All industry eyes were on Chicago last week as the first trade show for the soft crafts took place in North America since, well, I don’t think we’ve ever had one this well done and with so many different products on hand, so let’s call it the first of hopefully many shows to be produced by the exceptionally professional staff of Koelenmesse, the team which has been producing the h+h Cologne show in Germany for many years.
Rather than bore you with an exhaustive list of all the vendors at the show, I will hit on the trends I saw. Please remember, I receive no compensation for any of my reviews, I buy them just like everyone else so you can count on me to give you the straight scoop.
The big three yarn trends were; yarn cakes, plain and tonal colors in easy to manage bundles, and textured yarns like mohair and an old favorite, Lopi which will be easier to get thanks to their affiliation with Berroco/Premier Needle Arts. Thankfully the number of spreckled hand painted skeins and shawls were minimal, I am so over those. Garments including sweaters, ponchos, dresses, tops, and yes even skirts and pants were plentiful on display.
What would yarn be without notions to accompany it? There were plenty of vendors on hand including ChiaoGoo, Prym, Knitters Pride and Skacel. The big trend in needles was all about the swivel, who had the best interchangeable set with the most engaging swivel. It’s a personal preference, my favorite is still TBD because I need more time to compare and more importantly contrast the differences between them. I can say the swivels from ChiaoGoo and Knitters Pride Mindful line are very good. The jury is still out on what Skacel may bring to the to US market, for now I can say they have the most interesting fixed length cable option hitting the store shelves in Europe. Sit down for this one. Imagine the feel of subtle spiral texture sitting beneath the incredibly smooth and well machined Addi Turbo nickel-plated brass needles, sporting the always popular standard rounded Turbo tips, perfectly fitted to a durable nylon cord, wait for it, complete with the SOS lifeline slit. This just might be the perfect set of needles. I had the pleasure of chatting with the team in the Skacel booth while knitting with these beauties for a nice long while before transitioning over to finally experience the smooth operating Addi Knitting Machine, we’ll talk more about that another time, suffice to say, it’s worth every penny and like the rest of the Addi line will not disappoint.
Tunisian crochet is finally making some headway in the North American market, just not quite popular enough to be in full bloom this year, perhaps by the next h+h Cologne show there will be more options. None of the vendors with whom I spoke were familiar enough with the craft to offer insights or innovative products this year.
Happy to share more on individual yarns, notions, concepts and trends just don’t want to keep you too long. Mark your calendars for the 2023 trade show, same time, same place, new vendors and I’ll see you on the convention floor.