This weekend I had the pleasure of traveling to New York City for the Vogue Knitting Live event. The event was launched by Vogue Knitting (makers of Vogue Knitting Magazine) 10 years ago. It is a unique event that offers workshops, socializing, fashion shows, and an amazing marketplace for avid hand knitters and crocheters. It’s also a great place to find out what the trends are in our industry and be inspired to create more of my own fashion pieces.
For those who may not realize it, the hand knit world has been blessed with Vogue Knitting Magazine for 88 years! Vogue Knitting publishes six fashion focused issues each year, and similar to Vogue Magazine, it is a fashion focused magazine with chic patterns and quality instruction. While we have many “knitting events” around the country, the Vogue Knitting Live shows tend to be the most fashion focused, particularly VKL in NYC. My industry by no means sets trends. In fact, we tend to follow the rest of the fashion world, working quickly to catch up with what the big house brands are already working on. But I always love to see what “makers” are really excited about each year because it helps me to stock my store with the types of materials that they are really wanting to work with right now. And frankly, I am always inspired to knit something new after leaving these shows. There is certainly something electric about being in a room of thousands of other yarn lovers all wearing their most favorite piece.
So, here is the standout trend from the weekend – texture, specifically fuzzy, and furry textures. I spotted a huge number of textured sweaters and accessories this year – everything from cabled and bobbled sweaters to simpler garter stitch sweaters in bulky yarn. The design that I saw most this weekend was this sweater design by Andrea Mowry, Stonecrop. It features both color work and bobbles, but the texture from the bobbles is what makes it most unique.
The standout texture trend this weekend though was fuzzy and furry fabrics created with natural yarns made from alpaca, mohair, and brushed Suri. As makers, we do prefer to work with natural fibers, as there is really nothing faux that can replicate the softness and halo produced by a natural fiber. While they do require some extra care and attention, the fabric that these yarns make is worth the work. (Hand wash only please. Never dry clean alpaca or mohair!)
Knitters were wearing fabulous pullovers made with delicate lace weight mohair held alongside the main yarn used in the project. Others selected bulky weight mohair or faux fur to create oversized pieces that stood out for their furry texture. The market floor was filled with fuzzy designs to inspire knitters to buy the yarns necessary to create them.
There were plenty of rabbit, alpaca, and faux fur pom poms on the show floor as well. For the last three years, fibre space has had great success with the vegan pom poms (i.e. faux fur) that we import from Austria, and that trend doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. I also spotted several vendors with rabbit or recycled alpaca poms, for those that prefer to keep even their pom pom natural.
Fortunately, I had time to connect with some industry friends and rub elbows with some “knitter famous” people like Sam Barsky, who stopped by the booth I was working in while being filmed for an upcoming documentary on his life and his work. I got to connect with some yarn shop owners that I love and admire too.
I’ve been attending trade events with these two (above) for over a decade, and it’s always good to stand on a show floor with them again. This is Karida Collins of Neighborhood Fiber Co (based in Baltimore, MD) and knitwear designer Olga Buraya-Kefelian, who lives here in Alexandria. We all live so close together but, of course, never find the time to be in a room together, unless it’s at a trade show!
fibre space™ specializes in unique yarns and fibres from hand dyed, independent, local and U.S.-made sources for knitting, crochet & spinning. Enjoy our wide selection of classes, designer workshops, yarn tastings, movie nights & more. Join the community in our comfy lounge, and let the helpful staff at fibre space™ get you started on your next handmade creation!
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Alexandria, VA 22314