I made it back from Columbus, Ohio a week ago. I think I feel almost normal again….it has taken the full week. Traveling for 17 hours to be somewhere for 5 days is tiring by itself but talking all day and well into the night is really what finishes you off! Having said that, I had a really, really great time. I met and talking to many wonderful people, drank some good beer, drooled over new products and made big plans!
So what is TNNA?
It is one of 4 shows run by The National Needlearts Association every year aimed at yarn stores. This one in the summer is the biggest which makes sense as it is in preparation for yarns biggest seasons autumn and winter. It is a trade show, which means that it is aimed at yarn stores. This makes it a very different experience as a designer, instead of selling directly to the customer you are selling to the yarn store who is buying for the customer.
This year was my second year attending but it was the first time that I had a stand. My US distributor, Deep South Fibers has a block of booths that we can reserve from her. I opted to share a booth this year and I was paired with Stephen West who is always lots of fun- plus I got to get a peek at his upcoming book with Quince & Co.
I had the good fortune of having a good friend Liz and her husband help me out with set up. Her husband kindly lugged a bookshelf and table into the show for me which was a huge help! Plus Liz spent the whole day on Friday helping me set up. So a really huge thank you to her, I appreciated it so very much!
As I’ve just released Among Stones, this year was all about promoting this.
Take a look at my stand, the garments may look familiar! I’m so happy that this is finished and printed…it all feels so very real. As well as selling my new book I had a lovely hamper from Irish Tourism. I’ve been teaching on some of their knitting tours so they kindly gave me a hamper of Irish yarn to raffle at the show. The winner, Another Yarn, looks really happy! Her store has actually just finished a KAL for Killybegs so it seems very fitting that she was the winner.
A big part of the show as a designer is the chance to actually talk in real life with other designers and meet lots of new ones. This year I was sharing with Rachel (who I just adore) and met Ruth for the first time. With Woolly Wormhead and Verity we made up the Eurozone which we’re just going to keep on growing! I spend ages talking again with Laura who is one of my favorite people in the world :-) and Anne Kuo Lukito who is busy setting up a new business. I loved meeting Verity and Anzula which give a different perspective on business outside of just designing.
So what did I see?
There was much yarn, needle, button and knitting goodness. Interestingly there seemed to be tons of bright neon yarn, there was even a very cool yarn with light reflector material spun through it to make reflective accessories. Who doesn’t need a hat that glows in the dark right?
I discovered that I am very focused on greens at the moment, every shade from lime through to olive. The only yarns I actually brought home with me this year were Hydeaux Designs ‘Caresse’ and Anzula Yarns ‘Cricket’ . You may notice they are both green…
A couple of booths, Sweet Georgia Yarns, Shalimar Yarns and Shibui Yarns really caught my eye – especially the Silk Cloud yarn…in green of course!
I forget to go back and order some but Moving Mud had the cutest buttons and accessories. The small, flat buttons they were displaying were just beautiful.
I hope you get a taste for what my TNNA weekend was like, I know I met and talked with so many more people but I haven’t quite mentally unpacked the whole weekend yet!
I apologize for not having many photos, due to some phone mix up I ended up having my photos wiped before I got a chance to download them so most of these are thanks to kind photo donations.