TNNA then back home to PA

My flight from Philadelphia to Columbus was delayed, but the wait was eased by having JoAnne Turcotte (formerly Plymouth's design director, now the owner of Knitter's Edge in Bethlehem PA) and her daughter and daughter-in-law waiting for the same flight. This was JoAnne's first trip as a buyer instead of a seller. Can't wait to hear what she chose for her beautiful shop!

Finally got where we were going. The festivities at TNNA got off to a wonderful start thanks to Marly Bird, a.k.a. Yarn Thing, who organized the designers' dinner Friday night. She doesn't need that gold mask to be a superhero! Putting together sponsors, getting the invitations out, managing the RSVPs, assembling the goodies for the swag bags...when I talked to Marly afterwards she said it had been as much work as planning a wedding and I believe it. The evening's "Masquerade" theme was the springboard for many introductions.


I guess I am slowly making inroads in the design community, because I have some big names to drop: Robin Chachula, Ellen Gormley, Miriam Felton, Stefanie Japel, Lily Chin, Karen Whooley, Kristin Omdahl, Mary Beth Temple, Doris Chan and many more were in the room--several were at my table. I enjoyed having the opportunity to hear more about their lives as designers and as people! It's a friendly, interesting group.


Yarn companies, accessory purveyors, book publishers, etc. generously gave items for the swag bags that every attendee received. I'm not talking about a tiny plastic bag of stuff, I'm talking about a full-size tote bag stuffed to the gills with wonderful items. Look!

Get a load of all this swag! Knitting needles, tape measures, yarn yarn yarn, books, gauge measurers, crochet hook, books, liquids for name it. It's good exposure for the sellers; I'll definitely try out their products

Didn't get much sleep Friday night due to noise from above and next door. (Changed rooms for the rest of my stay--I think the first room might have been under a wedding party suite, and it was definitely next door to a hospitality suite.

Saturday morning it was off to the show. First task: drop off the samples from Crochet Scarves to the manufacturers with those nice signs Stackpole made. Once that running-around was done, I had more time to go booth by booth, getting a look at new products. Wow, did I see some gorgeous yarns and some amazing garments. Over the years I have learned how to take meaningful notes that make sense when I read them at home. Sure makes follow-up easier

One fun part of TNNA is that most of the attendees on the yarn side (the other part of the show is needlepoint, embroidery, cross-stitch, etc.) is wearing a gorgeous handmade garment. It's perfectly acceptable, even encouraged, to go up to a total stranger and say, "I love what you're wearing!" then get to talking about whether it's an original design, from a published pattern, or was received as a gift. I ran into Patty Lyons from Lion Brand Yarn Studio. I'll be going there for a book-signing in October, and we talked about the possibility of teaching a class sometime later in the fall. The Studio is a wonderful space with spacious classrooms upstairs. I taught a Tunisian crochet class there and enjoyed the experience.

Sunday was the launch of Crochet Scarveswith a signing at the Unicorn book distributors' booth. They do a fine job setting everything up--thank you to everyone at Unicorn! I met so many nice people who got the book for themselves or a gift or prize.

The winning name: Tammy (and Tammie): I signed three books addressed to people with that name. A lot of folks are interested in Tunisian crochet and were happy that seven of the twenty-one patterns are Tunisian. I have to be careful if I'm having a conversation with someone while I'm signing their book--it's easy to write what they're saying instead of signing my name!

Throughout the weekend I met with yarn company reps, publishing industry luminaries, and other designers to talk about what's up-and-coming. In the next days and weeks I will work on my business plan to figure out what's next for me. Stackpole Books has published all five of my crochet titles, and we'd like to do another book together. It has to be the right project, though, and the right timing. Leaflets and magazines are another option. I could do those in parallel with a book, or perhaps to fill the gap while I figure out what my next big project should be. I have some ideas, but anything I work on can't be just for fun, it has to make sense from a business perspective also.
I came away feeling very energized about the possibilities!