Report from TNNA: New Yarn!

This past weekend, I traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, for the Winter trade show of The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA). This is an industry event where wholesale yarn companies and other vendors show their new products to yarn shop owners; the shop owners decide which yarns they’ll carry for spring and summer, and ultimately you find those new yarns at your LYS. It’s an exciting weekend of color, fiber, design, and many meetings! As a knitting magazine editor, I attend to see what’s new, what’s trending, and to make and to maintain relationships with designers, authors, yarn companies, and other manufacturers who serve our knitting community.

I was able to pick up quite a few skeins of new yarns and I’m going to blog about them over the coming weeks. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Anzula Cole, a gorgeous heavy worsted weight that is 70% silk and 30% camel fiber. I picked up the colorway “Sexy,” which instantly reminded me of the Cocoa Cardigan from the winter issue of Interweave Knits. So for my swatch in Cole, I chose the stitch pattern from this cute top-down sweater.

top-down yoke cardigan

The Cocoa Cardigan is worked from the top down and the yoke increases are incorporated into the lacey stitch pattern. You can see in my swatch below, which I’ve shot upside down (the cast on is at the top), how the fabric widens from top to bottom due to those increases within the charted pattern. This was a really fun stitch to swatch up–the chart is intuitive to follow and I love the mix of garter stitch, stockinette, and lace. There are a few cables thrown in, too–notice the big cross at the center of the “X” motifs, and there are little cables at the tip ends of the X.

lace swatchAnzula Cole yarn

Anzula Cole worked up nicely on size 7’s for me, though the ball band recommends a 9. I’m a loose knitter, so going down one or two sizes is normal for me. The yarn has an incredible luster, thank to the silk, and a dense, twisted structure that gives it a lot of character. There are some longer hairs in the yarn, providing a gentle halo–and a nod to the camel, perhaps? A lovely semi-solid dye job serves to emphasize my stitchwork in this swatch, and creates depth at the same time. The fabric has body and is incredibly soft against the skin. I think you’d see plenty of drape in stockinette fabrics, perhaps on larger needles than I’ve used here. With 180 yards to a skein, and offered in all of Anzula’s colorways, I think knitters will be excited to get their hands on this new yarn. It will be available soon at fine shops and online retailers; keep an eye out! You can find Anzula’s list of stockists on their website here.

I’ll be back next week with another new yarn tasting. Til then, stay warm and stay stitchy!

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