Technically, this was not my first TNNA attendance. Aubrey and I went to the one in Phoenix this past summer. The summer one is much smaller and there seemed to be way more needlepoint than yarn. We did meet some really nice and fantastic people in Phoenix though, including David and Terri of Ozark Handspun, Janice Rosema who does some fantastic freeform crochet, and Karin Skacel of Skacel Collection.
We ran into all those folks at this TNNA, which is a stark contrast and a much much much larger event compared to the Phoenix one. We also met some new and very nice people, including knitting and crochet celebs and LYS owners from around the country. I’ll start with the celebs, because that what y’all want to hear, right?
For me and Aubrey, TNNA started on Wednesday morning (Jan. 9). TNNA had some educational classes scheduled from Wednesday through Saturday morning, and the market opened from Friday through Sunday. I am so glad that I registered us early, because I got to take 2 fantastic sock classes with Cat Borhi. If you know me, you know that I am not a sock knitter and was not very happy knitting my first sock. And even though I wrote and knitted Buccaneer’s Booty, it was only my 2nd pair of socks ever. Anyway, because I am not a sock knitter, Aubrey and I thought that I should hone my skills and take Cat’s classes. I truly am happy that I did. Cat is a fantastic, dynamic and fun teacher! She structured the classes very well, with lots of tips, tricks and stories. The first class I took was a Coriolis sock class, where we made baby versions of her Coriolis sock.
In addition to Cat’s classes, I also took some business classes and a technique class taught by Melissa Leapman focusing on pleats and gathers. I’ll talk about that class in my next post.
One really fun aspect of TNNA is running into knitting celebs and all the book signings. (We tried to go to as many as we could, but we weren’t able to go to all the signings because we had to shop and purchase inventory.) There’s no dirt to spill on anyone because everyone we met were very friendly and nice.
The first knit-celeb we met on the show floor was Wenlan Chia of Twinkle. We had stopped her booth because we want to stock Wenlan’s Twinkle yarns by Classic Elite. She was also there to promote and sign autographs for her new book, Twinkle’s Weekend Knits. On the day of the book signing, I wore my Twister cap. Wenlan complimented me on the hat and seemed quite interested in how I made the twisted stitches — she said she didn’t know this technique. So, as to not hold up the line, I promised to stop by her booth again later to show her, but alas, she was busy talking to some people the two times I attempted to stop by and teach her. And on the last day of market, Aubrey and I had to finish some business and did not have time to stop by again. Though I tried, I was disappointed that I didn’t fulfill my promise to show her how to do the twisted stitch. I guess I will email her the instructions later and if she likes it a lot, maybe she’ll buy my pattern (which will be available after I get feedback from all my test knitters). 😉
In fact, I was so elated to have received so many compliments on Twister from various show attendees, including vendors, other designers, Cat Bordhi and other people from whom we received autographed books, that I felt all warm and fuzzy inside for the rest of the weekend.
While standing in line for one of the book signings, (was it for Debbie Stoller‘s Son of Stitch n Bitch?), we spotted Cookie A., who we flagged down to ask about buy and selling her patterns for our soon-to-be business, and about possibly teaching a class or two when we do open. It turned out that Cookie was lurking in the vicinity because she was looking for a ticket for the book signing, but there were no more tickets available. (The vendor that sponsored the book signings would hand out a limited number of tickets on a first come, first serve basis.) So, Aubrey, being the kind and generous person that she is, offered hers to Cookie, who was reluctant and hesitant to take it, but Aubrey insisted. It wasn’t a big deal to us, since I was getting book too, and we were requesting that the authors sign the book to Handicraft Cafe. I found Cookie to be very cool, nice and down-to earth, and we had a nice chat with her in line.
Yeah, I know this is getting boring because everyone was nice and there’s no dirt or gossip to share with y’all, so I’ll share the rest of the TNNA details in another post. Next post: more swag, Shannon Okey, Melissa Leapman, etc.