at the Sunny Street Cafe -- which had the multiple advantages of being out of the hotel/convention center complex, and therefore cheaper, had decent food, and had the most charming manager.
Of course, even the charming manager could do nothing about Sad TNNA Breakfast:
Sad TNNA Breakfast was sad because so many of his good friends weren't there this year....(you know who you are).
We tried to breathe in as much fresh air as we could
while looking at the buildings around us,
before entering the Convention Center for a long but exciting day of exploring.
It's hard to get the big picture view of the show while you're there. You walk up and down aisle and after aisle, and Veronik yells at you if you go out of order so you have to strictly keep to the row you're in or she'll go all French on your derriere, and there is so much to see and so many people you know that it's a jumble of impressions. I'll do some separate posts on the some of the new products coming from our favorite companies, but generally speaking, I had these observations to make:
- the show seemed busy to me. Not every booth had tons and tons of customers, but most had healthy numbers of shop owners and I saw a lot of sales reps writing out orders.
- The show organizers seemed to have kept the needlepoint stuff and the knitting stuff more separate, so that no knitting vendors were stranded at the end of a section of needlepoint shopw or vice versa.
- One of the trends which I noticed was an increase in the number of novelty yarns. Not the same type of novelties that we saw 8 to 10 years ago, but rather bigger/thicker ones. We saw lots of self-ruffling yarns, where a very thick knit or woven fabric had a railroad-track-like top which you used to knit into. The yarn then artfully gathers and creates ruffles and swags. A nice lady at the Universal Yarn booth showed us how they work: dramatic effects that are fast and easy to make. (You can watch a video of Universal's Marina here.)
- We also noticed a lot of chainette yarns, many tending to the bigger gauges. Debbie Bliss had a lovely chainette called Paloma, a blend of 60% baby alpaca/40% merino wool, knitting at around 4 stitches per inch. The beauty of these yarns is that they can be knit at a bigger gauge but retain a certain lightness.
- Color-changing yarns also seem to be doing well. Debbie Bliss had a softly-changing yarn that looked lovely; Universal Yarns had several; Noro, of course, had many; Skacel showed a lot in their Zauberball range and Crystal Palace had a nice fingering weight one called Sausalito.
- We're still seeing lots of attention paid to recycling fiber and cloth and turning them into yarns, as well as continued interest in organics and environmentally-conscious processing. Lots of companies had yarns using recycled fiber of various kinds (one was made from old blue jeans) so that trend is still going strong.
- I thought I saw fewer small vendors, in particular fewer small handpaint yarn vendors and fewer indie designers with their own booths. Collaborative places (like the Ravelry booth) showcased some of the indie designers, but I recall seeing more people selling in their own booths in years past.
and managed to "kinnear" Martin Storey while he was at the Rowan booth.
(More on Mr. Storey in the next post)
Perhaps most scandalous, however, was my witnessing a blatant attempt of larceny at a leading knitting magazine's booth.
Watch this shameless attempt to shoplift a copy of a brand-new knitting magazine....
as this thieving Creative Director makes a dash.
(I put my money on Annie Bakken, though.)
Yup, looks like Annie gave him a good ass-whuppin'. I don't think Mr. Delvecchio will try that again any time soon.
to be continued