Sunday, January 21, 2007

Berroco Spring '07 & More

So I've got just a hodge-podge of stuff to catch up on so let's just jump right in. First, it was a tough sports weekend here at Casa-Elkins. First, I am still sad about my UNH Wildcats hockey team, who lost Saturday night to UMass. They are ranked #2 in the country and by all accounts, should've whooped some Minuteman butt. . . as they did at home on Friday night. But it was not meant to be and the small little contigent of Wildcat fans at the game left with our tails between our legs. We'll see who's in St. Louis in March for the Frozen Four - Go UNH!

Then there were the Patriots. 21-3 at half time. Who loses when they are leading 21-3 at half time? J1 was SHOCKED when we told him on Monday morning the Pats lost. He said "But they were leading 21-3 at half time? How did they lose? They must've really stunk up". Yup honey, they stunk up. Even a 7 year old was incredulous - imagine poor Steve. It was a sad day in Yarnville on Monday morning.

Well, enough moping. Onto the yarn. The spring 2007 season has begun! Berroco spring arrived and is up on our website. The yarn, the pattern books, our model garments - all are in the store. I think I can say with confidence that our staff is genuinely excited about the yarn and designs for the season.

First up is Bonsai which is Berroco's bamboo blend. It is quite different than any other bamboo yarn we've seen or purchased for spring. It is 97% bamboo/3% nylon. It's a flat, thin ribbon and the nylon can be seen as little dots or flecks on the yarn. It is really quite stunning and the garments are lovely. Bonsai has 77 yards and knits at 5 sts = 1" on #7 needles. It is available in 9 colors and retails for $6.00/hank - yes, it is a hank and needs to be wound.

Next is Love It! and Love It! Colors. Okay, so the exclamation point might be a bit much, but the yarn is YUMMY. Love It! is 58% cotton/38% acrylic/4% nylon and feels great! Very soft with a bit of spring. It has 120 yards and knits at 4.5 sts = 1" on #8 so it will be a versatile yarn. Love It! has 20 solids and a half dozen or so multis. The color changes in the multis are very long, which to me, makes the yarn interesting to knit and a bit more sophisticated than the average variegated. Love It! and Love It! Colors cost $7.00/ball.

Nostalgia is also a cotton/acrylic/nylon blend, but in different proportions - 46%/30%/24% respectively. Changing the amount of these ingredients results in a different yarn. Nostalgia has a lovely twist and the additonal nylon gives it just a bit of a sheen. I'll be honest, I liked this yarn, until I saw some of the finished garments at TNNA, in particular the Macie smock/jumper. I LOVE THIS TOP! I don't know why, I don't know what is tickling me so much about it, but I have to have it! I've got the pattern book (#261 Nostalgia, pattern #3 Macie)here at home and a ball of yarn to swatch (it calls for a 7 and I'll probably need an 8 since I knit on the tight side). Nostalgia has 100 yards, is 5 sts = 1" on #7 and retails for $7.00/ball.

Last, but far from least is Pure Merino Heathers. Berroco introduced Pure Merino last fall - it's their superwash extrafine merino wool that has been nothing short of a homerun. It is an awesome yarn. Well, they've added heathers - beautiful, inspiring heathers. Twelve "I've got to knit these now" heathers. Yup - what more needs to be said.


We've also got some new colors in Suede, Touche, Boho and Boho Colors. There's lots of great stuff.

All of the new yarns have their own dedicated pattern book, plus there's a kid's book, a handbag book, a crochet book and one called "Yin and Yang" which features half a dozen garments knit two ways - either in a lighter weight spring yarn or a heavier fall/winter yarn. So no matter where you live, Berroco has designed the pattern to work in a yarn for you. No wondering "gee, will this work, will it drape the same, etc." - they've already figured this out for you.


If you are looking for more info on these yarns, check out our website at http://yarn.com/webs/search/0/?keyword=berroco&tab=0. Also, our Berroco sales rep Andra will be our featured guest on this week's episdoe of READY, SET, KNIT! which will air locally this Saturday, 1/27/07 at 9:00am on 1240AM or 1400AM WHMP and will be available on iTunes shortly after the show airs. She will be giving her spring overview and pattern recommendations. Be sure to listen in!

For those of you who have been reading along, you know that Steve and I got to escape to Boston for New Year's and J1 and J2 stayed with Steve's parents. They were in charge of this year's 'Picture at Midnight". Now, we'll never know if they actually stayed up or got up to take the photo, but I will operate under the assumption that they did just that.

Lastly, I wrote about a new book that published this past week The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. It is not the only book coming out. Publishing tomorrow, is Barbara Delinksy's Family Tree. Now, everything I found on-line about this book did not make a single reference to knitting. I was confused. But in fact, it has a very strong secondary and supporting knitting theme. The main character Dana is a knitter and from just a few pages in, knitting is a common thread throughout the main plot. I've seriously powered through this book. It is an easy read, but interesting. I am hoping to finish it tonight. The author has also partnered with the fine folks at Berroco to develop a pattern booklet featuring four patterns referred to in the book. They will use Berroco's Pure Merino and Ultra Alpaca. We'll have the book and pattern book in soon. Given that the author lives here in Massachusetts, is a life long knitter and customer, we're optimistic about a store appearance or at a minimum an interview on Ready, Set, Knit! Stayed tune for details!

I spent the better part of Monday at the printer on press for our spring catalog. Sixty four pages packed with new yarn, projects, pattern booklets, etc. I am really excited about this catalog but also ready to have done. The process of producing a catalog of this magnitude and caliber is not for the faint of heart. I am hoping to be able to show you the cover tomorrow night and maybe a few other snippets. I am particularly thrilled with our new Valley Yarns patterns. Our staff, particularly Kirsten, really out did themselves and did so under incredible deadlines. Steve and I have to be the luckiest yarn store owners around.


Happy Knitting!

Kathy

6 comments:

Lucy said...

I was excited to see the "new" ready set knit in my reader this afternoon - loved the yarn harlot! These new yarns look so nice! I'll have to decide what my next big knitting project will be. I'll also need to go soon and get some supplies for my new spinning hobby!

Pam said...

I have never answered a blog before but I was surfing for the new berroco yarns and patterns-right up my alley-beautiful yarn-nothing too taxing to knit or wildly expensive. Your website is great. I'm surprised I've never "found" it before.
Sorry to say I'm from western NY and a "dyed in the wool" Bills fan so we were routing for Indy in the game (plus I love those Manning brothers). Hope you won't hold that against me.
>Pam

Melissa said...

WHO loses when they're 21-3 at the half?

There is only ONE possible answer. The Patriots. Always and forever. Unless it's baseball, in which case it'd be the Red Sox.

Kathy said...

Pam

I am routing for Indy as well - I worked for gentleman who was from Tennessee, went to UT and literally bleeds Volunteer orange. It was during the time when Peyton was there, so I have a strong connection. Being a passtionately, psychotic New England sports fan, I can never hold anyone's affiliation against them. I understand how these things happen.

Glad you found us! I think you'll be very happy working with the Berroco yarns this season.

Thanks for posting!

Kathy

Faith said...

Loved the chat with Stephanie. Now that I live in Germany, there's an even smaller chance that I'll see her in person anytime soon, so thanks so much for having her on the show. I've downloaded your back episodes and have been listening over the past few days. You guys are doing a really good job. =) I'll mention your podcast in my next show.

Kathy said...

Hi Faith

Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview with Stephanie. We barely scratched the surface with her - we could have her on for a month and never be bored. Do you podcast your show? Would love to download you and listen in!

Kathy

 
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