Here are the swatches I did for this year's convention in Long Beach:
This is my favorite yarn this time around. Dale of Norway haas a new yarn, called Lerke, that is 52% merino and 48% cotton. What a joy it is to knit! I just know this yarn will make fabulous spring/summer socks! And the color is a very cool dusty tealy green. I love this stuff. Knit on #2 dpns, the lacy toe-up sock went together quickly and looks great with the picot trim at the cuff.Probably my second favorite yarn this batch is the O-Wool's Classic 2-ply. It holds a lace pattern beautifully -- looking very crisp -- but is soft as butter to the touch. I swatched a cowl here that I think would be a wonderful winter accessory! On #2 circulars, this wool was a dream to knit.This mitten is knit with Lorna's Laces Green Line DK (100% organic merino). Because it's a hand-dyed yarn, it has some stripey-ness, but knits up beautifully and would make a lovely pair of cozy mittens. I used #4 dpns to make this mitten and the feel of the tension is close without being tight, if you know what I mean.
I have to admit it -- I LOVE wool from New Zealand. This sock was made using Magic Garden's Classic Prints, a 100% NZ washable wool in a gorgeous colorway. On #4 dpns, this sock feels perfect. I did a traveling stitch pattern on the toe-up sock (doing a k1p1 sole) following up the leg. The heel is a short-rowed garter heel.
This little sweater is done with M&K's Eco-Bomwoll (organic 100% cotton) that has a nice, soft feel that holds a nice clear look to the lace-work on this simple raglan cardi. I worked this flat on #5 circular from the top down (placing the sleeve sts on hold while I finished the body). The "hanger" is made with florist wire.
This is another sumptuous yarn ... Plymouth's Royal Llama Linen is 40% llama, 35% silk, and 25% linen. It holds a twisted stitch pattern nicely but has a very soft, comfy feel to it. This vest was done with #5 dpns and would make into a VERY nice vest or sweater for anyone on your list.
I love doing these GWOY swatches ... occasionally I'll hear from a company whose yarn I've swatched and I've had yarn shop owners who have seen my card/tag that I place on each swatch. So it's a nice marketing tool for me while also letting me play with yarn that I might otherwise not know about (or be able to afford).