Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Fall preview: Quince and Co.

If you were sad like me to hear that Pam Allen was stepping down from Classic Elite as creative director, you will be as happy like me to hear her latest news: Yesterday, Pam's new enterprise, Quince & Co., opened for business.

Marian Cowl

What is Quince & Co.?

Effie Beret

Why a fabulous new yarn & pattern company, of course.

Featuring beautiful and extremely well-priced yarns primarily from North America, Quince & Co. is selling direct to the knitter on their website. Pam has joined forces with Carrie Bostick Hoge (a photographer and knitting designer) and Bob Rice (a mill owner), seeking to create beautiful yarns while remaining socially conscious "without making too much a fuss about it."

Castle Pullover

What will you find at Quince & Co.?

For its debut, Quince has created four yarns, all of them wool, with the majority of it sourced from America and all of the weights coming in the same palette of approximately 37 colors:

  • Chickadee is a sportweight wool (gauge is listed as 6 or 6.5 sts per inch, depending on needle size), three plies of American wool, and is described as firm yet soft. At $5.75 for 181 yds/50g, it's exceedingly well-priced and looks divine for colorwork.
  • Lark is another firm yet soft yarn, this time with four plies of American wool, knitting as a worsted weight, with gauge given as 4.5 to 5 sts per inch. Price point: $5.50 for a skein of 131 yds/50g.
  • Osprey is described as a three-ply aran-weight yarn, knitting at 3.5 to 4 sts per inch. Osprey has a more relaxed twist, aiming for a loftier feel. $10.75 for a whopping 175 yds/100g.

  • Last but not least, Puffin is the thickest of the Quince family, a single-ply yarn knitting at 2.5 to 3 sts per inch, for when you need speed. At $8.50 for a skein of 112 yds/100g, it's also very nicely-priced.

Pattern support looks divine. Right now, about 15 or so patterns are listed on the site, available by download. They are roughly evenly divided among the four yarns, and include sweaters as well as accessories. All have that clean yet elegant simplicity that hits just the right spot: interesting but not overdesigned. All are photographed beautifully. Price for the download varies by the size of the pattern, ranging around $5 to 6.75 -- but there are also a few free downloads, too.

Right now, Quince & Co. is selling direct to knitters, and through a single yarn shop, KnitWit in Portland, ME.

Cullin Cowl

According to their website, the higher costs of doing business in the US, as opposed to, say, importing the yarn from other countries makes it harder for Quince to offer their yarns through knitting shops. It will be interesting to see how this innovative business model plays out...

Photos copyright 2010 Quince & Co.


JelliDonut said...

The yarn looks lovely--love all the matching color ways. Just wondering why no fingering weight is offered.

Katinka said...

I was cursing my self-imposed yarn diet when I saw the Quince site yesterday! The yarns look gorgeous, and I was pleasantly surprised by the reasonable prices. :)

Kathleen Dames said...

Got to see all the loveliness at KnitWit last weekend and brought home a couple of Chickadee skeins. I'm waiting for them to tell me what they want to be but am leaning towards some fingerless gloves like the sample I saw. I love that the colors are just the tiniest bit "off" - it gives them an elegance and subtlety that will set Quince & Co. apart (IMHO).