochiai

Today we're sharing our interview with Tokuko about her design for Issue 24, Umibata ("Seaside").

When you picture the ocean, what kind of scenery comes to mind? The subtle narrowing stripes of Tokuko's vest design were inspired by childhood memories of the ocean around her hometown. We hope it will rekindle some of your own seaside memories!

amirisu: What challenges did you encounter during the design process?Tokuko: With the theme of “Heritage” I knew I wanted to make something inspired by Nagasaki, my where I was born, and I chose the sea as my concept. But I knit a lot of swatches and hesitated to finalize the design for quite a while until I finally arrived at this design and shape. The soft lines worked in reverse stockinette and the narrowing stripes represent the ocean beyond the ria coast.

amirisu: If you were to knit this design in another color, what would it be?Tokuko: We are unfortunately out of stock right now, but I would really like to knit this in a chic combination of gray and black.

amirisu: Tell us a little bit about a favorite place of yours in the town or area you grew up in or where you live now.
Tokuko: I only lived in Nagasaki until high school so I don’t have that much accumulated knowledge, but I think the Sotome area makes for a a really nice drive. The coastal scenery is beautiful and you can see some historic Christian sites, too.

amirisu: What is one handicraft or traditional art or skill (other than knitting) from your country or region that you like or have an interest in?
Tokuko: Nagasaki is famous for the pottery made in Hasami and in neighboring Saga Prefecture there is Arita ware, too. I haven’t lived in that area for some time, but even now I love picking out dishes. I still use a few types of Arita ware pieces that I’ve had ever since I moved away from home for university. I think it’s because it’s porcelain that it holds up so well and I've never gotten tired of using it.

Thank you, Tokuko!



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: Heritageということで生まれ故郷の長崎で何かないかと考え、お題を海としましたが、この模様と形に辿り着くまでにスワッチをたくさん編み、かなり逡巡しました。裏編みで編むぼんやりとした線と、ストライプの幅が狭まっていく模様で、リアス式海岸の海を表しています。

amirisu: もう一枚編むとしたら何色で編みますか?
Tokuko: 今、amirisuには在庫がなくて申し訳ないのですが、黒とグレーのようなシックな色合いで編みたいと思います。

amirisu: あなたの住む町や生まれ育った町の好きな場所はどこですか?簡単に紹介してください。
Tokuko: 実は長崎には高校生までしかいませんでしたので、自分の中にそこまでの蓄積はないのですが、外海エリアは景色もよく、キリシタンの歴史なども見ることができて、いいドライブコースだと思います。

amirisu: あなたの国や地域に伝わる手工芸や技術について、好きなものを一つ選んで教えてください。
Tokuko: 長崎は波佐見町の焼き物が有名です。隣の佐賀県には有田焼がありますし、今でも器選びは大好きです。私はなんと大学生で家を出る時に実家から持ってきた有田焼のお皿3種類ほどまだ使っています。磁器ですので持ちがよく、飽きがこないデザインなんだと思います。


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