Is it Love? A Tryst with Anny Blatt Yarns at Essentially Felt in Maine
I lived (and knit) in Montréal for 10 years, so I've had a lot of exposure to French yarn brands. After I moved there, I realized pretty quickly that French designs were often more fashion forward than other patterns, so I made it a priority to teach myself how to follow patterns in French. This was my first go at it, using a pattern from Phildar!
|Le Gilet #054-T10-008 -- inspiring name, eh?|
Still, there was always one brand missing throughout those years and that was Anny Blatt/Bouton d'Or. I knew Anny Blatt especially because of seeing books brimming with fantastical 80s and 90s sweaters in Montréal thrift shops!
|Hey -- someone just contacted me with 15 mags from the 80s. Write dayanak @ gmail if you are interested!|
This was all I knew. Oversized, fluffy, fascinating.
Then my friend Yarnstylist blogged THIS. I couldn't believe how beautiful the designs were! You could basically make a Chanel coat by knitting with a variety of Anny Blatt yarns. I started combing Ebay and thrift stores for those newer catalogs, but I never really had any luck.
So, imagine my total surprise when I saw this postcard from a store near me! I mean... I live in the middle of NOWHERE!
Let me tell you, it was SUCH a pleasure to visit Essentially Felt and swoon over the yarns I had wanted to see for decades. Even better, Sandy (the owner) is also the North American distributor of Anny Blatt and Bouton d'Or yarn lines... so she literally has it ALL!
It's a gem of a store -- if you are nearby you must absolutely visit. It's beautifully lit with high ceilings and a full floor and a half of impeccably organized yarn. It's not just Anny Blatt/Bouton d'Or -- there's Rowan, Blue Sky Alpacas, Handmaiden/Fleece Artist, Marion Foale, Lana Grossa, Isager... more.
But I was there for Anny Blatt! I decided that it was time to invest in a design, and I entrusted the fabulous Shanice to find it for me. (thanks Shanice!)
What to pick? There were samples and knitted wares all over the store to try on. This one definitely tempted me...
But I needed something more challenging than stripes.
By the way, if you've I.D.'d the fluff, angora definitely has an important historical place at Anny Blatt. The French are the definitive experts in its ethical collection and milling, and the company has a tried-and-true bunny-safe protocol they have been following for decades. But I understand if angora might not be for you -- no worries! They have many other wonderful and unique yarns that use cottons, wools, yak, alpaca, etc.
Here was a particularly pretty newer yarn called Cottage.
As I was looking around I realized that the bookshelves were filled with catalogs -- THE NEW ONES. It was time, and I immediately went for the newest "Couture Collection" book, because I wanted to see the most complicated patterns available. Here were my favorites from Magazine No. 225, and I've labelled the Top 3 I WILL MAKE!
|My #2 pick|
|My #3 pick!|
|My top pick!|
|The "Chanel" in every issue|
|Chino -- you have to have an outrageous one after all!|
|My number 4 pick! How can I do just 3?|
|Wilson in the (very) high end Prestige angora|
With the help of everyone in the store, I started rummaging through angora, rolls of nylon, sparkly novelty yarn and pristine shade cards to make my own olive version of the Pomona jacket.
Even now, posting this, I am itching to get this intarsia beauty on the needles. It has a unique 3-piece sleeve construction, too, to make that sparkly Navajo-like band stand out. You might not see it from the angora fluff, but those are actually cables between the panels!
And so my adventurous yarn store visit ended -- but another chapter hopefully begins. Essentially Felt will be planning knitting retreats on the storied Maine coast for knitters to learn special Anny Blatt techniques. I am definitely interested (and maybe I can teach a thing or two myself!).
If you'd like to look at Anny Blatt designs, yarns and shades, visit Anny Blatt North America. If you'd like to order the yarn for a design, contact Sandy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-942-0365.
Now... Á TRICOTER!
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