Thursday, July 23, 2009

New sheep on the block

I love marketing. I admit it - the art of product story-telling amuses the shit out of me. I guess that's why I love my job (all the wine not withstanding).

When I saw the new Spud and Chloe line at Needle Emporium, my inner marketer stood up and cheered. At last - some innovation.

Spud and Chloe is a sub brand of the Blue Sky Alpacas parent brand. (Note to self - never choose a company name that defines you in too narrow a sector). By creating the Spud and Chloe brand, they can now launch "non Alpaca" fibres to their heart's content. The logo is cheeky and whimsical. I'm a sucker for red-headed girls who like sheep.

The patterns are packaged like sewing patterns on one large 11 x 17 inch sheet which folds into a paper sleeve. I wasn't sure I'd like this format but it's great for making a copy to mark up and carry around with you. I always wrestle with the Rowan books when I make copies for my knitting bag. There's even a section to make notes.

The designs strike a nice balance between classic and cheeky. My personal favourites are this bulky weight cardigan which may nicely fit with some Adrianne Vittadini Mimi I have in stash. Also, this hooded vest is very cute but my favourite is this wave pullover in shades of brown, burnt orange, teal and lime green. I must confess...I bought the yarn for this one.
The yarns are also classic with a twist. The fingering weight yarn is called "Fine" and is a merino/silk blend that is super wash. It's very soft and the Wave pullover I bought uses it. The Aran weight is called "Sweater" and is a wool/cotton blend and the bulky weight is dubbed "Outer" and is also a wool/cotton blend.

The patterns are stored in a cool branded filing box with dividers that are labelled according to the yarn it uses. Nice touch marketing department!!!!

I'm guessing BSA is targeting those younger knitters who have made their umpteenth novelty scarf and are ready for garments. I think the patterns will have broader appeal though this little cardigan feels young to me (though I do love it). Julie is having a store sample made of it in different colours so once I see it in the flesh - I may feel differently.

Is Spud and Chloe all gimmick/no substance? I don't think so at all. This is where the industry needs to go. Give us great, easy to care for yarns with innovative pattern support and you'll "have us at hello".


Anonymous said...

Ooh, that is nice.

Marcia said...

I've been seeing Spud and Chloe recently but didn't realize it was part of Blue the pattern concept, as a long-time sewer.

Off topic...what was the name of that 2007 red you said was so spectacular? Hubby wants to ask a friend who has family in Toronto to pick some up for him. Thanks.

And what happened with your Wee Robin? Curious to know how and if that's been resolved.

Anonymous said...

The red wine that's so spectacular is Trius Red 2007 vintage. There are just a few left so you're best to have your friend in Toronto go to to find a store and call to make sure they still have the 07 vintage.

The Wee Robin is with "it's maker" getting a new treadle and "drying out". I'll post about that later too. I miss i.

Jessica said...

They also completely scored a homerun by promoting the line early without revealing the yarns. They generated a lot of interest and excitement long before the yarns hit the shops. The whole line from the branding to the patterns to the colors has a very unified, retro feel to it. I wish other yarn companies were this innovative.