I spent most of my TNNA time at the Schaefer Yarn booth. It was hard work setting up the booth and it really was stunning once it was done. Nothing like seeing all those colors live, and seeing all of the great knitted samples. The best part about the experience for me was getting to absorb so much from Cheryl Schaefer and from Laura Nelkin. My confidence in my knowledge of the yarns and colors rose about 100%. I felt like I had attended Schaefer University! They are very, very good at what they do, and the whole thing, thought sometimes a little crazy, was fun.
One reason for the excitement was the new yarn, Chris. A worsted weight 80% Superwash Extrafine Merino with 20% Nylon, it is the big sister to last year’s favorite sock yarn, Nichole. Super squishy and bouncy. What fun to put it in people’s hands and tell them to give it a squeeze. First day home, I cast on for the Chris Linen Stitch Jacket, inspired by the sample we had at the show. It makes such a wonderful fabric and really shows off the handpainted colorway, breaking up any possible pooling. With a nice tight twist, 215 yards worth of pretty color will be good for kids’ stuff (because don’t forget WASHABLE) and sweaters.
Also, the Audrey is still super-hot. There are a few new patterns, from both Schaefer and Nelkin Designs. I am knitting the Audrey Royale Shawl in Renata Tebaldi and it is rediculous how nice the yarn is. Surprisingly tough for a single-ply fingering 50/50 wool silk–I did have to rip back a few times, and I was nervous that the yarn would start to look tired, but no problems. I kept missing little mistakes, because I was so tired by the time we got back to our room, and partly due to how engrossed I became in the Cupcake Wars show. Laura and I were roomies, and she was cracking me up. I am looking forward to knitting up either Brick House, or Circulate soon. I think both of these would make good classes or knitalongs. One of Laura’s TIPS sessions at TNNA was regarding great patterns for classes. She must have done a terrific job, because 60 people attended that session, and many of those folks came to the booth and told us all what an excellent job Laura did!
This Audrey Royale will be very pretty when blocked. 700 yards = a nice sized shawlette.
Below is a skein of Chris in a new color, Dorothea Lange. Oh, man! I almost forgot about the colors. There are 9 new multi-handpainted colorways, all winners, and 3 new Subtly Solid Botanicals added to the palette. I am crossing my fingers that I will be able to wrangle 7 skeins of the new Apple Green, Spruce, or Saffron to knit a sample Basketweave Cardigan. Everything is so new, it is not even up on the website yet.
Yesterday I took all of my new cash and carry Schaefer up to The Cultured Purl in Erie, PA. Shirani has a tremendous shop and I was impressed by the talent and adventurousness of her customers. It is always a treat when I meet people who are not afraid to try new things. We sold a bunch of yarn, and it turned out to be a nice little moneymaking hot summer day. Schaefer is always good for a yarn party. Shirani said it brought in people she had not seen in her shop in a while, and some brand new visitors. End of June, I am doing another Schaefer event at Dyed in the Wool, right here in Pittsburgh.