July 31, 2009

Vogue Knitting Preview

It's up. There are a lot of ill-fitting hats in this issue. How hard is it to knit a hat that fits? My favorite design from this issue that I saw at TNNA, the Rib & Random Cable sweater, isn't photographed well at all for the magazine. You can see it here in the fashion show video. It's the first item up.

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June 15, 2009

TNNA Wrap Up

Well that was a blur.

I flew to Columbus on Thursday. I left very early in the morning after too little sleep and didn't arrive at my hotel until nearly 8. I was starving. I looked around the convention center hotel lobby for some familiar faces and saw none so I headed to Marcella's by myself. I thought I'd waltz in for dinner or get a seat at the bar. There was a 30 minute wait for a table and no free seats near the bar. I hovered feeling exhausted and so hungry. The general manager passed me several times and finally stopped and asked if she could get me anything.

"I'm just looking for a seat."
"Can I bring you a chair?"
I was so grateful.
"Can I bring you something to drink?"
"Yes," I replied, nearly tearing up, I was so exhausted and hungry and grateful.
When my table was ready and the hostess showed me to my seat I felt a tug on my leg. I looked down and saw the yarn for Georgie trailing through the entire restaurant and back to the bar. I followed it back, rewinding it until I got to an amused though confused young woman standing in the bar holding the remainder of the skein in her hand.
"Bet that's the first time that ever happened here," she said.
"There's a yarn convention in town. It's going to happen a lot."

I had an all-day class with Cat Bordhi on writing patterns. It was about formatting and editing not the creation of a design. I got some very good information from it.
Then there was Sample It. This is an event where vendors, if they choose, can offer one item at wholesale prices--sometimes slightly below wholesale--to buyers. This, in theory, allows buyers to try out a product before committing to a whole order. But really people just use it to buy themselves a bunch of stuff. It's always super-hot and jam-packed. I got some items for my shop--not for me!--and then fled to the much cooler, calmer lobby. There was a teacher's gallery where experts who offer classes can connect with shop-owners. Mary Beth Temple was there. She is a crochet designer and teacher. Her brand is called Hooked for Life. There was a slight typo in her signage.

Next was the fashion show which was much, much better than the January show. It went more smoothly and faster and the designs were better on the whole.

Then it was off to the Tip Top for a much needed late dinner. I ordered a Diet Coke and was handed a vat of soda. Seriously, look at it compared to my cell phone.

Or Laura Chau's head.

Saturday the market opened. I shopped and walked and shopped and walked and shopped. I'd say I'm most excited about Spud & Chloe. Blue Sky Alpacas are a class act and they do a beautiful job on the yarn, the patterns, the whole packaging. Plus they always have the cutest, most inviting booth at the show.

There are social events and lots of food in the various booths. Interweave hosted a Twitter meet-up (tweet up) called Let Them Tweet Cake. They served massive cupcakes and coffee. So that was lunch (nutrition and sleep both suffer terribly at TNNA).

More shopping and walking and shopping. Then out to dinner with several designers from Stitch Co-op plus several other crochet designers. We met up with...well, everyone in the universe...back at the Hyatt lobby. There is a huge circle of chairs, and couches. We rearrange all the furniture. We sit and knit or spin. You just grab a free chair and when you see a free seat next to someone you want to talk to you just go over and plunk yourself down. That is how I met Melissa La Barre and Cecily Glowik MacDonald. These two extremely talented ladies, who are also a hell of a lot of fun, are collaborating on a book from Interweave. I am really looking forward to seeing it.

Sunday was more market. At this point I was operating on almost no sleep. More shopping and walking but also more staring off into space. So tired. A huge group of us had converged on the Stitch Coop booth where Cat Bordhi and Ysolda Teague were on the floor playing with a trash can full of water and dry ice. It was in part a recreation of last year's dry ice session. I'm sure the internet will soon be flooded with photos of it. After trying for a while to find a restaurant that could accommodate 20+ people with no notice, we gave up and split into small groups. I had a really great dinner with Laura, Ysolda, Miriam Felton and Mandy Moore. We then made the required trip to Jeni's for awesome ice cream. Everyone wanted t-shirts but they were pretty much sold out. The guy behind the counter was apologetic.

"Yeah," he explained. "There's this knitting conference in town and they just went nuts."

Back at the hotel, during all the hanging out, knitting and laughing, Cirilia Rose and Ysolda began to act out all the cliches of knitwear photo shoots. It looked something like this.

And that is what TNNA is like.


June 14, 2009

Last Post Before I Die

Had 4.5 hours of sleep then did a crochet class with Lily Chin at 8 am (5 am my time). Worked and socialized all day and night. It's 2:15 am and I'm getting on an 8 am shuttle out of here. Still need to pack. If I'm crying uncontrollably the next time you see me it's probably due to fatigue.


June 13, 2009

Extra Quick One

I'm in Columbus. TNNA is good so far. I took a class on pattern writing from Cat Bordhi yesterday that had some good info. I went to the Sample It event (I'll have to explain it later) but it was so crowded I just got one thing for the shop. Then there was the fashion show. Definitely some Thursday fodder in there but I liked a lot more than I thought I would. Then there was a reception for the Internation Year of Fiber where everyone was weighted down with drink tickets and trying to give them to everyone else. There was a chocolate fountain which I had never witnessed before. Would you drink from a recirculating water fountain? No. Then why would you eat from a recirculating chocolate fountain?

I reconnected with many lovely people I haven't seen since the January show or last year. I met Laura (Cosmicpluto) and Ysolda Teague. Got to hang out with them and the Ravelry/Berocco group. Had lots of fun. Now I have to put myself together--to the extent that I ever do--and go to the show!


June 9, 2009

What to Pack?

I'm trying to get all packed for my trip to Columbus for TNNA. I leave very early on Thursday. I think I'm all ready to go but somehow it seemed too simple. I'm sure I must be forgetting something really important. I'm sure I'll remember when I'm half-way to Denver. I packed an extra empty suitcase because you end up with so much swag and books and whatnot that it's a real struggle to get it all home.

I'm getting back on Monday. Then on Sunday I leave for a ten day trip to Japan! I have never been and am extremely excited. I'm also totally unprepared. I'm going with a group and a lot of my time has been mapped out for me already. I'll be in Tokyo for nearly the whole time with just a few day trips. My biggest problem is what knitting do I bring? I don't want to lug around a big, heavy sweater or anything with charts. Socks seems obvious but I haven't been feeling the sock love lately. My top contender is the Featheweight Cardigan. I have some lace-weight something I won as a door prize at the Knitter's Guild in a great raspberry color that I hope will work well. Then I'll need a back-up project too. Hmmm...

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June 7, 2009

Head Count

I've been so busy and distracted lately that I have barely given TNNA a thought. But I am going to be there Thursday-Monday. Anyone else going?


January 19, 2009

Jiggity Jig

TNNA was good, but not great. I don't have the wherewithal to do a whole big write up right now. There was lots of cool swag so I'll try to coral some photos. I did not take any photos while I was in San Diego except this one of some Elvis impersonators congregating in front of a Mexican restaurant and this one at the airport before I left to prove that I was actually in San Diego.


January 16, 2009

With the Knitterati

I'm in San Diego. I know most of the country is being gripped by brutally cold weather but damn, it's hot here. Blech. Anyway, managed to bump into a whole group of people I knew while trying to find something for lunch. So I had great company for lunch. Heading to the fashion show. I'm sure much of it will be very Thursday, if you get my drift. More later.


January 14, 2009

I'm Leaving How Soon?

Yikes. I leave for TNNA on Friday morning. I feel so unprepared. Is anyone else going? Want to meet up?


November 18, 2008

TNNA San Diego?

I've changed my mind and am considering going to TNNA in January. Is there anyone out there who is going who might like a roommate?


June 14, 2008

A Few More TNNA Pictures

We've got Amy Singer and Jillian Moreno spinning, the Threadbear boys knitting, Stephanie from Spritely Goods (behind Amy).

Stephanie and Nathania of Purlescence.

A chocolate orgy courtesy of Lexie Barnes.

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June 13, 2008

Ripple Afghan Square

When you go to TNNA you practically have free yarn thrown at you. I was honestly turning down offers of lovely free yarn because...well, I don't need more yarn. And I didn't want to carry it all home. But when the ladies at Sheep Shop Yarn asked me to take home some yarn to test drive I said yes. The same day I got word of some friends making an afghan for another friend who is going through a rough time. I needed to knit an 8" x 8" square in worsted weight yarn. I wound the Sheep 1 (by hand) and started trawling Ravelry for dishcloth patterns. After a few misfires I found a pattern I liked that I hoped would create an appropriately sized sqaure. The yarn is really nice. I was told it was softer than Manos, harder wearing than Malabrigo and with a consistent grist (thickness). It is all these things. The square is a little less than square but I'm hoping in the larger context of an afghan it will be just fine.

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June 11, 2008

Auburn Camp Shirt Progress Report

I brought only one project with me to Columbus, the Auburn Camp Shirt. I wanted some dedicated knitting time to make actual progress on the project.

My progress after the first leg of the trip.

After two days in Columbus (I think).

Every time I pulled out my knitting everyone around me would start asking me about it. "What are you making?"
"What size needles are those?"
"What yarn is that?"
"You're making a sweater in lace-weight?"
"Are you nuts?"
When I finally met Chrissy Gardiner, the pattern designer, I proudly pulled out my knitting to show her. Before even looking at it she emphatically announced, "I never want to knit that sweater again." I had hoped she'd be the one person who wouldn't think I was crazy for knitting it. It turns out she had a crazy deadline for the sample and had to knit the sweater in two weeks along with some socks. So I can understand her negative associations.

Look, even Annie Modesitt thinks I'm crazy.

Here's where I am now. I don't know about you but I am pretty impressed. It's growing. And I keep reminding myself that the sleeves are tiny. I will finish this sweater damn it. And I will wear it with pride.

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January 5, 2008

See You at TNNA?

I'm going to TNNA in Long Beach on Friday. Will anyone else be there? I'm fretting about what knitting to take with me, of course. Sure hope this cold is gone by then.