I'm back from my first ever trade show. I went to the TNNA show in Long Beach under the auspices of Knitting in La Jolla and Curious Creek Fibers. It was fascinating... and exhausting.
I took classes in bead knitting, armhole designing and weaving techniques applied to knitting. I met bunches of people that I have "known" electronically and finally got to put faces and voices to their names. Lots of great Knitty advertisers that I was happy to meet. I handed out loads of business cards and scrawled my name and email address on lots of scraps of paper after I had depleted my supply.
I got some great feedback on things that I had designed and wore -- this is one of the things about such a show -- everyone's wearing their very best knit stuff and there is a subtle (or not so subtle) politic to wearing the right thing at the right time (and carrying the right cards to match your outfit). What yarns and designers you are wearing betrays your allegiances. And people will, without pause, come up and talk to you about where what you wear came from and, occassionally, fondle you.
Friday night was the fashion show. Curious Creek Kristine and I opted to wear our matching asymmetrical half linen stitch jackets (different sizes, different colors, and, strangely, opposingly lapelled [have to figure out how two test knitters ended up with opposite shaping from the same written words...]) which was a bit Bobbsey Twins, but naturally, drew more attention. There were, in my opinion, too many ponchos in the show. Interestingly, there were lots of knit skirts, including the show-stopping Koigu skirt which I cannot find pictures of anywhere (no photography allowed, unfortunately, at TNNA), but it was breathtaking and phenomenal and I didn't believe that it was knit until I saw it up close. One is tempted to design a skirt after all that, but I still wonder about how they would hold up. I think using a non-stretching stitch or a knitting/weaving technique may be the answer. And an elastic waistband. And a tight gauge. And a washable yarn. Naturally, everyone that I asked about the practicality of a knit skirt or knit dress given the omnipresent issue of stretch, swore up and down that theirs had no problems. I am still a bit of a skeptic.
Saturday I wore my Curious Creek W Top. This is a sleeveless top knit side-to-side in a series of shortrowed wedges. The math on the top tickles me silly. But you'll have to trust me on that for the time being. Curious Creek now has a sales rep and we are aiming to have the first line of patterns out in early spring. So keep your eyes out, especially if you are in the Southwest where her yarns are already in stores. Happily then, it turned out that much of the armhole shaping class focused on short-rowing, so the top was a perfect choice.
Sunday, I wore my favorite all-time project, the "technicolor dream sweater" that made me start this blog in the first place. (Go back in the archives to see its story.) I also carried my felted mitered square bag. They both got lots of attention which was fun.
Aside from the classes and meetings, there was much time spent on the floor of the trade show where there were so many booths it made one's head spin. Half the show was non-knitting related, mostly needlepoint, which at least provided eye and brain respite. Still, if we walked 5 miles on the floor a day, it wouldn't surprise me.
My favorite new yarn was Diameterie from Diakeito/Dancing Fibers.
Surprising fact: Stacy Charles is a man. Am I the only one that didn't know this?
Kaffe Fassett's first name is one syllable.
Thoroughly enjoyed class with Lily Chin. Who wore a turquoise leather skirt and boots and purple fishet stockings. And may still be stuck in the Dallas airport due to poor weather on the East Coast.
Vivian Hoxbro is fabulous. More than fabuous. Her designs are so brilliant and beautiful and have such a clear sense of style. And there she was right in the Harrisville Designs booth, happy to chat and eagerly dressing me in all her designs. Really. Vivian Hoxbro dressed me.