Annabelle began her journey into textiles during the mid 1980’s in Wellington. She was inspired by a neighbour who taught her how to spin and dye fibres. Totally hooked, Annabelle sold her colourful textured homespun yarn in select retail outlets and galleries throughout New Zealand.
Shortly afterwards, Annabelle’s Collections designer sweaters emerged, helped by a fabulous team of pattern writers and knitters. Annabelle and her team produced sweaters for the domestic and overseas markets, including the Brisbane Expo 86. More business coups followed with a commission to produce two elegant sweaters for a former fashion buyer of Sak's Fifth Avenue (New York) and culminating in the purchase of an Annabelle’s Collection child’s sweater by the Queen during the 1980’s visit to New Zealand.
Kaffe Facett, the internationally famous English textile artist who is currently designing for Rowan wools, was also impressed with Annabelle’s use of colour and design ability, commenting: “ Wonderful dramatic and superb use of colour-love the rich blend of blues and violet…. big neck works well….” and “Very dramatic contrasts- some beautiful tones of bronzes, mellow pinky gold’s etc….”
Amy Brown in the N.Z Herald wrote “A quite splendid piece for me is a sweater by Annabelle which hangs just inside the gallery door. It is wonderfully toned in apricots, creams, light tans and black with the softest and richest toning colours of forest green and sludgy pink used in minute amounts. Different fibres have been used to create textural and surface interest.”
In 2009, Annabelle was inspired to re-enter the yarn design/ production business by two factors. Firstly, the availability of high quality kid mohair (sourced direct from the growers), fine merino top and luscious silk threads and fibres. Secondly, the enthusiastic encouragement of a well-known Wellington retailer, Mary from Nancy’s, who was impressed with Annabelle’s Collections range of colours and quality of yarn. With a renewed zeal, Annabelle is thrilled to present the new and exciting yarns and patterns you'll find on this site!