Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fun and Fiber at TNNA

Last week Alex, Jan and I were in San Diego for the TNNA conference. While it wasn't the busiest show ever, it was very productive. Most of the manufacturers we spoke to said they were having a good show, and a lot of the local store owners we chatted with indicated that they were faring well despite the poor economy. (Of course, those who were not faring well likely didn't make it to the show and we sincerely hope that they survive the current crunch.)

We saw a lot of our old friends -- the folks at Berroco, Crystal Palace, Rowan, Knitting Fever, Artyarns, Cherry Tree Hill, Classic Elite, Karabella, Knit One Crochet Too, Kollage, Lantern Moon, Lorna's Laces, Mission Falls, Muench, Prism, South West Trading Company, Tahki Stacy Charles, Trendsetter, Universal and Windy Valley Muskox.

We also got to meet some newer friends like the folks at AslanTrends, and we chatted with manufacturers of brands we don't currently carry. Keep your eye on our Bulletin for new developments regarding some new additions to our lineup.

The first evening we were there we ran into Terri of the Twisted Sisters. They had some fantastic designs in the fashion show, and I might even get up the courage to make one for myself. Whenever I couldn't find Alex during the show, I trekked over to the Twisted Sisters booth because he loves their style. He likes their yarns, too! Alex took this photo of me with the Twisteds. I know...I know...you can't really see us. I like it better that way. But I'm sure Alex will have a nice blow-up of it displayed on his desk, and will claim it's there because I'm in it. Sure, sure. I'll bet he'd trade me in for half a Twisted Sister, given half a chance!

While Jan and Alex were busy buying new yarns for our knitters, I got to meet with the media -- our friends from Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, and Knit 'n Style. It's always great to catch up with them and learn what's new in the industry. Most of the time, we're communicating by phone and e-mail, so it's nice to actually deal with a human. Have you noticed that humans are getting rarer and rarer these days? We have voice mail, e-mail, IMs and text messaging. But not a lot of human contact. I like human contact...even if it means I catch the occasional cold.

As always, the TNNA fashion show was really interesting with some great entries from all our favorite brands. We didn't take any photos during the runway show, but I'll be posting information about the yarns and patterns we select from all the fantastic designs we saw. Stay tuned!

Happy Birthday, Jan!

As luck would have it, TNNA always falls on somebody's birthday. This year, it was on Jan's birthday. Because she couldn't be home celebrating with her husband, Tom, our good friend Cameron Taylor-Brown, who reps for a lot of different yarn companies, took us for a celebratory breakfast complete with birthday cake!

Jan sure was surprised when she was presented with this gorgeous creation. And we were delighted to share in it!

While we were at the conference we were informed that Richard Brown, of Westminster, will soon be retiring. We enjoyed working with Richard and we're sad to see him go. But he and his wife would like to do some traveling and we're very envious that they'll now be cruising the world and enjoying a more relaxed lifestyle.

We know that Richard is leaving his organization in great hands and we look forward to working with our new colleagues. (It's such a small world! One of our Westminster team members, John, went to the same college I attended: Ryerson in Toronto. Same course, too. And, as it turns out, the same bars!)

All in all it was another great TNNA show. We saw some terrific new yarns we'll be acquiring for our knitters and we got to spend time with some really nice folks who make working at Yarnmarket such a pleasure.

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