Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Swatches for TNNA

As a hand-knits designer, I am a card-carrying member of a really cool guild named Association of Knitwear Designers. We all help each build the design profession as well as encouraging those in the yarn and knit publications industries to purchase our lovely designs.

One way we get our name out to those who should know us is by submitting swatches for the semi-annual convention of the trade association, The National Needlework Association (TNNA). They have a convention in January in San Diego and one in June in Columbus (Ohio). The swatches AKD members produce are then placed on the Great Wall of Yarn as way to advertise the yarn as well as the designers' talents.

For the January 2007 convention, I created seven swatches from some absolutely luscious sample skeins:

1. Silk purse made from GGH's "TajMahal" is a gorgeous rusty orange -- 100% silk and a dream to knit!

2. Baby cap made from Kraemer Yarn's "Vingtage 2006" -- a 100% alpaca yarn that I knit with thistle panels.

3. A traveling cable stitch called "dancers" makes this 50% silk/50% wool blend yarn from Lorna's Laces really look nice! The yarn, "Lion & Lamb" is soft but holds a texture pattern nicely.

4. Misti International has a lovely 100% baby alpaca yarn called "Misti Alpaca". Using a US#7, I have swatched a sample that could eventually become a lovely, soft, cozy shawl.

5. Another baby cap, this one uses a small traveling stitch panel and Skacel's "Sojabama" -- a blend of 55% bamboo and 45% soy. This picture doesn't do justice to the soft, cozy feel of this yarn!

6. Twinkle Handknits has a gorgeous 70% silk/30% cotton blend yarn that holds a texture pattern brilliantly. Here I've knit a cable/garter stitch medley called "Jacob's Ladder" -- this would make an elegant spring/summer knitted top.

7. Last, but certainly not least, this swatch is probably my favorite of all. Woolyarns, a New Zealand company, has a line of yarns called "Zealand" -- this is a black (which is why it didn't photo too well) yarn with that is a merino and cashmere blend. The softness of this one is unbelievable, especially if you see how well it takes a cable pattern -- this one is called horseshoe. Isn't it lovely?

I love helping with the Great Wall of Yarn -- I don't get paid for doing these swatches, but I do get to play with yarns I'd never be able to afford to play with; I can see all the latest colors, fibers, and just have a month or so of satisfying my fiber fetish.

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