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Dear friends,

I know you’ll weep with sympathy when I report that this spring has been, even by my own overheated standards, absolutely crammed with yarn.

Last month I told you about La Fête de la Laine, on the edge of Paris. Since then I’ve visited Lainorama, a sweet new fiber event in the heart of Paris that I hope to see grow and flourish.

Lainorama, Paris

And in between I returned to Cologne (Köln), Germany for h + h, the annual international trade fair for folks who deal in yarn, fabric, and the tools we use to work with them.

I wrote about knitting and crochet at  h + h last year after my first visit, and since you took such a keen interest in what I saw, let’s do it again.

Wandering the floor (actually, three floors in the sprawling modernist barrack that is the Kölnmesse convention center), it was evident that yarn companies in general are responding to a worldwide public very much in need of a hug.

The trends I noted last year—especially bold patterns and bright colors—continue. But now the bold is bolder and the bright occasionally verges on the blinding.


Many of the bright palettes will ring bells for those who remember dancing to the Go-Go’s and the Waitresses and the soundtrack from Flashdance.

Lane Mondial

Others, though equally nostalgic, seem to draw instead from memories of the 1960s and early ’70s, spring gardens, and candy shops.

Manos del Uruguay
Lane Mondial

For those with quieter tastes, the alternative to bright was brown—specifically, the soft browns of  falling leaves and forest floors, mixed with warm grays, mossy greens, and dull golds.

Mode at Rowan
Lang Yarns

Personally, I gravitated most towards palettes and projects in which the peppy and the peaceful were used side by side—probably my favorite trend this year.

Louisa Harding Yarns
Lana Grossa

The oversized fit (very often paired with oversized patterning) dominated—another nod to the 1980s. But where the eighties sweater was merely relaxed, in the 2020s it has become a cocoon. A shelter.

WoolAddicts [sic] by Lang Yarns
Lana Grossa
Lion Brand Yarns

There wasn’t anything this year that was new and startling—mostly continuations of previous trends. It makes sense for the industry, in a world still tottering towards recovery after a pandemic, to play it a bit safe.

However, there was a noticeable boom … or perhaps I should say poof … in the number of fluffy, fuzzy yarns. Yarns with halo so pronounced that they seem to glow. Much of this came (as you might guess) from mohair and angora; but others are alpaca, wool, or blends thereof carefully structured to play up the cuddly, feather-light appearance.

Lana Grossa
Juniper Moon
WoolAddicts [sic] by Lang Yarns
Lana Grossa

It’s very much in keeping, of course, with the tendency towards knitting and crochet that want to hold you, to shield you, to cheer you up and calm you down, to tell you that in the end it will all be okay.

You may not like everything I’ve shown you from h + h. I sure didn’t. But I don’t know a soul who can’t use a bit of that feeling right now.

Hang in there.




Pack up your duffle bag

It’s that time of year! MDK Summer Camp is returning for a new session of a virtual crafting event like no other. Read all about it, and reserve your spot in the craft hut, here.

About The Author

Franklin Habit has been sharing his brainy and hilarious writing and illustrations with the knitting world since 2005.


  • An interesting summary. Thank you! But, haven’t these businesses heard of finishing their garments? A bit of blocking and steam would go a long way. I’ve seen better presented wool on the back of a sheep

    • I’m with you, Susan! Why take the time and effort to knit a project only to leave it not quite done? A few pins and some steam go a long way to a polished finish.

    • Yes, it seems so many just finished their samples the night before and didn’t have time to give them any finish at all!

      • Love it.

      • Probably true. It’s always a scramble to set up for a trade show, no matter how diligently you prepare for it.

  • Oh!! Thank you, Franklin, I love going to h+h with you. I WANT to make that handbag covered in flowers. I hope that a pattern for it will emerge from the show. I think you are completely right about everyone needing a hug from our clothing right now. I like what you say about the peppy and peaceful residing side by side. That sums up my aesthetic completely at the moment. Wishing you all the best, always!

    • Couldn’t be said better!!

    • Looks to be crochet bubble or bobble stitches make each flower.
      But check the net or a local library and look for a “how-to crochet flowers”. Then pick one + some bulky yarn and you are off!

      • Oh thank you so much for all those lovely pictures! It was great seeing what people were trying out and thinking the public would like… Although there’s a couple of those sweaters I would love to make and others I would never want to try making or wearing in a million years. But hey everybody will like some of it. I’d really love to make that garter stitch striped Noro sweater you had a close-up of.

        • I like that Noro sweater, too. It’s in the Noro magazine #23 in stark black and white. Ravelry says it’s also in issue #3, in one color of Kureyon.

  • Wonderful. And thank you for exporting some joy.
    We – I – here stateside, so needed this love and appreciation of yarn and whimsy.

    Thank you thank you thank you.

    It’s going to be okay… just gotta hang in there:
    Love and sweetness to you too, dear one.

  • Wow! Thanks Franklin. I loved the pink longest skirt and top.

  • Wow. I love almost everything ❤️


  • In response to the comment regarding blocking… I love the look of loose and cuddly and unstructured!
    Thanks Franklin for a look into this amazing event
    From someone who rarely blocks her finished projects…

    • I’m with you, Sara!

      • Ditto!

        • and me too!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this! You are tres magnifique in your role of harbinger and reporter!

    I actually love the slightly unfinished look: it’s a not-quite-enough-time, nothing’s-perfect, I-have-more-important-things-to-do vibe that is so representative of the times in which we live. And besides, with wool being wool we can always take the time to steam and block at some point in the future where the world calms down – hopefully?

    • “Everything old is new again,” is alive and well. Very interesting to see potential fashion twists and turns and color play. It’ll be interesting to see how our favorite designers might interpret the “latest.” Thank you so much for your generous sharing.

  • Thanks for given us a glimpse of this festival

  • Intriguing! Lots of color and texture and wow, you were not kidding when you said oversized. Everything cozy, cozy, cozy. Thank you for bringing us along on your report from the field!

  • A feast for the morning eyes. Thank you.

  • I’m intrigued by the pattern used by Kasiova with the allover flowers in a cream color. Does anyone know what that stitch is called?

    • I saw it before in crochet stitch … try Pinterest, checking bubble stitches using crochet. I am sure this stitch will pop up.

    • Seconding! Is this knit or crochet? Must learn this technique immediately!

      • It looks like crocheted Jasmine Stitch.

        Thanks, Franklin, for the wonderful photos!

        • I just looked it up and you are so right, it is crocheted Jasmine stitch!

  • Thank you so much for sharing!

  • I want the purple sweater and the gold/yellow stripped scarf. Thank you for sharing this event with us. 🙂

  • Ooh, thanks for the yarn report Franklin. I loved quite a few of the sweaters esp the hot pink chunky cabled sweater and the Louisa Harding. I hope a lot of these yarns and patterns make it to our shops.

  • Thank you for showing me the show. At this point, walking three floors of sense candy with my hands firmly in my pockets is more than my balance or restraint can provide.

  • Delightful look at the coming inspiration/s. I want to add the striped cardigan with the blue button band to my veeerrrrry long queue… Merci Franklin!

    • For the people intrigued by the Rowan striped cardigan: I’ve just had an email exchange with Rowan customer support and it’s a new pattern that will be published in the Autumn Winter collection, which launches in September, so a little while to wait! And you might guess that the yarn is Rowan felted tweed.

  • Kali Mera, Franklin, What a wonderful post of what must have been a wonderful day for you. I thank you for sharing. Yes, I am hanging in there and I pray you are doing well and … hanging in, too 🙂

    Kathy F.

  • Lovely, inspiring, armchair travel with yarn. What could be more perfect?

  • Brilliant thank you.

  • Sending you a big hug! Thank you for the beautiful photos and ideas.

  • Wow, what fabulous design pieces in the h+h show! I’m spontaneously drooling and fully awake now! Yes, a real 80s and 90s vibe with the shapes and colors- but in designs that give new life and excitement. HOW do these designers do it?!

    Beautiful presentation Franklin, thank you! OH! And that extraordinary ceiling!

  • Thank you. And I need that SCHACHENMAYR cardigan, in a fuzzy yarn perhaps…even though it hasn’t been cold enough to wear a handknit for years, I keep knitting. I am apparently going to be on a pattern hunt, forsaking all else.

  • Thanks for sharing these trends! Now I can wear my hot pink sweater of Big Birdie yarn (fuzzy, from Dimond Laine) and feel I’m of the moment. And I’ll be dreaming of that Rowan sweater with bright stripes on grey.

  • I love the SCHACHENMAYR tweedy yarn with the large ‘clumps’ of colors. Will hide any mistakes!

    • I want it too! I love a neon tweed!

  • Franklin, you bring us joy and hope! Diane

  • I just love reading about these adventures. I dream of getting to be there someday!

  • Thank you – Love your reporting and keen eye for these events. The 4th picture from the bottom is very interesting. The flowers do not look knit or crocheted and I am wondering what technique was used. That would be a beautiful wrap, cowl, pillow, etc.

  • Thank you for your report and beautiful pictures. Last time i went to the H +H was before Covid. And i am shocked to see absolutely nothing new. Same colorpalette, almost the same yarns. This may be safe business wise in the short run, but is it in the long run ? To keep up with fashion, i don’t need to buy new yarn. I can (re-)use what i have at home.

    • … and that makes sense… tripple R anybody?
      recycle, reuse, reduce.

  • These are amazing! I really hope some of those sweaters make it into the world as patterns! I can see myself living in the chunky, bulky Lion heart square sweater done in soothing browns, grays and bright green and gold!

  • Warmed my soul & so glad to have your spirited commentary! Thanks

  • What first-thing-in-the-morning fun! Thank you, Franklin. And I want that striped cardigan from Rowan! Wonderful combination of colors….

    • For the people intrigued by the Rowan striped cardigan: I’ve just had an email exchange with Rowan customer support and it’s a new pattern that will be published in the Autumn Winter collection, which launches in September, so a little while to wait! And you might guess that the yarn is Rowan felted tweed.

    • I want that cardigan pattern too! It looks like short rows are involved. I looked on the Rowan website and couldn’t find the pattern. Does anyone know if this pattern will ultimately be released? Thank you Franklin for the wonderful tour!

      • I was obsessed by that too and can’t find it either!

      • Add me to the list of interested parties. That Rowan cardigan really caught my eye!

  • Veering back to that COWGIRLBLUES fiber. I think I need that yarn! It looks like an impressionist painting of a field of daisies. I’m not familiar with that company (read a book by the same name!) but it’s in my queue now, noted, saved on my phone and fiber journal! Total delight! Sigh…

  • Thank you for the event report, Franklin…so interesting! I love the peppy and peaceful combinations.

  • Thank you for this photo reportage!
    Sooo nice to have at least a “keyhole” view of the show. Interesting to see a “renaissance” of crochet there as it is happening on this side of the pond as well, but these days, of course trends do not stay local for long.

  • I really enjoyed the textured knits, whether fluffy or cabled. The overall unkempt look – not my favorite. Having owned oversized sweaters in the 1980s, I remember them as having a kind of “bombproof” nature. Just give them a good shake before wearing and the knit was very forgiving. Perhaps these yarns too soft for the heavy stitch texture? I will look up that fuzzy hug of a sweater though!

  • What a great article! I felt like I was there and now I am filled with incentive to start a new project. Thank you

  • All fantastic
    I certainly admire all the artists for their choice of color and patterns that make both pop. A fun way to start my day.

  • Oh wow! I’m having a pleasant flashback to my ’80s stint at a yarn store when Adrienne Vittadini and Perry Ellis were showing great oversized sweater patterns. Hot pink! Black and cream modernist patterning! Lovely deja vu all over again. Merci Franklin

  • It’s the joy of looking over and over again at gorgeous things I’ll likely never make… the darling swath of little cream coloured flowers, Kasiova, and the multicoloured, broken vertical lines by Manos de Uruguay, the Rowan fair isle… with the added and repeated frisson of horror at some textures and colours. What a treat! Thank you Franklin!

  • You know, I love the fun, colorful knits at Lainorama….takes me back to the Pucci print shifts I wore in the 60’s/70’s and honestly I could go for some bright color these days! Not to mention the gorgeous building with those beautiful ceilings it was held in! I wish that here in America we could have events like this in some of our beautiful buildings….Food for thought! Thanks for taking us along on your Yarn trip❤️

  • Thank you Franklin, especially for the kind words of encouragement at the end. You have provided me a gorgeous and adventuresome ‘runway show’ of yarns right in the comfort of my own home. Please stay well and continue your good work.

  • I love him!!!

  • These could costume the whole Met Gala next year!

  • I look so forward to your letters!! Thank you for sharing the styles shown at h+h ! Diverse for sure!
    Thanks for the hug!!
    Take good care of yourself!

  • When can we get a throwback to the styles of the 40’s……or maybe even 20’s……having lived through and worn the 80’s I’m not excited to see its return. I guess I’ll just have to go my own way and find retro knitting patterns and make my own style! Thanks for the article Franklin. I always enjoy!!

  • Thank you, Franklin.

  • Thank you, Franklin, for the beautiful perspective.

  • Some of those sweaters are just beautiful!!!

  • Thank you for the tour! Lots to digest here and some inspiration



  • I’ll take them all.

  • Another wonderful piece of writing! I loved looking at all the projects. Truly a bit of nostalgia to the 80’s. Thank you for this article. I loved this.

  • Thanks for providing the armchair tour!

    I do hope that chevron striped sweater from Noro becomes a commercially-available pattern. Log cabin en pointe?

    • It is! Check last winter’s noro magazine!

  • Thank you for sharing. I love color, but also the quiet, calming colors. I think we can all use a hug from our clothing.

  • Franklin
    This was a treat. I loved all of it. A little nostalgic. I would love to see the Lang styles come back strong. Thank you for a wonderful taste of what is to come.

  • What fun. I would like to knit them all.

  • Wow! I think I need at least one brightly colored piece in my wardrobe. And the Lion Brand square sweater too, in the colors shown. Thank you.

  • The ROWAN cardigan made of lighter weight small stripes and gray trimming is an absolute classic that you would never regret the time or the price to get that sweater. Wear it with anything, forever.

    • For the people intrigued by the Rowan striped cardigan: I’ve just had an email exchange with Rowan customer support and it’s a new pattern that will be published in the Autumn Winter collection, which launches in September, so a little while to wait! And you might guess that the yarn is Rowan felted tweed.

  • These trends are right in line with what I saw with all clothing this weekend in the U.S. The colors of the 60s mixed with the styles of the 70s and 80s. I’m 71 so those trends cover my teenage, college and young adult years. A real stroll down memory lane.

    Great pictures!

  • I loved this post! I was completely unaware of this show, not that that means anything, but now I will look into it for my own edification and sparking of creative juices. Thank you so much for your knowledgeable and insightful comments about the fashion and yarn shown!!

  • Love your travelogues!
    Living vicariously through you, sir!

  • thank you so much for all the beautiful pictures! It was fun seeing the show through your lens.

  • My eyes! Franklin, was the PA system playing “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades?”

  • Thank you, Franklin, for sharing so many inspiring designs!

  • Thank you.

  • Merci beaucoup, Franklin. You’ve provided a lovely meander through the surprising retro fashions. I wore some of those colors in my younger years, though maybe not quite so elegantly. Really appreciate you sharing your visit with us!

  • did like the mohair I like to carry it along with another yarn to give the sweater a haze to the sweater. thank for the show.

  • Thank you for all those glorious photos! And the always wonderful news from Paris!

  • I hope all this travel means your health had improved. Those examples were fascinating to see. The patterns do remind me of the 80’s, all that intarsia ! The colors were beautiful, thanks for sharing. Give me lots of ideas and that I will possible need to combine more colors into my makes.

  • Thank you for sharing your view of all of the wonderful things on display at H&H. It’s an incredible reminder of what we will have here the states in the upcoming year; yarns that go from classic to textured, beautiful print yarns and stitch patterns that highlight the yarn and will frame the body. I appreciate what you do.

  • So no big new trend- we can make and wear what we like!
    Always one of the joys of knitting.

  • I am drooling over the schachenmayr nubby yarn—casual and elegant at the same time!

  • Wonderful pictures and what color! Thanks for this! It makes me want to knit a sweater!

  • Certainly a wide perspective of style, color and materials. Beautiful colors and fibers. 60s and 70s styles updated to today, looking like fun. Thanks for the tour.

  • I sure can. Thanks for taking us with you.

  • Agree with Susan re the blocking/steaming/finishing! Loved looking at all this. Reminds me why I just stick with my own style and give only a passing nod to trends.

  • Thank you! Really enjoyed all the photos and commentary.

  • I love that blue and black (navy?) Noro sweater that looks like a log cabin project! Makes me think of Ann and Kay. Thanks for the swell recap of h + h!

  • Ow wow! Thanks for the report and I am slightly obsessed with that Rowan irregularly-striped cardigan! You didn’t happen to catch the afternoon name, did you? I’ve searched and all I can find are stripes that are different widths but not varying width within one stripe.

    • For the people intrigued by the Rowan striped cardigan: I’ve just had an email exchange with Rowan customer support and it’s a new pattern that will be published in the Autumn Winter collection, which launches in September, so a little while to wait! And you might guess that the yarn is Rowan felted tweed.

      • Oh my gosh, thanks for finding that out!!

  • What can I say? The 70’s and 80’s all over again. Those were not The Flattering Years. Thanks for sounding the alarm, Franklin. As knitters we can shun – or at least tweak – them. (Puddles of yarn underneath the armpits…colors that come screeching to a halt…oh my.)

  • For the people intrigued by the Rowan striped cardigan: I’ve just had an email exchange with Rowan customer support and it’s a new pattern that will be published in the Autumn Winter collection, which launches in September, so a little while to wait! And you might guess that the yarn is Rowan felted tweed.

    • Thank you. Very helpful information

  • Merci beaucoup, Franklin.

  • Oh darn, I can’t believe I’ve lived long enough to see my childhood styles come around again. Though they’re not my cup of tea, I hope knitters have a lot of fun with the “retro” 70s vibes.

  • Those bright, boxy sweaters remind me of the Adrienne Vittadini covers of 1980s Vogue Knitting Magazine. I still love to look at them, even if I could never imagine wearing them. And while I love mohair, please I hope we don’t revisit the novelty yarn craze.

    Thanks for the eye candy, Franklin!

  • Thank you, Franklin! So many lovely patterns and yarns.

  • I think it was brave to put them on display in the just finished condition , I can certainly imafine then blocked!

  • Please don’t hate on me, but I long for the return of more fitted knits. Bright colors delight me, and I’m good with the kicky 60s stuff, but combined with all the oversized dropped shoulder designs… not so much. I won’t be spending hours and money knitting a wearable circus tarpaulin.

    Thank you Franklin, for confirming my fears that these styles are here for a bit more time.

    • I’m with you on fitted garments. I’m sure that a set in shoulder, saddle or raglan takes more planning in design. Also, I had a thought that bigger means more yarn sales, you think!

  • Beautiful lovely

  • That Naako sweater! I’m in love. Suggestions please on how to find the pattern.

  • I love a good fashion show! Thanks so much for bringing a glimpse of what is out there in the world. It’s a good thing that yarn, knitting and crochet are actively part of our life now.

  • I find myself ENVIOUS of the knitting skills that produced these amazing garments. The imagination of color and stitch skills leaves me breathliess!

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