But not in my comments.
Let's get back to yarn. Today: a fall preview of Nashua Handknits.
Nashua Handknits has been an exciting company to watch. Only two years old, Nashua is run by Linda Pratt (who, among other things, is a former LYS owner) and is part of Westminster Fibers, the distributor of Rowan and Jaeger. We've had the Creative Focus Worsted at Rosie's since it came out, and it's a very popular, soft and well-priced wool/alpaca blend that comes in lots of good colors. Here's what to look for this fall from Nashua:
New yarns for Fall 2006:
- Creative Focus Kid Mohair is 75% kid mohair/20% wool/5% nylon, and MSRP is $8.95 per 50g/93 yd skein. Looks like an equivalent for Classic Elite's La Gran, but with a less extensive palette (about 26 colors).
- Creative Focus Superwash is a worsted weight superwash wool in about 38 or so colors; each 100g/218-yd skein retails for ten bucks. (I have a sample skein of this but haven't cracked it yet; feels pretty nice and will compete with Cascade 220 Superwash and the like.)
- Creative Focus Brushed Alpaca is 100% alpaca, 50g/192 yds and retails for $8.95, in 11 colors. A box of this just arrived at Rosie's and I can't decide what I think of it yet. Some of the colors are lovely and they all have a sort of hazy look to them. It's not fluffy like a fun fur, but it's got texture and a halo. It's lighter than I would have guessed.
- Creative Focus Ribbon is an all-nylon ribbon in 13 colors, well-priced at ten bucks a 50g/147-yd skein.
- Ivy is 50% alpaca/45% merino/5% Estellina (I'm sorry, I don't know what that is -- some kind of nylon or lycra? or shiny?) and again, hits the 8.95 price point for 50g/110 yds, 11 colors.
- Vignette is 100% superwash wool, 50g/93 yds and $8.95 a ball, and looks to be variegated colors.
One of Nashua's particular strengths is its stable of designers: they get top-notch folks like Kristin Nicholas as regulars and other "guest designers" whose names you'll recognize if you pore over knitting magazines the way I do. Having excellent pattern support makes a lot of sense for a yarn manufacturer, because it gets people excited about using the yarns and it takes the angst out of yarn substitution for timid customers. Nashua is releasing six new pattern books to accompany their yarns --
- North American Collection #3, which is the flagship collection; here's a classic Kristin Nicholas colorwork design from it:
and here's a cool felted bag from Melissa Mitchell, who is giving Nicky Epstein a run for her money as the Queen of Felted Bags:
- Ski has a winter theme, featuring thicker sweaters, a Norwegian style colorwork sweater, some yoke sweaters, and winter accessories;
- Study has a school-ish theme, with 2 kids sweaters; the rest are women's, and I suppose are supposed to be shooting for a younger crowd, like this close-fitting, cropped vest:
- Holiday, as the name suggests, includes more dressy, festive numbers;
- Stripes is devoted to the self-striping yarns; mostly women's sweaters with a throw or two and a wrap; and
- Mohair, mainly sweaters for women with a girl's sweater and a handbag, using the Kid Mohair.
Arriving soon at a LYS near you.
Tuesday was the first day of third grade for J. and all went well.
Several of you have asked about G.'s surgery. It's scheduled for a week from today. I'll keep you updated, so send G. good thoughts.