My 2009 Report from TNNA

World Class Yarn Shop

My 2009 Report from TNNA

This is a long one so be prepared!

Part One Columbus and Classes

I am writing this while sitting in the Columbus, Ohio airport. I have a couple of hours before my flight boards. So while I enjoy my Cobb salad and my large Guinness, I want to put down some of my impressions of TNNA June Market while it is still fresh.

It was a good market. When someone asked me how I felt about it, it took a bit of thinking of a word to describe it. I finally decided that it was a ‘comfortable’ show. While there were a few new faces, the majority had been around a long time, many much longer than my 10 years. There were fewer vendors and fewer shops. Both companies and shops had gone out of business. But all in all, it didn’t look all that different from 10 years ago when TNNA had it’s first market in Columbus and I attended as a new shop owner. Before that TNNA met in Chicago and I went as a store employee.

Columbus is a great city and I love being there. It’s different from Northern MN. People in the restaurants and hotels call me ‘honey’ and ‘hun’ and we don’t know each other! This is the ninth year that I have stayed at the Red Roof across from the Convention Center and most of the employees have been there the whole time. Judy at the main desk, has been promoted to a new job but she still is the one who answers the phone when I call. Ruby has taken care of the breakfast and coffee area AND she looks exactly as she did when I first saw her. It is rather like going to summer camp, you know your fellow campers and councilors. People on the street stop you and thank you for coming to Columbus. And you can’t get a bad meal anywhere. The food is great. I guess that can all take a lesson in friendliness from Columbus. It’s hard for Scandinavians, but we may be able to do it.

My classes were good. The Tutti Opal/Isager company provided those of us who are stockest stores with a class taught by Marianne Isager and a preview of their Fall line. Wait until you see Marianne’s new children’s book. All the clothes are inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales. Way too cute and you will have to wait until Fall to see the book. But we will do a series of classes knitting wrist warmers based on the pattern’s techniques. so that you will be ready for the ‘real’ thing. My personal triumph was learning to purl with the working yarn in my left hand – actually I was double knitting carrying both yarns in my left hand.

I took Lily Chin’s Tips, Tricks and Hints for Crochet – for the third time. I am a slow learner. Actually, I had a crochet problem that I wanted solved and I figured that Lily could help me if anyone could. Before I could ask, Lily gave me the answer. She must have looked around the class and recognized some of us because she changed the class and covered what I needed to know. I now can start my net stitch jacket without having to make a 502 stitch chain for my foundation row. I can add that to my new skill of chainless foundation. If you haven’t learned this yet, look for an up coming class on it.

I took another very good class from Lily. She did a very good job of leading our class in interperting fashion trends. We sometimes forget that we are a fashion industry but Lily took us back to our roots and helped us find resources and understand the world of fashion. It turned out to be a fun class of brainstorming and solving puzzles. It was great to be able to follow fashion trends from the early runway introduction through it’s path to mass market some years down the road. We were able to see how a fashion detail morphs into different looks.

Ten years ago when I opened Sally Melville’s Styles was a new book. I loved it and still do. If you haven’t read it or have it, you need to check it out. I believe that this is the best book that Sally has written and it was really great to be in a class with Sally showing us how she manages her yarn collection – some people call it a stash. Sally introduced some very fun and interesting techniques for using your collection. She talked about gauges, how to mix gauges, texture, fibers and colors while using various amounts of individual yarns. She discussed stitch patterns that are friendly for mixing yarns. She told how she over dyes finished sweaters using formulas that she developed by dying her knit swatches before beginning to knit the sweater – remember those swatches that we tell you to knit! We talked about sweater washing and care. and we ended with Sally explaining her technique of using knit stitches as the warp in a weaving technique that allows very precise placing of color and creates a fabric that is very different from the usual knit sweater. I should do another class in this technique, it’s been a few years since we did the last one – remind me.

My fifth class involved a old Swedish technique explored in a new way and will be coming out in a new book. Twined knitting has always intrigued me but when done correctly is very putsie. I am not sure that author and our instructor truely understands the technique.

This ends this section of my report. I have had to quit a number of times and I still have a lot more of my ‘first impressions’ to tell you, but it is time to take two Yorkie girls to agility class.