Browsed by
Tag: Yarn

Wow! Vicuña

Wow! Vicuña

It has been many years since we’ve seen any Vicuña yarn at TNNA. The vicuña is one of two wild camelids in South America, related to the alpaca. It is said that Vicuña fiber is the softest and silkiest in the world, and I cannot disagree. It is also very warm, which is of course how the Vicuñas survive in the Andes.

Read more about these amazing animals here.

The fiber itself is very rare– there are not many animals, they are wild and have to be gently caught to be sheared. The fiber itself has to be manually picked over to remove the guard hairs, which is very labor intensive.

Naturally, this means that Vicuña yarn is quite expensive, and we were quite surprised to see some available.

Change in the air for the Needle Arts industry

Change in the air for the Needle Arts industry

We recently were informed of some major changes in the distribution of a few popular yarns. Twenty years ago this sort of thing would never be discussed with the end customer (you!) but our world has indeed changed dramatically because of the internet and social media.

About a month ago, Westminster Fibers Inc. announced that it would no longer be importing and distributing any yarns in North America. The brands that you will recognize are Rowan, Regia, SMC, Schachenmayr, Schachenmayr Select (aka Gedifra), Istex/Lopi wools, and Butterfly Super 10 Cotton.

Of course this doesn’t mean that these brands will no longer be available to you– not at all! There are quite a few established companies interested in providing the import and distribution of these brands.

As for, you already know that we are committed to all 5 Lopi yarns, and also to Butterfly Super 10 Cotton, and we promise to continue to provide them to you if at all possible.

While we wait to hear about the possibilities for future importers, we are working on a plan to make sure we will have enough of all these yarns to fulfill your orders for the coming season.

We think it is important for you to have accurate information, not rumors. As children we all played the game “telephone line” where a message is passed from one to another and by the time the message reaches the end of the line it has changed dramatically! Well, the internet accelerates and magnifies this effect. If you have any questions at all, please contact us directly by emailing  Please do not rely on speculations on the chat and comment threads of the various social media sites for your information.  We will do our best to answer all your questions honestly and in a timely manner.

Regia Zima 8ply Accessories

Regia Zima 8ply Accessories

We have just gotten a special purchase 8-ply yarn from Regia, and this pattern,

RegiaZimaColor Hat&wristwarmers 2 is free.  Take a look at this:

Regia Zima Color
Regia Zima Color

Zima Color 8-ply is a quick-to-knit DK weight, but with all the desirable qualities of Regia sock yarn, including being machine washable!  Just one ball (200g) is enough to make this set.

What a beautiful look, and it all comes automatically with the Zima self patterning yarn that changes colors while adding geometric pattern details.  It’s reminiscent of the S&S Mexiko yarns that were so popular.

This is a limited edition yarn, so get yours today.

Summer is for Super 10

Summer is for Super 10

Our favorite! If you think cotton is just for dishcloths, you haven’t met Super 10, the superior choice for DK weight cotton for both crochet and knit

Chloe in Super 10
Westminster Fibers have come up with 2 new booklets, and each has very wearable patterns that will become staples in your wardrobe.
Amanda vest in Super 10
Hands Down FavoriteWe had a sample of this vest in #3995 Persian Red at Stitches West and literally could not meet the demand!  This is a real winner in a simple lace pattern,  you will love it no matter which one of the more than 80 colors you choose.Super 10 has so many great qualities:  it’s machine wash and dry, won’t split, won’t pill, won’t shrink, it’s  soft, colorfast, and has a permanent shine.

Of course it’s fabulous for adult garments, including shawls and sweaters, but you can use Super 10 for household items  (placemats, pillows, handtowels), baby items (blankets, hats)  and of course kids love it!

Yet-to-be-appreciated Yarns, Part 2

Yet-to-be-appreciated Yarns, Part 2

Some great but yet-to-be-appreciated yarns
This season there have been a lot of changes in the yarns available for knitters. There have been a lot of yarns discontinued, and a lot of new introductions.  In times of economic uncertainty, it’s no surprise that crocheters and knitters return to their favorites.  But there are some that I have tried, and deserve a closer look.

Aiko Garments

Lang Aiko

Mohair is coming back into style, but not the ultra big fuzz-ball look.  What is important now is a light halo and a soft hand.  Enter Aiko.  This yarn is incredibly soft, but it takes up a lot of space.  The yarn itself it made up from a tiny boucle of the fibers stitched into a small tape.  When it is knit, there isn’t a lot of surface halo (fuzz), but it knits to a bigger gauge than it looks.  The Aiko styles in the Lang books are mostly used for snuggly knits, but I think it would also make a great yarn for openwork styles–a lacy scarf or wrap would be very sophisticated in this yarn.

Color, Color, Color!

Color, Color, Color!

Make a gigantic impact with Color

Regia Journal Color Effects
Fassett’s Patchwork Designs

It’s easier than ever before with Regia’s Design Line by Kaffe Fassett

Color Effects

Rowan’s Master Colorist, Kaffe Fassett, has created beautiful combinations for Regia Yarns.  Those of us familiar with his work can spot a Fassett design a mile away, and love them all.  But of course the knitting patterns were so daunting–combinations of fair isle and intarsia, with complex color changes using often dozens of colors and yarns in one project!

Now Fassett revisits some of his favorite shapes and patterns using combinations of these variegated yarns with each other and solids.   Get fabulous results with simplified technique!

The great color combinations
of Regia Design Line

Regia Design Line
Kaffe Fassett’s colorways
Yet-to-be-appreciated Yarns, Part 1

Yet-to-be-appreciated Yarns, Part 1

Some great but yet-to-be-appreciated yarns
This season there have been a lot of changes in the yarns available for knitters. There have been a lot of yarns discontinued, and a lot of new introductions.  In times of economic uncertainty, it’s no surprise that crocheters and knitters return to their favorites.  But there are some that I have tried, and deserve a closer look.

Lang Donegal     

Lang Donegal

Tweed is a trend, and this yarn is much more than a rehashed version of other tweeds.  Donegal has a DK gauge, but it is thick and thin (sometimes very thin).  If you are an intermediate knitter who hasn’t worked with thick and thin yarns, you will have to pay attention.  Donegal fulls on blocking, meaning that what looks like holes as you knit will fill in more solidly after blocking.  This quality makes Donegal an interesting choice for crochet, too!  A big plus–This is a yarn that is a man magnet!  I have a pullover OTN for John, and when our two sons were home for Christmas they both immediately snatched it up saying “this is nice!” (and they live in CA & AZ–not sweater country)  Just be sure to stick to the darker, neutral colors.  After showing off the patterns in the Lang Vintage book, they were all judged to be winners by my houseful of men.  The 50g skein has over 200 yards, so it goes a long way.

Big Yarns

Big Yarns


VK Cover Garment
Vogue Knitting’s Cover Sweater featuring Cortina Nuvole

Astrakan by Lang
Lang Astrakan

& even

Link Long Scarf    Berroco’s Link

Yes, all the fashion magazines, the knitting and the crochet magazines, and the TV/internet style shows  are showing big, Big, BIGGER knits! And they’re so gorgeous, and they’re fast to knit, but… but…. but….

“Super-bulky knits look great on a 5′ 10″, 90 lb model, but not me! They’re so pricey with so little yardage! And they’re so heavy–who could wear all that?! Even if you’re skinny, it weighs a ton!”

The answer is Yes, you can wear these yarns, if you choose wisely.   Here are some tips:

  • Accessories–scarves, hats, muffs–give the fashion look without being overwhelming
  • Look at the cost of the garment, not the price of the skein.  Most of these yarns are cost-effective.
  • Remember to keep the fabric and the fit loose–unless it’s an outerwear coat or jacket, these yarns shouldn’t be firmly knit.  They also not meant to be knit into sweaters that are close-fitting; instead choose patterns for layering garments.
  • Natural fibers are heavier than synthetics.  In these super big yarns, a synthetic portion or blend is a big plus in keeping them light enough to wear.
  • “Cable knit” yarns, where the strand is really a knitted tube, are much lighter to wear, and warm too.

A Quick Link to all our Big Yarns!