First thing Saturday morning I had a breakfast meeting, so I was a little later getting to the floor. As a designer this isn’t a bad thing since I never want to detract from a booth’s order taking and attending to shops – it’s a right quick way to get yourself as a designer black listed. Once I did hit the floor, I also started at the far right. That’s a little abnormal for me because the far right is also known as needlepoint land. In the past it hasn’t held much appeal and this was the first time that I have had any desire to walk beyond the somewhat invisible barrier on the TNNA floor that separates the Needlepoint grouping from the Yarns. With all the cross stitch I’ve been doing this year? I couldn’t wait to check it out. I was amazed to find all sorts of pretty cool things. It wasn’t all what I expected, overall. (Sure there were still the traditional cutesy teddy bears and landscape vistas aplenty.)
- I was able to talk with Colonial Needles and was gifted a set of cross stitch needles that has an easy threader and a sample of their new Needle Grip-It to try out when quilting and cross stitching. I’m excited to give them a go. I already know that I really love the Under Thimble, Ultra Thimble and Thimble Pads.
- From a Kreinik distributor I was given a 5m skein of soie d’alger silk thread in 1312 Pensee packaged with a 3×3″ sample of needlepoint canvas with needle. I’m going to enjoy playing with it. I’ve never needlepointed before. This might be dangerous. From Kreinik directly I received a spool of their Blending Filament in 032 Pearl and what I believe to be their 6 strand Silk Mori (no label on that one). I’m interested to see how the blending filament works with cross stitching and compares to Cosmo’s sparkle line.
After passing through that section I was on to the rest of the floor. It was Saturday and I ended up skipping right through lunch, which maybe was a good thing because I heard later the Pride Parade was going on outside and was between the convention center and the North Market, where I would have headed. I really didn’t want to fight crowds.
- I visited with Malabrigo, as per usual, and came home with a huge bundle of Rasta… actually I didn’t come home with it, I had to ship it home with Lelah of Fable Fibers and haven’t caught up with her for a knit night just yet to get it back from her. (It was way too much to bring on the plane.) I also got a coveted braid of the brand new Nube. That’s right. I haz one. And I don’t have a spinning wheel. Whatever will I do?!?! I have a plan. 😉
- I strong armed Schacht into turning loose a Zoom Loom. (Okay, not really. I inquired and they graciously gave.) It’s already being massively played with. Dory has tried 2 yarns and I have squares in both Anzula Cricket and Breeze. I’m excited to pull out my sock yarn stash and play some more. Anyway, more on that in a later post. I have plans for it too.
- Sabrina of Anzula is one of the most generous ladies I know. Seriously. I absolutely LOVE designing with her yarns and I know how thrilled she is when designers choose her. Her happiness makes ME happy. Seriously contagious. She has a new yarn out this year with bling – Nebula. So crazy soft for a metallic yarn. I have a ton of designing plans… it’ll be the year of Anzula it seems!
Chris Church and I had the honor of having dinner Saturday with Sabrina and her right hand gal Charlie. It was a wonderful and fairly quiet meal after the commotion of the day. Wonderful conversation and company. (We went out for sushi and I was pleasantly surprised much of it was gluten free.)
- I heard about Lilly Brush first from Clara Parkes on Knitter’s Review a few weeks ago and was thrilled to see them at TNNA. (Do you get her email? Seriously you should.) They were so very nice. It sounds like they are doing really well and have been quite pleased with the response. I was able to play with their display and can say I was throughly impressed. I’m planning to give it a go on a few of my precious sweaters. A separate blog post will follow all about that.
- Clover, as always, was a blast to visit. I watched with amazement their new beading loom, figured out the new weaving sticks, followed along as they taught a store owner tatting, and watched a needle felting demo. I was also sweetly given a pack of their remarketed purple Knitting & Crochet Jumbo Wonder Clips. I’m not sure that they are any different at all from the other quilting (green) Jumbo Wonder Clips, but I am so excited for these. I have the small red set that I have been using in my quilting endeavor(s). I also won a set of pom-pom makers, and I already have some… I wonder what could end up in that giveaway I have planned? I absolutely adore pom-poms and nearly think all hats should have one and I’ve never found a better maker for them.
- Stitch Sprouts just launched, it’s amazing – offering tech editing, layout, graphic design, charts, distributing, etc for designers. Heather Zoppetti (digitalnabi) [Etsy Shop] also made some super cute stitch markers, and she kindly gave me a set. These might just rip me away from my SpindleCat craze. I’m so swoony. I’ve been super patient not to rip into them just yet.
- Friday night I impulse purchased more “shawl sticks” at Sample It! Really, the Shaune Bazner Shawl Pins are primarily hair sticks in my world, but they do make wonderful shawl sticks as well. My favorites are the shorties, but I picked out a set of 3 from what she had left right as she was packing up. On Saturday I swapped one out that matched my outfit at the booth. I was surprised to find out that it is the same company that I bought hair sticks from well over a decade ago, MEI FA, since that label didn’t appear anywhere that I saw. I still have my original one, even with it’s broken bead and cracked wood tip. It’s really nice to have more. I also feel a bit guilty, as I was talking to her in her booth I said that when I went to lunch I would come back and check up on her… and then never went to lunch. I hope she had someone bring her something, as she was working alone.
- Indian Lake Artisans: I love these people. Seriously. Their needles are awesome, have super cute toppers, and the shawl pins are freaking adorable. This year they debuted their circulars, which retail for $30. (In the past I have been gifted an owl shawl pin and in a previous YarnThing swag bag a set of US11 acorn topped straight needles.) They are still really hard to find in shops and it is a shame. They spoke with me about potentially using them for my Fibers Illustrated class kits, as well as being able to offer a discount code for my students. How’s that for some class kit fun?!? Seriously, I adore teaching that class and am excited to get those kits together every time I teach it. I’m even more excited now.
- New World Textiles was set up right next to Fable Fibers with their fun Dye-Lishus fabric. She’s based right up the road in Black Mountain, NC and was really friendly. I got a sample to play with and I am dying to get homeschool back in session in order to play with it. Surely the kids need in on this one.
- Swans Island Yarns: Swoon. Really? Swoon again. Bring me the smelling salts. SO beautiful. Eco-dyed. Organic. They are hitting all my happy buttons. I am thrilled to hear they are looking for designs that are right up my ally. A swatching I shall go!! I can hardly wait for the needle time.
- Finally! They are MINE!! My favorite bamboo needles, ChiaoGoo, have interchangeables and I bought the small (US2 – US8) set of Spin on Friday night at Sample It! I’m a gadget freak and needle sets speak my language. I doubt I will be getting rid of any of my fixed CG circulars, but I am over the moon about these. Sometime soon I will nab the large set as well, the two sets work together rather than overlapping sizes. They have lovely joins and the cables swivel just like their fixed counterparts.
- My timing was perfect when Brandy Fortune of Pixie Purls was just finishing her signing for Just Like Me Knits (Ravelry link, login required) when I wandered past. I stopped to say hello to her, who knows when you will see someone again on the floor, and Unicorn Books gave me the last copy! Dory’s AG, Kit, might be lucky enough to get some new clothes. As always, her photography is as sweet as gumdrops. She has the cutest little photogenic girls around, and as usual they steal the show.
- One of the funnest things for me about TNNA is the collection of buttons handed out. These are the new ones I came home with that went on my flair wall banner. It won’t be long before I either have to rearrange them all to fit better or make a larger banner.
- I briefly saw Amy Singer of Knitty fame. She was kindly handing out project bag tags. On the back is my name & number, I think these are just perfect. I need more.
- Last, and certainly not least, my good friend and sometimes design partner, Chris Church made me a solid hand lotion! I have two of them shaped as little hearts and they were made just for me. It has a light lemon scent and I totally adores it. Now I need to troll etsy for a cute tin for it, yes?
WHEW! Can you see why the show takes so long? I know there were tons of other booths, friends even, that I didn’t manage to really get by and see at all. Next year I think I really do need to stretch it to Monday evening, this year I needed to cut it short due to Josh being little and Daddy needing me back. I’ll admit, I was ready to get back to them.
Full disclosure statement: all items were received as gifts, no money changed hands. Some items were received with intention to use in future design work.
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