WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn – CHSI Stitches trade show

Well hello there!  What are you up to today?  Would you like to come to a trade show with me for a day of yarn giddiness?

It’s Sunday 17 February 2019 and the start of the Stitches trade show at the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) in Birmingham … and the official launch day of the West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply Winwick Mum Collection!  Is my excitement off the scale?  Oh yes, I think we can safely say that it is!

The WYS team had been at the NEC for a couple of days setting up and their stand shone like a rainbow amongst all the others …

The colours hit you as you walked up to the stand, and you couldn’t fail to smile when you saw all that rainbow yarniness!

The thing that I love about shows is the effort that exhibitors make to show off their products to the best advantage, and trade shows are no different as companies want to attract stockists and future stockists in to see what they have to offer.  Even if I hadn’t been heading in this direction anyway, I’d have been a moth to this colourful flame and there’s no way I would have resisted going to look at everything there was to see.

There was one particular section that stopped me in my tracks …


This was the moment that it hit me that all of this was really real.  Everything that I’ve told you about before, from the choosing of the colours to knitting the socks to writing the patterns, that was all real too in a different kind of way but seeing my yarns and my socks on that wall – well, it properly took my breath away.  Now the yarn was out of the mill and off the blog page and we were waiting for the stockists to come and look at it in real life to see if they thought their customers would want to buy it.  It’s quite a moment, I can tell you!

There were leaflets about the yarn …

and mini-skeins of it wound up so that people could squish it (are there many other trade shows where it’s compulsory to squish the products?) …

and there it was in the yarn catalogue right alongside the Cocktail colours …

It was at this point that I realised that folding my arms behind me like a jet plane and zooming round the stand making over-excited “Wheeeeee!” noises might be inappropriate so instead I stood there and tried to take it all in and not show myself up by bursting into tears in the middle of the stand.

Besides, a jet plane might have knocked over the display of socks!

The show doors opened and the hall began to fill up.  Because no products are physically bought and sold at trade shows, it’s quite different to somewhere like, say, Yarndale or the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in that it’s all much calmer.  There’s no rushing to get to a particular stand in case they sell out of something that you want, no elbowing anybody out of the way and the stands are those of companies like WYS rather than smaller independent exhibitors who sell directly to their customers rather than through a stockist.

The WYS stand got busier as the day progressed, and all the sales team were kept occupied.  It was lovely to see so many people who were clearly regular customers of theirs come back to say hello and place new orders – and say hello to me too!  It didn’t feel like people were doing business at all, although that was clearly the point of being there!

The trade shows are the places where new products are launched so along with my Signature 4ply yarns, there were other soon-to-be-launched yarns for people to see.  You’ll have seen them out in the shops now, but in February at the show, this was the first time that they had been shown in public, and I think it’s right that the stockists got to see them first.  WYS have a very good relationship with their stockists and so it’s quite natural that they should get the first look – it’s why my yarn blog posts have been posted as they have (and also so that I didn’t write everything down in one long excited sentence with no breaths or punctuation!) although as my blog readers you’ve seen a more in-depth version of the story so I don’t feel that you’ve missed out! 😀

There were the new Bo Peep colours and the gorgeous toys designed by my clever friend Emma Varnam with a matching child-sized outfit for every teddy outfit …

Emma is so talented at giving toys lovely kind faces, I think.  I would have been (and still would be!) very happy to snuggle this bear in her cosy poncho and tell her my secrets.  Oh, and the pattern book that goes along with this collection is absolutely gorgeous …

Look!  I would have wanted that poncho when I was little – and if only my girls weren’t too big now!

The pattern book is written a little like a story with beautiful illustrations which remind me of the Teddy Robinson story books from when I was little.  If you’ve never read Teddy Robinson, I highly recommend that you go and have a look (you can read a little of the stories on the Amazon page).  They’re perfect for reading aloud to little ones and were favourites of my girls, along with the Milly-Molly-Mandystories too.  The Teddy Robinson stories were originally written in the 1950s and Milly-Molly-Mandy even earlier in the 1920s so they might seem old-fashioned but the stories give the feel of a gentler age and there’s something about them that – I think – appeals even to modern children.

As well as the Bo Peep yarn there was the brand new Colour Lab DK.  More mini skeins …

Oh, those colours!  They’re like sweeties!  I spent a lot of time stroking those mini skeins! 😀

This new yarn is 100% British wool and replaces the Aire Valley DK which contained nylon.  It’s a good, sustainable alternative for those who want to knit with pure wool (and, whether consciously or not, reduce their plastic consumption) and I am sure it will be a very successful addition to the range.

I’m in the process of trying it out as a pair of no-nylon socks and I have to say that they’ve very comfortable to wear – I’ll keep you posted with how they cope with my pokey toes!

Here’s the Liquorice Rose blanket that I showed you in my last post about the photo shoot in the bottom right hand corner of this photo – but you might not have noticed that because I bet your eye was taken by the fabulous Summer’s Dawn Corner to Corner blanket that’s hanging up.  Isn’t it fabulous?  I saw that at the photo shoot too and loved it the moment I laid eyes on it.

It uses 10 of the 18 new solid colours and is certainly very eye-catching!  It also feels lovely to touch (not itchy at all as you might expect with 100% wool) and – best of all – is very reasonably priced (the yarn for this blanket uses 12 balls of yarn and works out at about £78) so I think that WYS have a hit on their hands!

Now then, did I mention that there was a new range of Signature 4ply launching at the show as well?  I think I might have done …

What I loved about the display of Winwick Mum Collection yarns is that each colourway sat with four contrast colours.  I hadn’t seen them with contrasts before but I think they look great!

This is Brightside …

with contrasts of Butterscotch, Cayenne Pepper, Juniper and Chocolate Lime.

Here’s Seascape …

with contrasts of Spearmint, Bubblegum, Blueberry Bon Bon and Blue Raspberry.

Wildflower …

with contrasts of Sweet Pea, Candy Floss, Blackcurrant Bomb and Sarsaparilla.

and finally Hidden Gem …

with contrasts of Violet, Dusty Miller, Poppy Seed and Milk Bottle.

I wouldn’t have thought of putting grey with the purple but it looks good, doesn’t it?

The yarn is expected to be in the shops by Easter weekend (although do phone your LYS first to make sure if you’ve got a long journey) along with the pattern book containing the five new patterns to go with the yarn.  There is one patterned sock each for the four colours and one basic sock with mix ‘n’ match heels, and having been involved in the proofing process for the book, I couldn’t be prouder of how it’s turned out – and I hope you’ll like it too!

And that’s it – the story of how the Signature 4ply Winwick Mum Collection came about.  It’s been enormous fun to do and it’s been lovely to have you along for the adventure.

I’ll see you soon!

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9 Responses

  1. Rita says:

    Fabulous pictures. I did by four ball each of the new colours Christine. Christmas sock knitting sorted. Thanks again for taking us to the show with all the stands etc. Hugs Rita xxx

  2. josiekitten says:

    So, so exciting! Congratulations again, I can't wait to try it!

  3. happy hooker says:

    What a fantastic day you had. It must have been a bit surreal to see your yarn there, after all the work you and WYS put in, but so exciting. I'm sure all your yarns will be a great success (and well deserved) and interesting to see them with the contrast colours. Thanks for letting us join you. And by the way – you can squeal with delight as much as you want now! xxx

  4. My Creative Life says:

    An amazing display, thank you for sharing your photos and the journey of your new colours. Well done with your achievement, all the best with the colour brand. I'm always recommending your blog / tutorial / sock book to people. Most of the local knit & natter group (last year) followed your instructions and knitted a pair of socks, thank you for all you do. Cathy x

  5. Julie says:

    I think you should have aeroplaned around the stall with gusto, its a fabulous achievement and I cant wait to try out your colourway when it arrives at my LNS>

  6. Doodlebug Gail says:

    Congratulations, what an amazing journey, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to making my purchases very soon.

  7. LuAnn Ferrin says:

    Thank you for the lovely article. It has been so hard waiting for your yarn to be available. Thanks heavens, it will soon be out. All the colors look so beautiful.

  8. RhianPennant says:

    Wonderfully exciting for you Christine and I’m sure you’re so proud I’m hoping I can get some at Wonderwool Wales. Rhian x

  9. luluknitts says:

    What a great day – it's enough to make a girl's head spin right off!!! All that yarney goodness – such tonic for the soul…. and yes, I certainly remember Teddy Robinson and Milly Molly Mandy – also Pippi Longstocking was a huge fav of mine. Thanks for another awesome post. xxx ps Love the grey and purple, and the Cayenne Pepper with Brightside too.

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