Tuesday, January 24, 2012

TNNA! (Part 1)

Snow is less fun if you have to fly.
I just got back to Chicago after a whirlwind weekend in Phoenix, drawing this crazy month of traveling to a close - Kansas City, Orlando, and finally, the TNNA show in Phoenix....I couldn't be more relieved to retire my suitcase to the back of the closet for a while!  Leaving town was a bit of a nail-biter, being that there was a winter storm advisory in Chicago (and elsewhere, for that matter) all day long.  I consider myself lucky that I was only delayed an hour, considering how many flights were canceled that day.  Another perk: I cleared security in less than five minutes (that's even with a pat-down because I didn't want to do those creepy body-scanner cancer machines)!  I don't think I've ever seen the security line as empty as it was last Friday. 

While I didn't get to see much of Phoenix, I had a really fantastic time.  Being able to meet many of the people I've been corresponding with via e-mail and twitter face-to-face was invaluable, not to mention fun!  I'm not sure if I can summarize the last two days in a singular post, so much has happened.  If I leave anyone or anything out, I apologize - hopefully I can post a part 2 (and perhaps even a part 3!) in the near future.

Hello Phoenix!
Overall, the show seemed quieter than the one in Columbus last June.  It was kind of nice, because I felt as though I could spend more time checking out everyone's wares and chatting with them.  I saw many things that I'm looking forward to purchasing in the future, which I'll share at a later date.  Naturally, there were lots of great show giveaways that I somehow managed to wedge into my modestly-sized carry-on suitcase - they'll be mentioned in greater detail later on in the form of product reviews, WIPs and FOs.

Baah! yarns
I wish I'd taken a photo of the somewhat goofy "corral" area that featured a 7-foot-tall (my rough estimation) cowboy boot, fake cacti, and rustic barrels and picnic tables.  Not that it wasn't appropriate, given the setting, but I think the giant cowboy boot is where they lost me.  I did, however, get a photo of one of my new favorite indie dyers, Baah! yarns.  I'll be writing more about them because I have a GORGEOUS skein of sock yarn that will soon become a new design.  Many thanks to Mira and her friendly helper bees for gifting me some awesome yarn and allowing me to photograph their booth!

Can I keep it??
I also met Anne Kuo Lukito of Crafty Diversions, who couldn't be nicer - she let me try on the Lakedale Cardigan!  It was pretty tough to take it off, since it fit me like a glove... not to mention the Manos Silk Blend was soft & warm.  Thanks to Anne for letting me share her photo on this blog!

Speaking of not wanting to return a booth model, one of my clients lent me a gorgeous broomstick-style lace wrap on Saturday night.  It was a gorgeous silver-and-black color and soooo soft (knit out of Lana Grossa Lace Lux - the first project shown in the youtube video when you follow the link).  I had the hardest time letting go of it the next day!  Even though I've sworn off laceweight, I might have to make an exception for this yarn.  

A very popular cat amongst the TNNA attendees!
I was also thrilled to chat with Stefanie Japel at the Craftsy booth, because I wanted to thank her in person for tweeting about my Button Bunnies pattern recently.  I was also excited to learn more about the latest developments on the Craftsy site, namely the PDF pattern sales capability.  I'm in the process of adding my back catalog there before it all goes live in February! 

Meeting up with the fabulous Marly Bird, host of the Yarn Thing podcast, prolific designer, and all-around awesome person was another highlight for this weekend.  I'm really obsessed with more than a few of her designs, and her podcast is what convinced me to add The Knitter's Book of Socks to my knitting library. 

The other benefit of attending this show was meeting many of my clients face-to-face for the first time - and seeing others who I've met in the past few months again.  It was great to get feedback and brainstorm some truly exciting things for the months to come.  Sorry for the teaser, but I'm just too excited not to mention that!

Stay tuned for more TNNA show updates - I'm working on my list of top picks, plus I've got photos of all my goodies to show off.  You might also get to see some FO photos and WIPs sometime soon - you wouldn't know it to read this blog lately, but I've been knitting up a storm!

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