Columbus Sunup to Sundown

TNNA is tiring, damn it!

There’s so much yarn, so many folks, so much to see and SO MUCH WALKING!

Shannon (once again my roommate for TNNA) and I felt as if we got up with the sun and crashed with the moon.

She was a more avid partier and socializer than I

I spent a good deal of time sitting on my bed at the Drury Inn, knitting up swatches and getting some rest & work done.

It was a good decision on both our parts – she deserved some fun and I needed some down time in one place!

My breathing’s much better than it was, but it’s still not great. The weather here’s been lovely – on the cool side, not too hot and humid, but still heavier than I’m used to back home. It’s odd, because this USED to be home – Ohio – which can be quite humid. I know folks in MN talk about the humidity there, but it’s NOTHING compared to the Ohio Valley Humidity.

(BTW, yes I do have a portable nebulizer, which I was too thick-headed to remember to bring with me. D’oh!)

But this week it’s not bad at all – quite lovely! But walking is still difficult. I wear out very easily – I think my lungs are working triple time.

So my strategy has been to ride my bike over to the convention center from the hotel rather than walk.

It’s not a long walk (and a very short ride) but the bike is easier because I can pedal, then coast when I’m tired to get my breathing back on track.

And – most important – riding the bike makes me feel good.

And there’s that convenient Jeni’s Ice Cream holding basket…

My main reason for being here, The Stitch Coop, is entering it’s second year. Our first show together was last June.

As we held our breakfast meeting today there was definitely a feeling that we’re on the right track, we’re moving toward a direction that may change the way yarn shops think about purchasing independent designer patterns for their shop.

Our Affiliate Program – Shannon’s brain child – is quite simply, brilliant. A shop or venue can add a link to one of our patterns in their email newsletter or website. When a customer clicks on that link to purchase the pattern, 20% goes to the yarn shop, 30% to the coop and 50% to the designer.

The shop owner can close the deal by giving the online customer a bit of a discount if they come in with the pattern to buy the yarn, thereby bringing the online customers into the brick and mortar fold.

The shop makes $$, the designer is compensated fairly, and the pattern does what a pattern’s supposed to do – sell yarn.

The Affiliate Program goes live on September 1 – it’s free, but it can earn shops some nice money and can bring in some new customers! Access to over 125 patterns with no investment – it seems like a no brainer!

The shops we talked to were very interested, too – all of us are very excited about the whole thing!

Kristi Porter was so excited she wouldn’t take off the new (unfinished) mockup for the Sutton Hoo mask. I think it becomes her…

Here’s Sarah from my class in Toronto at Naked Sheep wearing a knit millinery cloche worked in the same lovely Hand Maiden Casbah that the mask is in. I adore this yarn!

Odd to see both pieces together. Sarah looks less scary.

My memories of the show are blurred – I’ll be driving back to MN tomorrow and I obviously need rest – so I apologize for the fuzzyness of the following TNNA Show Thoughts.

Aside from Stitch Coop business, my main reason for being here was to forage some new relationships for some new books, acquire some yarns for History on Two Needles and see what is new on the horizon.

It was gratifying to sense the good, hopeful buzz in the hall – it seemed that attendance wasn’t at the heights it had been in the past, but folks were here to BUY. Most vendors I talked to felt they had a good show, which was excellent to hear.

The non-business related highlight of the day today was Cat Bordhi bringing a small lump of dry ice so we could make fog in our booth. Watching Ysolde Teague bending over the $20 garbage can, dipping her small woolen mouse into the smokey brew was surreal. Scots.

We had 13 women at one point, plus Casey from Ravelry. We called ourselves a Coven Plus Casey and we’re working on a pilot for a sitcom.

The most exciting thing for me at the show, yarnwise, were Buffalo Gold’s new colors dyed by Lorna’s Laces – they’re spectacular, rich and beautiful.

I also loved many of Trendsetter‘s new yarns (even though I couldn’t get snips of them from the great wall of yarn – all gone by the time I arrived!) and Malabrigo‘s new sock weight superwash was AMAZING!

Tilli Tomas has some new yarns that I definitely want to use in History on Two Needles, and I’m salivating to try my hand at Classic Elite’s Chesapeak.

Artyarns has new beaded silk and stranded glitz, and although I’m not usually a metallics lover these are done beautifully and I’m desperate to get my hands on some for the Sutton Hoo mask. I’ll dream on.

Overall the weekend’s been a blur – a good, lively, bicycle laced beautiful blur – and when I leave town tomorrow it will be with happy TNNA memories and lots of Jeni’s ice cream in a cooler for the folks at home…

How I miss them.

A nice late Father’s Day Gift, that Jeni’s ice cream.

Now to choose the flavors…

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