As much as I love writing about Berroco yarns, I love hearing other people talk about the yarns even more. Ellen from Crazy For Ewe in Leonardtown, Maryland, wrote about her experience with a Berroco Cotolana™ trunk show and kindly shared her text and images with us. I’m going to quickly talk about the yarn and show a swatch, and then Ellen’s going to take it away!
Berroco Cotolana is a blend of 47% wool, 47% cotton, and 3% nylon worked in a chainette construction. This machine-washable yarn knits at a worsted weight gauge—for my swatch, I used a US size 7 (4.5 mm), as my tension is generally on the looser side. I steamed my swatch, but I know from experience that this yarn handles a dip in the washing machine just fine.
Read on for Ellen’s thoughts on Cotolana:
Berroco knocked it out of the park with Berroco Cotolana this season! The response to both the yarn and the garments in the trunk show has been overwhelming. It’s awesome when so many garments in one collection have such wide appeal. My Berroco orders are usually wide and deep, and this season was no exception—three bags of each color—now here I am, less than three days after the yarn arrived, having to reorder colors.
I started thinking about why this was such a successful collection. The Cotolana collection is a happy marriage of design and fiber, each bringing out the best in the other. The garments are modern classics—at once timeless and current. They’re stylish and wearable for women of any age, and they’re flattering on a wide range of figures (with pattern sizing to support). The yarn is appealing with the softness you expect in cotton and the bounce you expect in wool. There’s no prickle in the fabric at all—just buttery soft against your skin. This 50/50 blend of cotton and wool makes Cotolana a perfect year-round fiber. Finally, it has a very accessible price point.
Let’s look at some of the garments that were particularly popular.
Chittenden is a basic pullover that’s so comfortable and flattering one customer has threatened to knit one in every color! Updated with a high-low hem and a wider neckline, Chittenden brings to mind relaxed weekends and cozy evenings. Its generous length calls out for slim-fitting jeans and maybe some riding boots—even if you’re only riding in the car.
Looks great on the model, but also looks great on real people like Gail and Julie.
Next is Lamoille.
Simply styled with drop shoulders and a flattering three-quarter sleeve, Lamoille is a basic cardigan worked in the round from hem to shoulders. The sleeves are picked up and worked down, so you could actually make them any length you like. This sweater is a great jacket alternative and exactly what you want when the air conditioning is on extra frosty. Great on the model, of course, but also great on Chris and Terry.
Then there’s Caledonia—the great big wrap everyone needs in their life.
Every fall we see some iteration of the ruana on the runway, and this year is no exception. There are lots of reasons we love this style garment. Easy-fitting and flattering, it takes you wherever you’re going in comfortable style. It never feels bulky or gets in your way when you’re driving around running errands. Caledonia is what you’ll want to throw on when it’s not really cold enough for a coat but you need a little something. Its attractive stitch pattern is fun to knit, completely reversible, and lies flat. Both sides are the right side, so you always look wonderful.
And finally, Essex, our knitalong pick.
Essex is a capelet, which is especially on trend this fall. More than a shawl, but not quite a sweater, capelets are the perfect in-between garment. Lots of our knitters love the look and feel but wished for a little more arm accessibility. No problem! Essex is worked in knit in the round from the top down, but you could knit part of the bottom separately to leave a little bit open at the side for your arms if you like. Isn’t that a happy coincidence!
Booklet 375 Berroco Cotolana also includes two accessories: Grand Isle, a hat pattern knit in the round with slipped stitches, and Windham, a simple, small shawl worked with two colors of Berroco Cotolana held together in a ribbed pattern. If you have not seen the trunk show yet, stop by the shop and take a look at the garments—try them on. I’m anxious to hear which ones you like best.
If you’re not local to Crazy for Ewe, be sure to let your local yarn store owner know that you’re interested in seeing a trunk show! We’re happy to send out projects knit in Berroco Yarns to shops, but our trunk shows do book up early. A Berroco yarn representative can work with your shop to get a trunk show scheduled.