TNNA Recap

Bleary-eyed from travel, I got in from Indianapolis late Sunday night after a busy and inspiring weekend at TNNA, the yarn industry’s trade show.


Compared to other years, it was a relatively quiet show. People resist change, and this show had two strikes against it: it was scheduled much earlier in the season than past shows (usually the summer TNNA is held in mid- to late June) and due to a scheduling conflict with our Ohio venue, it was held in Indianapolis instead of Columbus. In all honesty, I think the show’s more restrained feel also reflected the fact that it’s been a tough winter for many in the industry.


I hope that people in the yarn industry don’t give up on TNNA, though. I find it extremely useful to attend a show where the majority of the folks in the yarn world can come together, sharing ideas, experience and inspiration, and forging connections that lead to collaboration and business opportunities. Personal connections are critical in any industry, but particularly in this one. [Steps off soapbox]

My trip started out with a bizarre incident on the flight from Philly to Detroit (I had to change planes there). A man on my flight was obsessed with his carry-on items. He actually ended up delaying the plane departure when the flight attendants told him there wasn’t any more room in the overhead bins and he’d have to check his bags.  In this post-9/11 world, you’d think that everyone would realize that the airlines just aren’t going to put up with anyone acting strangely–nor should they. This guy started freaking out at the prospect of checking his bags, and began yelling in Chinese. His wife got up and then she started yelling, until a younger man (their son?) got up and found an empty bin near the front of the plane. The guy didn’t want to sit in the back of the plane then, and finally they got him settled in a seat close to the bin where his belongings were stowed. Our time in the air was quiet, but the instant the wheels hit the ground for landing, the same man unbuckled his seat belt, jumped out of his seat and went for the bin. I have to give the flight attendants credit: they acted quickly and appropriately, contacting the cockpit right away (the pilot jammed on the brakes and the entire plane stopped short — one poor flight attendant went ass over teacups into the aisle) and restraining the man in his seat. We waited at the terminal until the police came to get him. I honestly don’t think he was trying to do anything intentionally dangerous, but didn’t understand all the instructions, and perhaps was operating under some different cultural constructs.  I barely made my connection to Indy but Delta kindly held the plane for me. My bag (which I’d had to check due to…LACK OF OVERHEAD BIN STORAGE) made it, too. I would love to know exactly what he had in his carry-on items: unicorn dust? a pot of gold? Kryptonite?

Well, you know how these shows go for me:  I am in my element when I am surrounded by all the people I so dearly love in this industry.



Posing with the Koigu ladies & Trisha Malcolm


Melissa Leapman and Brooke Nico

I even got to see my delightful British crumpet Sarah Hatton, who has some absolutely gorgeous patterns in Rowan’s fall collection. (I’ll do a preview of what I saw soon…)  And it’s always a pleasure to hang out with Josh “The Knituation” Bennett, fabulous designer, man about town and general bon vivant.


For die-hard yarn lovers, getting a preview of some of the new fall yarns, like these from Fiesta Yarns, is a pleasure:


Jeannie from Fiesta shows us gorgeous new stuff

I got a personal tour of the Westminster Fibers booth. Following on the success of last year’s My Mountain campaign, Schachenmayr has added new yarns and colors, and expanded pattern support into cowls and scarves. (They even added some Regia 6- and 8-ply yarns in complementary colors so you can have matching socks!)


Here are some more Kristin Nicholas-designed colorways in Regia (which apparently is CATCHING FIRE).


Koigu introduced its beautiful new laceweight merino yarn — yum!  That means Kersti was around (we love Kersti),


and Ellen!!! (and of course, Taiu — we love her too!)


It can be overwhelming, strolling up and down the aisles and being bombarded with the color, beautiful sample garments, images from books and magazines, wonderful smells (Soak just released a fig scent!)…We were charmed by these super-cute bags from the Lavishea booth.


I discovered some new (or at least new-to-me) yarns, like these lovely wools from Rauma.


Check out this amazing banana leaf fiber yarn:


This yarn is near and dear to my heart because I first met the importer at one of my teaching gigs. She was so lovely and I was thrilled to see that she had gotten to the point where she is now ready to wholesale this beautiful and unique yarn!

And of course you know there was lots of “networking” (if by networking you mean hanging out with friends and consuming large quantities of wine)….


Benjamin Levisay, of Hopscotch (web design/e-commerce)

I was not the only one who missed Laura and Ve-ve:


(by the way, Phil is holding this lovely Masham wool yarn from Wendy — I’ve got to find some of that!).

I spent some time with Julie Turjoman, whose beautiful new book is out in e-book form and coming in print form soon:


You can see Brooke Nico is ready to take a breather in the mighty Art Felt chair at the Skacel booth:


I’m now back home, following up on some new projects and finishing off some old ones. But check back here later in the week:  I’ll be blogging about a fabulous new collaboration that I’m working on with Brooke that you’ll want to hear about. . .


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