You've no doubt read various reviews of this years' show and which yarns will be hitting the shops this coming season. For me, TNNA is a bit different in the yarn aspect. As much as I'm keeping my eyes open to see what's new, I'm also sourcing yarns for forthcoming projects and talking to yarn companies about future possibilities. I go with my ideas, talk to yarn companies about the possibility of sponsorship, which yarns might suit which projects better, and take it from there.

More often than not, if the yarn company has the right yarn with them, I'll come home with it, as it's not worth their while shipping a single skein. Or if it's a yarn company I'll be working with on a greater scale, then naturally that'll need a follow up after the show and may involve larger parcels! I'm mindful, though, not to take yarns I won't use or to over commit - I don't have space for surplus yarns and I don't want to be greedy (and believe me, it takes some self restraint!). And so, the yarns I'm going to share today are not the only yarns I petted during the show, and are not the only yarns I'll be working with throughout the year.


These hand dyed DK beauties are from Baah Yarns, a company I've not worked with before. The folks who run the company were very friendly, and that always bodes well with me. I have a particular design in mind for these colours, something for Playful Woolly Toppers, and I enjoyed sorting through their colours, seeing which worked well with which for the design I had in mind. 


This gorgeous skein came from the Wool Dispensary and those greens are even better in real life. Y'know how sometimes you meet someone and straight away you know they're your kind of person? That. Sam had the most amazing tattoos, and she'd just had a fresh one inked that morning, which was pretty rock n'roll. This skein is begging to be a single design, and I'm pretty certain I know what it wants to be.


Kollage Yarns were one of the sponsors of the Yarn Thing Designer Dinner, and they're also hosting a Design competition. I'm not sure if I'll be entering the competition as there's already enough on my plate, but I do like this yarn and can see it working well with a design from the book planned for *after* Playful Woolly Toppers (yeah, I know...) This is their 'Toasty' yarn, a 100% wool single play, which is my kinda thing. It'll knit up pretty quick, and at the right gauge, be firm and woolly which is perfect for the design I have in mind...


Next we have some gorgeous yarns from Anzula. I met them for the first time last year, and used their Oasis yarn in North Lyme. This year they were very happy for me to take a few skeins for different projects, which was very generous of them. These shown above are also earmarked for the book *after* PWT (I guess at some point I'd better tell you what that one is called...?) This is their Kern yarn, which is 100% Huacaya Alpaca and has the most amazing texture and halo. I can't wait to see it knitted up.


And more Anzula! The pink and green will be used in Playful Woolly Toppers, and that gorgeous grey will be a single design. The pink and green are both 'Dreamy' which is a 75% merino/15% cashmere/10% silk blend, and the grey is their 'Sebastian' which is a superwash merino/sea cell blend. Nice stuff!


Here we have a lovely selection from Shibui Knits. Their yarn range and colour palette are very subtle and wearable, and the yarns they generously gave me last year were used for Corella and the forthcoming Imagiro in Classic Woolly Toppers. Lovely, lovely stuff. The dark pink and grey, both Baby Alpaca, will be used for a Playful Woolly Toppers design, and that rich brown, the Merino/Alpaca, will be a single design.


Before heading to TNNA, Dream in Colour contacted me about the possibility of a collaboration, so whilst there, I popped over for a chat. We still need to discuss a few things and see what's on the horizon, and in the meantime, they gave me this skein of their Groovy chunky to play with. I can see this one being a single design, a design that let's those colours shine. I'll keep you posted as to how this develops.


Valley Yarns were also sponsors of the Yarn Thing Designer Dinner, and I very much liked the woolly-ness of this yarn. This is another yarn earmarked for the book *after* PWT, and you may have noticed that most of the yarns for this book are structured, plied, and subtle in colour. Those properties are pretty important; that and the fact that they're in quantities greater than 100g...


And finally! A skein of Alisha Goes Around Cracks of Bison fingering, which will be a single design. One skein of their yarns that they kindly gave me last year has been used in Annula in Classic Woolly Toppers, and I was happy to show them the finished design.

The 2nd two balls there also came to me via the Yarn Thing Designer Dinner. Normally, oddballs are intended for swatching and then following up after the show, but as I've said previously, that isn't always a practical option for single skein designs. These two though I felt I could use with other yarns, as I think they'll mix well. Both are possum/merino blends - the green Heron worsted weight and the red is Rimu DK, both from Zealana. I particularly like the tweed in the green...

Phew! That's a lot of yarns, yes? And that's barely the tip of the iceberg. Lots of ideas are flowing, I'm itching to get going with some of these! But book work awaits... Classic Woolly Toppers is almost done...

PS/ Non US readers - fret not, as I know many of these yarns aren't available to you. As always I'll be designing with a mix of yarns from UK/Europe/US etc, indies and bigger yarnies alike - I do try to be fair and consider everyone!

AuthorWoolly Wormhead