Friday, September 08, 2006

Moving on

Before I move on, I must again ask that you respect my wishes when it comes to the comments. I've had to delete 2 comments (plus 1 that was a duplicate) in which I felt the vicious (yes, vicious) tone and the singling out of another commenter crossed the line. I also deleted some comments that kept going on and on about the subject after I declared it closed. Those were my calls and if you are unhappy with that, then as I've already suggested, go bitch and moan about it elsewhere.

But not in my comments.

Let's get back to yarn. Today: a fall preview of Nashua Handknits.

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.

Kid Update

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.


Elizabeth said...

Sending my best wishes for Grace. (That name was on my short list for girl's names, but I had two boys.) I hear that surgery on the child is pretty tough on the parents, so my thoughts are with you and Tom, too.

Thanks for the yarn review. In my next life, I want to be Kristen Nicholas.

Anonymous said...

Love the blog, and I am very happy that you are using your power for good instead of evil. Keep it up.

I didn't know your daughter would be needing surgery, my prayers are with you both. Speaking of health, how are you? Is the Lymes (spelling?) gone? Does it ever go completly?

I bought my first Nashua last night--hope it isn't too stiff for the scarf I want to do. I will let you know.....

Sherry W said...

Good luck to Grace!

I like that vest, but I don't think I could pull off the pattern on the bust. I'm interested to see the other patterns now. Fitted fair isle is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Hopes that all goes well for Grace.
The North American Collection #3 sweater is really great, but my tastes would run a little differently with the border colors and the closure. Overall, though, the design and cut are great. The vest is really nice, too.
Great review.

Unknown said...

To Gracie from Auntie Marilyn:

Sweetie, you'll be just fine! And I know that Mommy will buy you some cool toys to play with while you're getting better. Some day Auntie will show you all her scars, OK? Lotsa love!

Anonymous said...

Hugs to Gracie - I have a kid who has multiple surgeries for various stuff (bad knees, sinuses, and a broken leg), and she's only 18. Make mom get you a little bell so you can drive her nuts!!! That way she feels needed...

Hugs to Mom and Dad, too - You'll be fine.

Hugs, Aubrey

Anonymous said...

My daughter posts children's pictures for me and her mother-in-law (both of whom live at a distance from the kiddies.) The trick is to post to a closed list, or locked posting. That way relatives or whoever you designate across the country/world can see, and the rest of us don't even know you posted something. Perhaps you don't need this, but another reader might.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it great that we are all different? It is one of the things that keeps life interesting. That said, I would nominate a couple of those designs for the late (or whatever the url was). Just my 2¢.

Best of luck to kidlet and mom re: the surgery. I suspect you would rather go under the knife yourself than have your child on the table. That seems to be one of the characteristics of a good parent.