Monday, January 14, 2008

I went, I saw,

I was overwhelmed. I had forgotten how huge the TNNA trade show really is, and I'm only talking about the knitting yarns. There's needlepoint too.

The Long Beach Convention Center is huge too. The first thing that happened was that I noticed it had been moved since the last time I was there so I had to drive around a bit to find it. Then I had to drive around some more to find the entrance. Some people have suggested that I just got off at the wrong exit. Could be. But I got there right at ten when the doors were about to open. Before I even got inside I had said hello to Stephanie (to know her is to love her) from Unwind. And then Cindy from Alamitos Bay Yarn Company and Ann Mary, my old boss from Skein.

I hadn't been to TNNA for five or six years so I was looking forward to seeing lots of vendors and reps that I have known over the years. But I started out by looking through some of the vendors. First up was Cherry Tree Hill. I have always liked their yarns and have a lot of it in my stash. I didn't see anything really new. There might have been some new colors.

Next I went to Melanie Falick Books. They're the publishers of one of my current favorites, Knitting New Scarves
by Lynne Barr. They had all the scarves from the book. I got a canvas tote bag as well as a mock-up of their upcoming book Knit-a-long.

I wandered over to Farmhouse Yarns and petted some of their really rustic yarns. I had used some of their yarn for one of the scarves I made for Christmas so it was fun to see what other things they had. Their sock yarn is a bit heavier than what I'm used to and would probably be too warm for the climate here but I imagine it would be great for CT where they're located.

Went to Artyarns next and fell in love with their beaded silk. Incredible colors. I'm not in charge of buying so I don't know if we're getting any of that. Maybe we could special order.

Trendsetter had a huge space filled with their signature novelty yarns plus some of their new colors of Tonalita and other more conventional yarns. I know some Bazaar and Intermezzo were ordered. Very chic, if you like shine. Lana Knits was right next door with a nice display of their hemp yarns. Some cute kits for small projects. Unfortunately we're not getting any of that.

Looked at the Blue Heron Yarns. I like them a lot. Great, wild colors. We don't carry it but they have some at Unraveled in Monrovia. Maybe they'll be getting some new colors soon.

At Westminster Fibers I ran into our Rowan yarn rep. I've known her for at least twelve years since the time I was at Mariposa, a now defunct yarn shop. It was great to see her and get a hug.

I spent a lot of time admiring the Habu fibers. Their stuff is so amazing. They had some kits available and a good selection of garments and accessories that were knit from their unusual fibers. It's probably a good thing I'm not in charge of buying or we'd be overbought for sure.

Zipped through Muench and Manos del Uruguay and on to Nashua Knits. They had the yarn Julia that is used in all the patterns in Kristen Nicholas' new book Kristen Knits so I finally got to see those.

My friend Nancy is rep for Plymouth Yarn so I stopped by to say hello and remind her that we're supposed to be getting together for dinner. They have a large selection of yarns but I don't see much of it around here. Their Encore is about it. So I moved on to Rio de la Plata. Another yarn that I'd like to have every color and every yarn in. I hope Stephanie got some for Unwind since we're not getting any.

It was right about here that I ran into Annie Modesitt. I hadn't seen her in a couple of years. She's been through a lot since last I saw her. It was good to get to spend some time with her and get some extra big hugs.

Lorna's Laces has a new yarn they're calling their green line. All organic. I don't think it's on their web site yet. It's pretty and has a nice hand. Colors are soft and muted pastels. I'd buy it if I saw it somewhere.

Spent some time in Brown Sheep's booth. Nothing really new there but it was enjoyable talking with them. I wandered around some, deciding where to look next. That's when I ran into Rob and Matt from Threadbear Fiber Arts. I've wanted to meet them for a long time so I was hoping to run into them. It was great. We didn't have much time as they were trying to buy some of everything there. I hope I can get to Lansing MI someday.

I went next to Claudia's Handpaints and fell in love again. This one we're getting for A Stitch in Time. In about six to eight weeks. I think we're getting Linen Lace and some of their merino fingering weight in a lot of colors. I'm very excited about this.

I'm almost done.

I met Rick Mondragon from Knitter's Magazine. We talked about his new book that coming out this spring. It's actually a compendium of men's sweaters that have appeared in Knitter's in the past.

At Berroco I watched Norah Gaughan write up a big order for someonw. I wanted to say hello so I hung out for a while and looked at their new yarns, Natura Lin, linen jeans, Seduce, Sox and Comfort DK. I left without saying hello. It was a really big order.

I met up with Alison and Gina for lunch. We talked about what we had seen and stuff like that. Alison wanted me to go see the new Hiya Hiya needles. So I did and tried out their new 9 inch circular needle. I think I could get used to them for sock knitting. A little awkward at first. I got some samples of some of their more conventional sizes.

My almost last stop was Ozark Handspun. Have you seen this stuff? It's wild. We're getting some of that. While I was at their booth I chatted with Janice Rosema. She's a fiber artist who specializes in free form crochet and knitting. There is talk of having her for a class or two at A Stitch in Time. Very exciting that.

I made one last short sweep through some of the aisles and stopped to chat with the lady at Chris Bylsma Designs. Some cute patterns that I need to let Alison know about.

There was so much more to see. I think I know why the convention last for three days.

This is the longest post I've ever written, I think. I haven't taken the time to check all the links or my spelling/typing. I'll do it in the morning. If you have a problem with any of the links, let me know and I'll see if I can fix them.


Bess said...

loveyouloveyouloveyou for all those links and stores and ideas! I am going to check out every one! I could just hear the crowd as you talked about meandering through the sea of fiber.

someday I would love to go. I will have to get a job in a yarn shop just to do so. Sigh. Delightful.

Monika said...

I'm breathless just reading this! It sounds like one should do this at least once in a lifetime. I'm a bit jeleous! ;o)

katherine said...

Thanks so much for sharing your visit to TNNA -- I'm hoping to go again in June. You're right, overwhelming, but very interesting and inspiring.

I *love* Hiya Hiya needles, just love them, and that's why my friend Karen stocks them in her shop -- but she can't keep them in stock, because everyone else loves them, now, too.

And Claudia Handpaint? Heaven. I have a hank of the laceweight that I need to find a project for.

Bron said...

Thanks for describing your day! WOW! Linkage!!

unraveledgal said...

WOW! You must have been exhausted after all of that...perhaps the morning walks paid off. The links seem fine. Too bad you were not allowed to have pictures to go along with the commentary.
Glad you had a good time.

lexa said...

Sounds like it was great fun! It would be neat to go to someplace like that. I bet it can be overwhelming, though. :)

Janice Rosema said...

It was so good to see you at the show Larry. Your commentary really captured everything. Except for getting into big trouble (the good kind) at the Habu Textile booth, I didn't get out much. We were really busy. It was an amazing show and am thrilled as I am going to do some designing for Great Adirondack Yarn Company too(I love their yarns, glorious colors.) Lucky you, you saw people I just never ran into this weekend.

ColorJoy LynnH said...

I hope you get to Lansing, Michigan, too. It's a very friendly place with LOTS of yarn and LOTS of knitters.