March 13th, 2014
Yep, it’s new shade card time already. I heard rumblings that it was arriving this week, so I was more than a little antsy when the shade card was not ready waiting for me on Tuesday. I’m guessing for most of you this will be old news, but the compulsion to drone on about which colourways Bendigo Woollen Mills has decided are in and which are out overrides any concern about being behind the news curve. I get one opportunity a year to get my BWM colourway spreadsheet out (seriously), so I’m not going to miss it.
Here’s the summary of the difference between this year’s and last year’s shade card:
- Rustic and Alpaca Rich have been discontinued in their entirety
- Stella (50% bamboo, 50% wool) has been promoted to the main shade card, and expanded to include 17 new colourways
- Tangerine (bright orange, shade number 347), Cerise (pink, 348) and African Violet (light blue-purple, 349) added to the 8 ply range
- Fuchsia (303) added to the 10ply range
- Wild Barley (light green-yellow, 323), Cork Brown (light brown, 355) and Iris Mist (light blue-purple, 366) discontinued in the 8ply range. No colourways discontinued in the 10ply range
- Maize (cheery yellow, 694) and Hunter (dark green, 753) added to the 2/3/5/8/12 ply range
- Deep Rose (rosy pink, 760), ember mix (red/green marl, 759), currant (reddish purplish brownish, 761), Mineral Mix (green/red marl, 758), Lilac (very light purple, 762), Midnight Blue (very dark blue, 765), Midnight Green Mix (dark green marl, 755), Evergreen (forest green, 766), Broadleaf (olive green, 763), Grey (light blue-grey, 764), Midnight Mix (dark blue/red marl, 757) and Claret Mix (maroon/dark red marl, 756) added to the 8 ply range
Interesting (to me) observations
- The paper stock is a lot thinner than previous shade cards. This may (or may not) have something to do with the fact this year’s shade card has four folds, rather than three folds used in previous cards.
- Classic has been split into two sections on the shade card; in one section are the colourways that come in 2, 3, 5, 8 and 12 ply, and in the other section are colourways that only come in 8 ply. I like this layout a lot.
- The pattern selection has been expanded a lot. There are 13 patterns featured on this shade card, nine more than last year.
The biggest change in this shade card the the end of Rustic and the expansion of Stella. It’s ridiculous to mourn a yarn I haven’t used in years, but when I did use it, I really liked it. I hope that it comes back in some form, even as a limited edition release. Out of all the discontinuations, Rustic is the only thing I would consider panic buying.
Adding to my disappointment is the introduction of Stella into the main shade card. I’ve knit with bamboo blends a couple of times, and only once have I been happy with the results. So while I haven’t used Stella (there’s your grain of salt to accompany my opinion), I’m yet to be convinced by bamboo blends in general.
Some of the new classic colourways, specifically Midnight Blue, Midnight Mix and Claret Mix, are lovely. Midnight Mix and Claret Mix remind me of some of the marled colourways that worked so well in Rustic. I don’t think they work as well in a crepe yarn, but are still nice enough for me to consider purchasing some. The only drawback to them is the weight; a project I’d use them for calls for a 5ply crepe and these new colourways only come in 8ply. I’m never satisfied, obviously.
So, over to you. What do you think about this year’s shade card?