Ozyarn. (Not to be confused with Ozeyarn, which still seems to be going strong.) They used to be at www.ozyarn.com.
Ozyarn sourced predominantly novelty yarns from Australian suppliers. Some of them were rather unique, and there wasn’t anything quite like it on the market from anyone else: here’s their lineup circa 2001; even though the yarns weren’t fundamental basics and tended towards the multicoloured and fuzzy, you can see there was a relatively high proportion of natural fibers in there. (They did have some basic alpaca and wool, too.)
But ordering their yarns, I found, was hit-and-miss. I appreciated Sensation, which had 4 to 6-inch runs of fuzzy mohair twisted onto a black angora/polyamide core; in the red-gold tones, it resembled inverse tiger stripes. Luxury, a blend of 45/45/10 angora/acrylic/polyester, was a lighter than air boucle (as promised) and kitten-soft; however, in the skein, it looked like the kitten had been in a bit of a scrap — I don’t know how to describe it, but it was like a messy boucle. When knitted up, it felt soft and delightful, but looked worn and old. And Magnificence was just a travesty of yarn. Brightly coloured slubs of purple and red on a medium grey heathered core. Those colours simply didn’t work together. And the core yarn felt like Lopi. I don’t know why I took a flyer on that yarn and ordered it.
This yarn was probably the most frou that ever resided in my stash, with the exception of that one unfortunate skein of pastel green eyelash that came in the free gift bag at last year’s Knitter’s Frolic. I believe I disposed of that — well, I hope I did.
In this hemisphere, Ozyarn’s biggest boost was being associated with Lily Chin sometime around 2001 (I can’t recall the particulars — she either visited them and helped them break into the North American market, or she encouraged them to go international, or something like that). They evidently shut down the site sometime after Fall 2004. No idea what, if anything, they’re doing in this field now.
Which reminds me: Lily’s putting out her own line of yarns. A signature line: “design-driven, spirited, stunning and bold yarn collection that embodies a fresh approach to knitting and crocheting.” The launch is next weekend at TNNA.
I think phrases like “fresh approach” in the Lily context scare me.