Just as barbecue season starts to sizzle, and the annual migration to the cottage gets underway, it was a fast forward sneak peek last weekend as the Fall/Winter Collections were revealed. Inside the Diamond and Nova Showroom, yarn retailers from across Canada eagerly gathered to scout out the next wave of fashionable fibres in irresistible colours and tangible textures.
The mood for Fall/Winter 2011 is a return to glamour, with whispery soft yarns tinged with glitter and shine. Not overpowering, just subtle enough to create a spark and a hint of allure. Novelty yarns branch out in bold new directions, highly textured, whimsical, and inventive. Its a smorgasbord for the imagination, with luxury fibres encased in nylon netting, wools and silks embellished with beads and decorative ornaments, fascinating tubular style merinos and blends that seem to emerge from a child’s corking set, eclectic ribbons that cascade magically into frilly layers. Retro yarns are making an unexpected comeback, refreshed and inviting in chenille, brushed wool, and velour.
Get ready to be amazed by the newest variety of knitting yarns! Here is an insider’s look at some of the highlights-
A wildly exotic new line emerges from Argentina with lots of impact.
Manos Artesanas will enchant knitters of all ages with quirky handspun novelty yarns. To make a knitted cowl, scarf, or hat really pop, be on the lookout for these four ‘gotta have’ qualities-
Dancing- a mohair and wool combination in a fiesta of colour.
Dancing Queen- going one step further, sprinkled with a parade of floaty little flowers.
Florcitas- thick and thin textured wool with squiggly tufts for added pizazz.
Versatile- pure wool in a polar weight, intermingled with distinct nodules for a pom pom effect.
Sirdar perseveres year after year as the leader in sensible and affordable fashion yarns with a tried and true recipe for success. Keep an eye on your LYS shelves for Softspun Luxury Soft DK, a gentle haze of wool and acrylic wrapped in a thin netting for enhanced sheen.
Big Bamboo, another fresh quality arriving soon from Sirdar is a polar weight blend of bamboo, wool, and acrylic in a supersized lofty spin. The secret to this feathery light texture is a hollow core, one of the ground-breaking corked style yarns grabbing the spotlight. Babouska (another lightweight and retro style winner is a brushed wool blend in a chunky weight), and Shaggy (one skein of this thick and spikey textured yarn knits a funky scarf) are also slated to make an appearance very soon on store shelves.
Firefly takes flight, capturing the glittery side of Fall fashion in simple to knit evening styles. Remember Eros, the original railroad track yarn? Well, fans will approve of this newer version, boasting a jewel box array of colours and two versions to choose from in standard or metallic.
Louisa Harding is a brand that exemplifies exquisiteness in design and product line. Simonetta shines demurely with a sliver of metallic thread running through a cloudlike blur of kid mohair. Nerissa aims for plushness and velveteen allure in a cotton based chenille. Grace Hand Dyed with Beads adds a splurge of opulence to a current favorite by adding glass beads.
From the other side of the globe, Noro keeps our senses fully stirred with a fiery blaze of colour, introducing three additions to their ultra popular line-up. Hitsuji (extra bulky pure wool in cheery colourways), Wodaiko (an Autumn inspired rustic boucle), and Odori (a bulky blend of silk, angora, wool, and kid mohair).
Dynamic and innovative, Katia continually explores new frontiers to push the boundaries of the industry. Novelty scarves are floating swiftly into next season- Park Avenue, a sumptuous kid mohair blend cosies up to the current ruffle yarns with extra softness and drape. Aloha tempts knitters in a whole different direction with a built in loop system that instantly creates a plush scarf or accent trim. Kimbo, a tubular yarn with hollow core construction is one of the futuristic cork styled yarns that we are just beginning to see more of. A blast from the past brings Velvet out of hiding, one of the touchy-feely yarns resembling furry little caterpillars.
From Sublime, the focus is on rich colour, and quality fibres, with merino standing out from the crowd in pleasing styles for all ages. Extra Fine Merino DK, Cashmere Merino Silk DK, and Chunky Merino Tweed are all featured prominently in the Fall/Winter design selection, plus a new kid on the block, Lustrous Extra Fine Merino, an all-natural fibre in a sheer nylon netting casting an aura of shine.
Diamond Luxury Collection hits a high note with fibre connoisseurs as the brand continues to expand in exciting new ways. The spotlight shines on Stellabella (buttery smooth baby alpaca in a shoelace type yarn threaded with stellina), Baby Alpaca Glimmer (chunky weight baby alpaca infused with stellina), Starry Nights (a self-ruffling glitter yarn), Bambu Boa (an airy bamboo based self-layering yarn), and Tapiz (a marled and textured mix of fine alpaca).
Knitted accessories continue to be key players in this design collection, shawls, wraps, funky hats, and cowls reigning supreme. Is it just our Canadian climate or does everyone love these continual loops that cosily drape around our neck? Keep an eye out for a soon-to-be released Autumn inspired collection of designer hat patterns, handknit in the best of the Diamond Luxury Collection.