Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Market Report

I just returned from The National Needlework Association (TNNA) trade show in Columbus Ohio. This blog post is about what trends I identified and what I bought.
Handmade sweaters are still going to classics with some interest.  By this I mean that you will be seeing designs that you can make now and wear forever, but will have some interesting detail to make them stand apart. There is also a lot of emphasis on accessories - and that is also where some real fun is to be had!  Fair Isle and intarsia mitts and fingerless gloves, cowls will be very present everywhere (yeah for that - think quick but special presents!), and the accessories also will allow you to play with luxury yarns without breaking the bank.  Crochet continues to grow as more and more people are interested in learning, and more life long crocheters are able to find patterns written for pretty garments and in pretty yarns. Rowan has been on top of this trend for a few years now.

So, that's what I saw, trend wise.  Wanna know what I bought?  Look very soon for a wonderful wool and peace silk blend yarn from Frabjous Fibers. Peace silk is made from cocoons that have already released their worm. These cocoons can't be reeled, so the fibers are shorter. This yarn is not smooth and shiney, but has other wonderful silk qualities such as loft and warmth.
We spent a lot of time at Deep South - a pattern distributor that carries most of my favorite designers. I picked up a few new pattern lines; Tot Toppers, Grace Akhrem  and others.
Then we went on to Rowan.  Had tea with Martin Storey and Nicki Epstein!  Rowan has several new yarns that I am super excited about.  Colorspun has a soft, slightly textured spin on it, and long color repeats that are very subtle and rich. Plus, of course, great patterns. Then there is a yarn I am calling Lima Bulky. That's not it's real name, it is really called Alpaca Chunky - but it has that same tube construction that I love so much about Lima. Another new Rowan Yarn is called Fine Rowan Tweed. It is similar to Scottish Tweed 4 ply from long ago. I cannot wait to make the little kitty hand warmers from Tiny Owl Knits.  And then finally, they showed me Kid Silk Stripe. This is a giant ball of Kid Silk Haze in a long color stripe, in colors by Kaffe Fasset. I have been fantasizing projects for this yarn ever since.

At Classic Elite I picked up a new to us line - Jill Eaton's Minnow Merino. This is a machine washable wool, with a gauge that is very close to Mission Falls 18/24 wool. It also comes in lovely kid and adult friendly colors.

At Skacel I got us some Crochet interchangeable sets to go with your Addi Clicks. This will be perfect for Tunisian Crochet, as well as some Portuguese knitting techniques. They come in a smart brown case, or you could keep them in your new Della Que case!

Here's some big news! We are bringing in Fleece Artist/Handmaiden.  These yarns are very unusual, luxurious and heartbreakingly beautiful. In about 3 to 6 weeks we will have the Blue Face Leicester sock yarn, a wool and linen blend, a silk and kid mohair yarn they call Maiden head, and  O'paca. This one reminds me a little of a lovely mohair, with the super soft feel of alpaca.

I made a stop at Habu, and got more metals! Copper and bamboo, steel and linen, and new colors of wool/stainless and silk/stainless.
I also stopped at Unicorn and got several new crochet books, the Fleece and Fiber source book, Knit Swirl!, some new weaving books and Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at Home.  Now I need an ice cream maker. And some new running shoes.
I am pretty sure I am forgetting something - the last few days were a whirl for sure.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your read on the market trends! I'm glad to hear that the classics trend is staying around. A whole sweater is such an investment of time and money; I like knowing my sweaters will be wearable in five years, and I'm willing to be more frivolous and fun in my accessory making. :)

meg said...

I am so excited for all the new things to come in!

LisaBe said...

yay! what a great post. i can't wait to see what comes in!

Nancy McRay said...

Kristi- I miss you! How is everything?