June 11, 2008
(Caution: long post. Too much to tell. Pour yourself an iced tea before reading on…) I’m back from steamy Ohio and almost caught up on the email situation. I thought about all of you so often while I was walking around the floor of the Convention Center in Columbus. I kept finding things that I knew you would like! So I thought I’d do a blog post on most of the things that we’re adding. There are still a few secrets, of course.
I arrived on Friday night, just in time for “Sample It”. This is a crazy hour-long selling event (and the only time that you can actually buy things that you can take home) and it’s not for the Faint of Heart. Each company has the opportunity to sell a “sample” of their products – as long as it’s something new for the season. They get one table in the very large room, and fill it with their samples for sale. (Can you imagine 20+ people crowding around each table, several deep, waving money or checks?) It’s a fun start to the weekend. If you survive the masses, you know the rest of the weekend will be a piece of cake.
The mornings start bright and early. A little too early, since it’s an hour earlier than my time zone. Of course you can opt not to take any 8 am classes, but most people would rather learn than sleep! My first class was “The Best Kept Secrets of the Most Successful Shops”, presented by Christine Bylsma and Kathy Morrow. I had actually visited Kathy’s shop a couple of years ago, so it was fun to see her again. It was a good class with lots of great ideas – I took notes! My second class was on Monday morning at 8 am – Celtic Cables by Melissa Leapman. I learned to do her “amazingly inventive way to increase and decrease before cabling so as not to cause any puckers on your fabric” system. It was a good class, and she was happy to pose with Little Loopy. (Oh – you thought Little Loopy stayed home to work? Well that’s just one of the many mysteries of being “Loopified”. All kinds of things can happen.)
I spent several hours walking around the floor, putting in orders, talking to all of our different yarn companies, and finding new items for our “maybe” list. Pretty soon I was ready for a Latte Break and I took it outside on the patio with this group. There is no shortage of interesting conversation when you have Cat, Janel (check out her new sock book – I got a copy!), Anne, Clara, Stephanie and Franklin at the table. Loopy was glad that Franklin held on to his feet in the photo. It was a precarious situation.
By dinnertime, I was glad to be away from yarn (can you imagine?) and out getting a good meal. I had a lot of fun going out for dinner with Nancy and Veronica, the Dream in Color girls. (Except that they ordered an appetizer that had raw meat in it. The waiter corrected us and assured us that it was “cured”, but it just looked raw to me.) We got back to the hotel rather late in the evening and this is important to note. Why? Because when we got back to the hotel to hang out in the lobby with a bunch of knitters, there was this weird thing going on with dry ice in a bowl and knitting things surrounding it.
I can’t explain it. The best explanation? The result of a long day of yarn fumes and a late late night, apparently. Is there a “Dry Ice Vibe” that I’m not aware of? Is this some way to hasten the completion of your knitting, or the sales of your new book? Does it make money appear in your totebag? I’m puzzled.
Sunday – more walking and talking and ordering and chatting. I met Dianne from Creatively Dyed, as well as Tricia (one of our brand new indie dyers). I had fun catching up with Cookie A (her hair is blue now. I love how the accent color changes from time to time. It was green at the Spring Fling.) I talked with Jess and Casey and Mary-Heather, and Little Loopy wanted to pose with Bob-the-finger-puppet that the Malabrigo folks made for Jess and Casey. Doesn’t Loopy look happy about that? There is just never any shortage of interesting people to run into at TNNA.
There’s also never any shortage of yarn and products to view, and I picked up some new stuff for us. The new “seasonal color” for the Namaste Bags is this gorgeous blue. Fortunately, I came home with one! Also, fortunately, we will have our Namaste bags completely re-stocked (including the new color) as soon as they get home and can ship them out. Their warehouse has just been re-stocked, and I know that some of you have been waiting to get one. We have new colors (and old favorites) coming from Fiesta Baby Boomerang, new colors (and old favorites) from Colinette Jitterbug, 6″ Rosewood Sox Stix (coming from Lantern Moon this fall), brand new Alpaca Blend sock yarn from Alpaca With a Twist, new colors from Mountain Colors Bearfoot, and wonderful Targhee Top Roving from them as well (Little Loopy wrapped up in it). We have Silk/Cashmere laceweight coming from Jade Sapphire, as well as their brand new Cashmere Scarf kits that comes with the yarn and a booklet of 7 patterns designed specifically for men. (What a perfect gift to knit up for the holidays.) Lots more colors of lace from Prism (including some subtle blends that I couldn’t leave alone), a new cashmere blend of sock yarn from Pagewood Farms, new patterns from Gardiner Yarnworks and Chic Knits, Beanie Baggies (a weighted sock-holder bag), spinning wheels from Schacht, and needles from HiyaHiya. The biggest order we placed was for all 240+ solid and heather colors of Cascade 220! I went to the show wanting to find a good solid-colored worsted weight line and queried a few sweater pattern designers to see which line was a “must have”. Hands-down, Cascade won. Not only is it great for sweaters, but it’s also great for FELTING. (And if you’re going to carry the line, then you might as well “go big” and get it all.) This will round out our worsted weight offerings at The Loopy Ewe for awhile. (For those of you who were here for the Fling – don’t you wonder where all of that yarn is going to go? You know how full Loopy Central is already. We have it covered…..) Watch for these lines and others to trickle in to The Loopy Ewe in the next few weeks and months. We’re happy with everything coming up!
Speaking of that – this week’s Sneak Up went up yesterday morning and contained all kinds of fun things that went like hotcakes. We added Malabrigo Worsted, Cherry Tree Hill’s Summer Sock, Duets Skinny, All Things Heather, Perfect Day Yarns, Indie Dyer Yarns, Tempted Glam Girl, and Berroco Sox. We’ll be re-stocking Crystal Palace, Austermann Step, Trekking and Sockina later this week, and we have those cool Atenti bags I was telling you about. We unpacked them today and I had the Elves pose with the different fabric options. Those will go up next week. In addition, our Neighborhood Fiber order has shipped, as well as The Sanguine Gryphon, the Large size of GoKnits bags, Dream in Color Classy, new colors of Trekking (including new Hand Art colors), and Yarntini. We’re working on the photos and will have all of that up for you asap.
I know I have taxed your patience with this long post (and you probably ran out of iced tea mid-way through). I’m heading off to take Knitting Daughter up to her college orientation on Thursday night, so no blog post on Friday. After this long post, I don’t think you could’ve handled (or needed) another one this week anyway, right? I’ll be back with you on Monday! In the meantime, what have you been knitting since I’ve come and gone??