The marketplace at Vogue Knitting Live in New York was a swirl of color as hundreds of makers rubbed shoulders, modeling their hand knits. Throngs of brightly-colored hand-dyed skeins shone everywhere, and yarn-based sculptures ringed the outer tier. The Marketplace was filled with knitters wearing Swonchos and Sunset Highway sweaters and now I want to knit a Swoncho for myself.
Caitlin Hunter's Swoncho
I love this kind of scene, because a knitting convention tell you in one glance
which patterns are hot and what yarns people want to buy NOW!
By far the most popular stand was Stephen West’s
Steve and Penelope booth on the sixth floor:
I was determined to buy some La Bien Aimée merino singles in order to knit The Marya Wrap using a French patissesrie color scheme:
Whenever I visit patisseries in Paris, I feel surrounded by a pastel world:
So I lined up at the marketplace entrance before its opening and braved the rush on Stephen and Penelope’s stand. Although I made a beeline for their stall, I still found myself rows back from the yarns as knitters jostled each other, all trying to get their hands on La Bien Aimee hand-dyes. I felt a bit disoriented by the rush, but apparently we were paragons of grace compared to the stampede of screaming shoppers the night before. I am kind of glad now that my plane was delayed Friday because it sounds like it was pure pandemonium. Here is the yarn I bought:
You can see, from left to right, raspberry, chocolate, pistachio and apricot. J
There were some other really amazing stalls in the marketplace, such as Fuse Fibers Studio:
That booth was set up like a little boutique and the yarns were super soft to the touch and in exquisite pastel colors. The booth was decimated by Sunday morning, I mean almost NOTHING was left! I learned later that the dyer is putting retailers on a waiting list so this is clearly a very popular yarn.
I will be trying out the three merino fingering bases in the next few months to decide which I like the best.
Another booth that really impressed me with their exquisite yarn selection was Conversational Threads. The gorgeous shawl display at the back of their booth caught my eye immediately, and I was even more excited when I learned that they stocked Olann yarn.
Although Olann does offer yarn directly from their website, they sell out quite fast and only do shop updates every once in a while. I discovered Olann when I visited L’Oisivethé in Paris back in October and I blogged about them then because of their sensational colors. Here are a few examples:
Olann merino singles
Olann sock lite and Olann Donegal tweed
I asked a lot of questions of vendors at the Yarn Market and discovered that Jess, the founder of Olann, used to dye for Hedgehog Fibres. She started her own business after having a baby and is focused on ethically sourced merino sheep from South America and environmentally friendly dying practices. I am kind of obsessing about her yarn right now so I was really excited to find it!
Conversational Threads also stocked Qing Fibre yarn which is another exquisite hand-dyed product that some of the hot designers like Andrea Mowry are using in their designs these days. Here are a few examples of the colors:
Qing Fibre Yarns
Finally, there were some really fabulous art pieces made of yarn around the perimeter of the marketplace:
Happy Knitting everyone!