When we go to Market in the summertime, the products and lines that we see and order, are often set up for late summer/early fall delivery. We do have some lines that will start arriving almost right away, but other companies won’t have their lines ready to ship until August or September. That keeps things interesting! So what did we find? Well, you know of my love for alpaca, right? I’m more fond of Alpaca than Cashmere. I used Cascade Eco Alpaca for my Girasole last summer. And then we added in the Eco Alpaca Duo (an alpaca/merino blend), Shibui’s Baby Alpaca DK, and the amazing Blue Sky Royal Alpaca. And then there are the lovely lines from Alpaca With a Twist, and Paca Peds from The Alpaca Yarn Company. Now, we’ll have two more alpaca lines to add to our line-up here. (I mean, have you held a skein of beautiful alpaca? Yes? Then you know why I love it.) We are adding in Lorna’s Laces newest yarn base, called Honor. Honor is 70% alpaca and 30% silk, in a DK weight. Perfect for shawls, scarves, hats, mitts, stoles, cowls and vests. When we get this in, I’ll give you some great pattern ideas for it as well. This colorway is Robot Overlord, one of their new colors. We’ll have that colorway (and the other new colors) in Sock and Sport, soon!
The other alpaca line that we having coming is from Aslan Trends. This is Royal Alpaca like the Blue Sky line (the Royal designation means that it meets specifically high standards for quality and softness) and comes in 22 colors. You need to just stick your hand in a whole bowl full of it. That’s what I did, and then I walked directly to their booth to put in an order. YUM! This is set to arrive in late July or early August. (I recommend clicking on the photo to make it bigger. Then reach through your computer screen to see how soft it is. Go ahead. I’ll wait.)
I also really liked Amy Butler’s new line, from Rowan. She has come out with an organic cotton/silk blend in DK and Aran weights, as well as a book of patterns for clothing and accessories. Have you noticed the abundance of knit and/or crocheted pillows in home decor lately? (Like here, here, here, here, and here.) The aran weight makes for a quick knit in pillows and bulkier sweaters. The DK weight is great for lighter weight sweaters, scarves, and mitts. We’ll have both weights, plus the pattern book, soon.
Another favorite find from the weekend was the Lavishea line of moisturizer bars. Similar to the Bee Bars we have carried in the past, but in many more great scents. There were actually a couple of bar companies there this time, but I picked Lavishea because I liked the feel of the bar and the way it went on. I used it for two days while I was there (before ordering) and have used it every day since I got home. It provides great moisturizing, leaves no sticky residue, comes in two different sized tins, and is great for knitting project bags, purses, and to keep in your bathrooms and kitchens. Made by a small company in Colorado with all natural ingredients (unrefined fair trade shea butter, 100% natural soy, premium botanical and essential oils, and gluten-free. What does “unrefined fair trade shea butter” mean? Check out the info on their website, here.)
We also have Malabrigo Rios on order (the new superwash worsted), lots of Madelinetosh (including Merino Light, soon), great re-stocks and new things from Fiesta, and more. Oh – and some fun new accessories coming as well! But this post is already long enough. I will definitely keep you up to date as things arrive.
Last weekend was our twice-a-year fiber industry market, in Columbus, Ohio. I go to these because I want to keep up with what is going on, what is coming up, what is ‘hot’, and what is not! (And of course to pick up some fun new lines for The Loopy Ewe.) Too much info for one post, so I’ll share people photos today, and new product info on Friday. The new things will start arriving in the next couple of weeks, with shipments continuing on into the fall. And did I mention that my “To Knit List” has grown again? No surprise there….
The first night ended with a Ravelry Ice Cream party, serving up delicious Jeni’s Ice Cream to everyone. I have a new favorite ice cream flavor – Salted Caramel. Seriously good. I ran into two fun friends there – Cookie A and Anne Hanson of Knitspot!
Saturday, Sunday and Monday are filled with walking, talking, and ordering. I snuck in a few pictures, with the express permission of the booth owners. (Otherwise, pictures on the floor are taboo.) Designer Laura Nelkin thought the air-conditioning was too high, and bundled up. (Or else she was just showing off as many handknits as she could, in the Schaefer Yarn booth!)
It’s always a pleasure to catch up with the Ravelry folks at these events. They’re on the floor every day, keeping up with trends and checking out what’s new. Here, I snagged a quick photo of Casey and Mary-Heather. I had a meeting with them (and Jess) on Sunday and walked away from it thinking, once again, that they are just the best. Truly.
Why is it that when I hand Loopy over for a photo, people want to kiss him? It’s because he’s so dang cute, I’m sure. (And then they always say, “Aww – I want a Little Loopy!”) Brad and Jeannie from Fiesta/7 Dimes puckered up.
Then Beth Casey from Lorna’s Laces had a little Loopy Love going on.
Nancy and Veronica from Dream in Color love Loopy, too, but just before I snapped the photo, Veronica told Nancy that she was getting too cozy (ok, specifically she said, “Stop touching my b*tt!”) and they were laughing as I took this. Oh, they’ll just love it that I told you that….
More on Friday. But first – the winner of a skein of Wollmeise Lace (from our Mini-Contest last week) is: Beverly W. from Illinois. I’ve emailed you, Beverly. Congratulations!
Loopy Elf Susan brought her cute grandbaby in to Loopy Central yesterday. We love Lulu! (No, that’s not her real name. But that’s what she gets called from time to time, and it seemed good for the blog.) You might remember seeing her almost a year ago, on this post. Susan used the Zauberball Starke 6 to knit up this cute sweater for her. And then had to get a dress to match the sweater, of course. Trying to get an 18 month old to stay still and pose for sweater photos is …. not gonna happen. So here are the results:
The last photo? She was ready for the sweater to be OFF. Now.
I’m headed to Ohio for our twice-a-year TNNA Market today, and won’t be back until Monday evening. I’ll post again on Wednesday and will fill you in on what I found at Market! Also, I’ll announce the winner of the Mini Contest that day as well. Watch for the Update on Monday night – we have a whole bunch of wonderful Dragonfly Djinni for you, along with some other great stuff!
Remember Balloon Animals? You take a big long tube-type balloon, blow it up, and then twist and turn and flip and flop and suddenly you have a recognizable animal (or flower, or some such thing). I wondered who first came up with such a thing, and went searching. According to ‘Great Balloons! The Complete Book of Balloon Sculpting’ by Jean Merlin (1994), the first recorded “balloon” animals were actually made by the Aztecs out of animal bladders (more than I needed to know). They fashioned them as gifts to the gods as a sacrifice, and there were only two models made – dogs and a type of donkey. The process took several days to complete. You can read more about it here if you’re interested.
Here is something that’s a whole lot more fun! Check out this new pattern pack from CiD Designs. By knitting up tubes in different yarns (patterned, solids, etc), you can have the fun of a balloon animal design, with something that will last a whole lot longer. Aren’t they cute? I had to sit and play with the samples when I saw them. The packet of 10 patterns come in this vinyl packet. With just a few increases and decreases, you can knit up a bunch. Great for leftover sock yarn. You get patterns for a Monkey, Bee, Penguin, Tiger, Poodle, Elephant, Duck, Crocodile, Bird, and Flower Tiara.
CiD also has other really cute patterns, which are also great for using up bits of yarn. I like that the patterns come with the accessories, like the eyes. I am kind of taken with Sheldon Turtle, Squeak, and Tadeus Croaker. It seems like every knitter needs a frog on the shelf, just to remind us that frogging is a necessary evil. Or a liberating freedom. I see it as a liberating freedom. If I’m in the middle of something and it’s not working the way I want it to, it feels great to just rip it out and move on. But I know some people do everything possible to avoid it. How about you? Do you see frogging (ripping out) as a necessary evil or a liberating freedom?