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YarnCon Recap

Last weekend was one of my favorite yarny events of the season, YarnCon! I love this show because it focuses solely on independent makers, and this year's was the biggest and best yet. Vendor booths spilled out into the hallway and up into the balcony of the venue, and I think that this was the most varied and interesting collection of vendors yet. There were a lot more hand dyers this year, and all of them really brought their A games: unique yarns, gorgeous colorways, and LOTS to choose from.

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It was great to see so many returning vendors (Why Knot, Brew City Yarns, & Yarn Geek come to mind), but I would say that more than half were new to me, which made exploring the show floor really exciting. It really seemed like there was something for everyone, with each vendor bringing something unique to the mix. I did see a lot of the speckled yarns and gradients which are still really popular, and there were even more mini skeins for sale than I think I've ever seen at the show.

What really caught my eye were some of the custom blends of yarns or spinning fiber. There were many breed-specific options, and also some unusual fiber blends. It's clear the indie dyers are getting the message that developing their own unique yarn bases is the way to set themselves apart from the thousands of dyers who are using the standards MCN/Superwash Merino/BFL sock yarns. I really hope this is a trend that continues!

I'm no stranger to yak yarn, but this is the first time I've seen a Merino/Yak/Nylon blend - perhaps MYN is the new MCN?? At any rate, I couldn't resist this skein of Khalessi Sock (70% Merino, 20% Yak, 10% Nylon) in Sun Kissed in the Grinning Gargoyle booth....and I didn't realize it at the time, but it coordinates perfectly with the handsewn needle keeper I bought from my pal Emonie from Hopkins Studio:

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I couldn't resist this Bonkers Dusky TnM (20% Tencel, 80% Merino) in Green Williwaw - I really love it when there are darker fibers mixed in with the natural fibers before being dyed. The black fibers are actually the Tencel!

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Also, they win the award for the best display mannequins in a booth - how fun are these?!

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There was also a cute sheep on the other side of the booth:

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Every year, I love seeing what Rita from Yarn Hollow has in her booth, and this year a pretty Foxy Batt came home with me:

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Apparently, blended spinning fibers are my new favorite thing, because I couldn't resist this custom mix of colorful 100% Merino fiber from CJ Kopec Creations, and this colorway's name is Cat's Eye!

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Would you believe me if I told you that I've never purchased a set of mini skeins? It's true! These lovely squishy skeains from Little Patch Alpacas were calling to me....they've a blend of Alpaca, New Zealand Polwarth & Merino in sport weight yarn. I think I'll be knitting a cowl with them very soon!

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I didn't buy this Chicago-themed/BMO project bag at the show, but it's the perfect way to show off my new YarnCon enamel pin. I think I'll be adding more fun enamel pins to it in the very near future!

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Did you go to YarnCon this year? I'd love to know what caught your eye and came home with you this year!

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