I’m back from The National Needlearts Association trade show (aka TNNA) and a whirlwind trip to Laredo (my other half spoke to 300 kids about dinosaurs) so it’s time for my report! This year I made a concerted effort to take more pictures, so I at least have enough for my blog post.
The show kicked off with an awesome party–Marly Bird’s Designer Dinner. Here I am with my roomie Robyn Chachula and Marly herself, apparently arranged in height order. The dinner was great–I got to meet so many new designers and reconnect with others. One of the things I love most about the show is getting to talk to “my people”–other designers who do what I do, so this was a very fun event. We also got amazing swag bags–check out this video blog by Sarah Wilson to see what was inside. I absolutely love the Namaste Monroe Bag that I got– I am super, super picky about purses but this one has an generous amount of pockets and organization (plus, it looks so professional!). Little Crochet fit perfectly in the outside pocket so I arranged it there like a little billboard and carried it throughout the show. I have already been singing its praises to everyone who asks about it. More photos of the fun that was getting the bags to the hotel can be seen here.
I also had the chance to squeeze in two classes.The first one was a hands-on class on dyeing sock yarn with Rachael Blackledge--and how could I not love it? It was so much fun, even at 8 AM. I can’t wait to make something with the 2 skeins we dyed, and I really love the first skein I dyed (not pictured, but hopefully I’ll show you soon!). I learned a lot but most importantly had fun and left the mess there! I’d definitely take this class again. Tammy from Yarnivore and I both took the class, and we had to laugh at the end when her side of the table was spotless and mine was covered in every color imaginable. We like to ask “Can you tell who is the artist, and who is the engineer?” The second class I took was Gwen Bortner’s Making the Most of Handpainted yarns (see a theme?)–which was fun and informative, and I hope to apply some of the things I learned about knitting with handpaints to crochet in the near future. Gwen is a great teacher and I’m looking forward to diving into her Entree to Entrelac book, which was also in my swag bag.
I got to catch up with lots of old friends including Brett Bara, who was on her way to tape a fourth season of Knit and Crochet Now right after the show! We did a little interview which will be coming soon to an internet near you. I’m sporting my Peanut Butter Cardigan here–everyone always asks what you are wearing at the show and how nice to be able to say that it was a Linda Permann original. But, the best part was when I was walking toward the exit and heard these three ladies say “Stop, we’re following you!” They couldn’t believe my sweater was crocheted and wanted to check it out for themselves. TNNA: the place where it’s ok to pet strangers. Heh! I was flattered.
Ooh, and here I am later in the day crocheting with Vashti Braha, Doris Chan and Ellen Gormley (who took this shot) at the Great Wall of Yarn. Here, you can sample all of the new yarns at the show but for some reason, there were hundreds of pairs of knitting needles and not a single crochet hook with which to try them. No problem, we got out our own and crocheted some swatches anyway. I picked up some stitches and knit mine back onto the needles to possibly cause some head scratching later. Maybe no one noticed, but it was fun nonetheless.
On Sunday, I did a book signing for Little Crochet in the Unicorn booth. The signing is intended for yarn shop owners and lots of them lined up, so I had the chance to ask some of them whether they did crochet in their shops (and a lot answered yes!) and see some of the great crochet they were wearing. I got a lot of good feedback on the book, and some of it made me blush. My favorite feedback had to be when I asked Peggy Jo Wells (of Brown Sheep Company) if she received the copy that I mailed her [since she provided yarn support]. At first, she wasn’t sure, till I showed her the Strawberry Patch Party Frock–then she remembered, because she gave the book to a friend who crochets so that she could make one for Peggy’s new granddaughter. That’s what I like to hear!
One of the other cool things that happened at this show was that I got to meet one of my Craftsy students, Angela Tong.I had been chatting with her a little bit on twitter, but I didn’t realize that she also does her own knitwear designs, too! She’ll be posting a review of my class in the near future, so watch for it. I also found myself on the same plane as Stefanie Japel on the way home, and we talked about some of the classes they’re developing now, I’m excited to see where it goes.
All in all it was a fun–albeit exhausting–show, and this post doesn’t even begin to cover all of the lovely yarn, people, and dinners I attended, but I hope it gives you a taste of what TNNA is about. You can also check out more of my pictures on flickr, since I couldn’t fit them all here!