A Tradeshow that becomes an Adventure

ScannedImageFollowing the world of yarn can lead to some interesting adventures. Last week I attended the National Needleworks Association (TNNA) winter trade show, which is established to allow yarn, thread, needlepoint, and any other related manufactures and supplies to be in one spot and show their new wears to potential buyers. This show was in Washington D.C. and was as it usually is, a complete whirlwind.


Love the Mountain Color booth at TNNA in Washington DC

I saw many yarns, met many people, and left exhausted and overwhelmed. I hope to see some samples of the products I checked out at my home soon, so that I can get more equated with them, and share my thoughts with you.

I was able to meet up with my college roommate for dinner, which was an added trip bonus. I was able to meet his lovely wife, while catching up on old times. Amazing how 17 years can pass between meetings, but we can pick up on conversations like they were yesterday.

I also was fortunate enough to take part in a needle works tour of the National Cathedral. I did not get to complete the tour, as I needed to get to the airport for my journey home, but the part that I saw and heard was wonderful.

Now this is where the real adventure of my trip began, and definitely made a lasting memory. I got to Dulles airport, and was surprised to find no lines at security, nor real bad traffic in getting there for that matter. Then I learned that my flight to Denver was delayed, first 30 minutes, then an hour, ultimately it was delayed an hour and a half. It was still enough time to meet my connecting flight in Denver, so I didn’t think too much of it, until landing in Denver and realizing my connecting flight to Sacramento was cancelled. I had never had to deal with this in travel, so I guess I cannot complain too much.


Myself and Marly as she dropped me at the airport the next morning. Thank you Marly! What a nice unexpected visit.

I learned that by the time that my flight landed 30 flights had already been cancelled, and that was just by my airline. Apparently Denver had been under tornado warning most of the afternoon and evening. No hotels rooms were available, and it was well after midnight, so I began to find a quiet place to sleep, under a set of seats, and posts a picture of my sleeping arrangements to Facebook. About an hour later, after getting the usual 15 minutes of possible sleep, I checked my phone to find that a post was made just a few minutes earlier from a colleague and friend asking why I hadn’t given her a call. I did not realize that she lived so close to the airport, and after some back and forth, Marly Bird, the podcaster, designer, and Red Heart Ambassador came and picked me up at 2:30 in the morning to give me a few hours of sleep on her sofa.

The next morning, I got to see where all the magic happens in her studio before she returned me to the airport to begin my day of travel to Northern California via Southern California. I finally got home the next night, but this trade show showed me more than just some new yarns, it showed me just how generous people in this industry can be. It is definitely a trip I will not forget anytime soon.

Mid Year Gifts! An Accessory Give Away!

ScannedImageA few weeks back I attended the TNNA (The National Needle Arts Association) Summer Trade Show, in Columbus, Ohio.

It is always a whirlwind to see all the new yarns and products, catch up with friends, make new connections and attempt to find business opportunities. There are 2 trade shows a year, the Winter show, and the Summer show; this was my first attendance at the Summer show, and only my second time in attendance at any actual trade show.

At the show, I was fortunate to be invited to attend the “Marly Bird Designer Dinner”. Marly Bird is a well know podcaster, talented designer, industry leader, as well as a very kind and generous person. She has organized a dinner event outside of the TNNA framework that brings designers together with other parts of the industry; such as yarn companies, product innovators and developers, and publishers, to name a few. I will admit, even if I only attended the Marly Bird Dinner, the entire trip would have been worth it. There were so many different people there, and it helped bring into focus a larger picture of the industry. Often in designing or teaching, it is easy to forget just how large and diverse the industry in which I work is.


Items in a Give Away! Susan Bates Mini Knit Klips, Eucalan Wrapture, Chic-a Gadget Tray, Bar-Maid Lo-Lo Lov Lotion bar, & an Erin Land project bag

One of the craziest things from this dinner is the gift bag. I came home with enough yarns to sample and accessories to play with, that I have enough to share! So I have a small give away today, and more to follow in following posts.

Today, I want to share with you some fun accessories that I have played with. First there is a small Erin Lane Bag. It is perfect for holding a small project, about 1 ball. It has a draw string closure, but one of the things I really like is the snap loop, that allows be to thread the loop through anything (I usually find my pants belt loop), and snap it shut. It stays right where you put it, but will still let the yarn feed. It is really practical, and fun with the brilliant fabric choices. Now a little secret….I may have shared this is posts past, but I have never really used projects bags, my traveling work has endured plastic grocery bags for the most part, so this is a really change for me. Not only do I look a little more put together, my yarn does not roll around and become a tangled mess. I do enjoy this bag.

Another fun item is a Gadget Tray from Chic-a. This little tray is genius. It completely folds flat (which I was so grateful for on my flight home, as I had so much to bring home) and has snaps in the corners to bring up the edges and is durable. This is easily a life saver on the table that sits next to my “crochet spot”. Usually that little table gets covered with everything; notes, safety pins, stitch markers, yarn needles, tape measures. Of course they always hid under the TV remotes, the mail I just opened or the yarn that I had an idea for, so when I need them they can become difficult to find, but this tray is helping.

I am also enjoying a bottle of Eucalna Wrapture. It is a no rinse wash, which smells lovely. I know many people that insist on blocking their projects in the solution, as it is gentle on the yarn, and leaves everything so fresh and clean. It also works well with lingerie and baby cloths.

I must say that the Lo-Lo Lov lotion bar from Bar-Maids was another great surprise. It definitely softens the hands, and makes a long day of stitching feel great, while having a greatly nice scent. This is one that I will definitely be ordering more of, as I find it can be quite addicting.

The last accessory I will discuss today is the Mini Knit Klips by Susan Bates. They look like little hair clips, but instead of one “tooth” that fits into a hole on the opposite side. Easily used as a stitch marker, or to hold pieces together when seaming. Little handy things, that I am sure will endear themselves to me in other ways the longer I work with them.

Now, these 5 little must haves can be yours too. I will give away a set of all 5 items to 1 lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment, tell me what accessory or accessories you enjoy best, even it is like the long time side of me, and it is a plastic grocery bag. A winner will be chosen at random from all comments left on or before July 12, 2015, and will be announced via my Facebook page and Twitter the following day.