Well I was the luckiest girl in the world-- Suzanne took me to TNNA (aka market) this past weekend in Long Beach, California. This is a twice-annual event where wholesalers display their new yarns and gadgets and tools so retailers can take a look and buy for the coming season. My head is still spinning from being around all that fiber and all those knitters. I've been to all sorts of conferences and festivals in my life, but never one targeted at needleworkers and I have to say it was an eye-opening experience. I learned so much about the business (the main one being how much I don't know about the business) that I told Suzanne I feel like the kid who gets pulled aside by the magician and shown how the tricks work. But while some of the mystery of yarn stores has gone away, the void was instantly filled with a slew of insider knowledge.
I gathered enough stories and pictures on the trip that it's going to take me weeks-- more likely months-- to share it all here. I'm hoping to introduce you to the people and companies that provide all the lovely stuff you buy down at the shop. For now, I only have enough energy to post a couple of pictures as teaser. At the top of this post what you see is my stunning collection of swag-- I wasn't shy about asking folks for samples and they weren't shy about heaping upon me t-shirts, bags, markers, yarn, needles, books, and magazines. I am officially a Swag Hag.
Hard to pinpoint just one or two favorite moments of TNNA, but I will say I am in love with the t-shirt I got from the Trendsetter Yarns booth, featuring a knitting kangaroo. Also, I scored some square knitting needles from Kollage, which I plan to test drive soon, as they are reported to relieve carpal tunnel. The yarn I'm going to use for my first test project is some beautiful dark brown and deep turquoise Juniper I picked up at the Alchemy Booth. I am so psyched I got to meet and hang out with Gina and Austin Wilde, who own Alchemy, and find out about their process. See below for a peek at the t-shirt, the needles, and the Alchemy Yarn. Once I'm rested, I'll start giving you the detailed report. What a show!