I’m still pretty groggy from jetlag post-TNNA but I thought it was better to actually write down some of my experiences now before the memories fade. There is something very surreal about spending a weekend with knitters/designers that you only know virtually, a bit like having a fairy tale book just jump to life!
I flew over from Dublin on Thursday thinking I’d have a nice relaxing trip. It didn’t quite turn out that way, courtesy of multiple severe thunder storms many flights were cancelled or delayed. I arrived into Newark, went to look at the departure screens and found my flight cancelled. In a bit of a panic about losing a day (as well as having to figure out where to stay at Newark) I managed to get slotted into a later flight that evening. However the storms kept up so flight were being cancelled all over the place – we managed to get on the plane at 8.15…only to be kicked off again! When we got on for real at 9.30 I was nearly jumping with joy, and the excitement from Woolly Wormhead and Ann Knigstone when I reached to room made the journey worthwhile!
Friday night I went to the designer’s dinner that was organized by the wonderful Marly Bird. We got the most insanely amazing goody bag…I foolishly didn’t take a photo of the whole bag but below is a little sample of the highlights, which included a hot pink Namaste bag (really just wonderful!), Bijou Basin Ranch ‘Bijou Spun’, Blossom Street yarn, Malabrigo sock yarn, Entree to Entrelac by Gwen Bortner , Knit Kit, boyd yarn snips and rosewood crochet hook, some red heart yarns and tape, JHB buttons, Heel foot soak, Eucalan, and a few more bit that the boys have managed to run away with before I photographed! A big thank you to all the sponsors.
After the dinner we headed over to the Hyatt bar where there was quite possibly the world’s biggest knitting circle. I spent my time sitting there seeing who looked most like their avatar, fun guessing game! I got to talk for a while with Ann Hanson (who I’ll be teaching in London at Knit Nation with) and the lovely Rosemary Hill. It’s a very unique experience actually getting to talk shop with so many designers all on one night. Alisha Goes Around was busy putting the finishing touches to her polar bear that I got to see the next day on her stand..it was pretty amazing, she also had a great knitted peacock that I don’t have a photo of :(. I got some wonderful yarn samples from her that I can’t wait to get knitting with.
First day of the show I was the first up on the Ravelry stand with my trunk show, I’m so glad I brought my ipad with me – I was able to set a full slide show of all my self-published patterns up so that even though I only had a selection of garments with me everything was viewable. Ravelry is so loved by everyone, I just couldn’t get over the amount of people who just wanted to come up and tell them how much they loved them all. Mary-Heather and Sarah (with her lovely pregnant bump!) were quite possibly even nicer than I expected…if that is possible! Just truly wonderful people. Here is a photo that Mary-Heather took in the stand when I was there.
I spent the rest of Saturday walking around stands getting to know people and fondling yummy yarn.
A few of the other designers who had stands that I got to chat with were Ilga Leja, Bonne from Chic Knits (we also met over breakfast), Shannon Okey from Cooperative Press and Michelle from Fickle knitter and Heather (Army of Knitters) over lunch. As I was talking about my upcoming book and blog tour I got tons of offers from other designers to host a leg of the tour. We’re going to end up with a really exciting tour!
Saturday night I went with some fellow Wiley authors (Kristi Porter (Knitting in the Sun), Alison Stuart-Guinee (the very cute Fairy Tale Knits), Melissa Morgan-Oakes (Teach yourself visually Circular Knitting)) for dinner with Wiley sales rep Jack. As always a good opportunity for a photo! As my book isn’t quite there yet I’ve just got a extract to hold!
Second night at the Hyatt bar and I spotted Sarah passing by wearing a version of Trousseau, which she kindly stopped to model for me! Sorry about the poor photo quality, the ipad just doesn’t do indoor lighting well. You can see Sarah’s much prettier photos on ravelry here.
Next day I had my book signing at the R&M (a book distributor) stand. It was really a signing of bookmarks with a pattern extract from the book but everyone went away looking happily awaiting the full version. The camera seemed to want to focus in front of the table so we’re a little out of focus but it’s all I’ve got!
On my final night I got to talk for a while with Anne Kuo Lukito aka Crafty Diversions and Stephanie Japel. You two, I really enjoyed my evening and Anne I hope we didn’t have too much kid talk (I think most of it was while you were at the bar though!)
Sunday meet up with Emily who has test knit many projects for me. She drove from quite a distance to come meet up, so thanks Emily! As she had a car she went and drove us a little downtown to get some tasty food. Was nice to see a little of Columbus beyond the airport and conference center!
I went back home on Monday, really sad that I hadn’t booked an extra day. Next year (it’s kind of addictive) I hope I can add one more day to the trip, it felt early going home so soon on Monday.
My flights back home were as smooth as could be, I even managed to get to Dublin a half hour early. My wonderful DH decided to drive up and collect me rather than me taking the bus home. He’s just one big sweetie!
Tags: tnna 2001