While I was finishing my Diamond Patch Sweater, I did have a couple other things going on. For one thing, Victoria and I went to Columbus, Ohio to the TNNA Needlearts Market. It was fun! We had a pretty easy trip, flew on JetBlue, which I never had done before. I love JetBlue; it was great to be able to listen to XM radio (although I noticed most people enjoyed watching television more).
There were a lot of exhibitors at the show and I think we saw each of them twice. Well... the knitting exhibits, anyway. Half of the booths were for needlework, like cross stitch and needlepoint, so we kinda blew right by them. Although, I will say, I really wish I knew how to do that stuff, and had the patience for it. Some of the items were really beautiful. Unfortunately I am too impractical to do needlework. I am not much for hanging things on walls, so working for 200 hours to make flat art doesn't appeal to me that much. (Sorry, to all the needleworkers out there.... it just isn't my thing.) It sure is beautiful, though!
I didn't really see too much of a trend at this year's show. Even though it is the "Summer Show", the exhibitors show fall and winter items at this show. I would say the hot fiber was alpaca... it seemed like everything had alpaca in it. I love alpaca! But we already have a lot of alpaca in the store. There were also a lot of shawl pins, beautiful shawl pins. I thought about ordering some that were magnetic, but passed on them.
We looked hard at a couple of Classic Elite yarns... one is an alpaca sock yarn, and another is a really wonderful 100% not-superwash wool that comes in amazing colors. Pam Allen, Classic Elite's new creative consultant, was in the booth and it was nice to see her again! She had designed a gorgeous sweater from this new yarn. The yarn reminds me a little of Jo Sharp's wool dk yarn, but the Classic Elite version is about $2 cheaper per skein and comes in better colors, in my opinion. We did look at the Jo Sharp yarn.. but I just couldn't do it. Too expensive, and there are about 10 kinds of Jo Sharp yarn now... and her pattern books include designs for many of the Jo Sharp yarns. That's fine, if you carry 10 kinds of Jo Sharp yarn. I didn't think my customers would want to buy those pattern books only to get one or two patterns that they could buy the Jo Sharp yarn for locally. Also the sales person mentioned the Jo Sharp wool dk yarn wasn't a really hot seller in the Jo Sharp line, so we decided to keep looking. I wanted a good, basic, high-quality 100% wool, dk weight, non-superwash yarn that came in a great selection of colors. Classic Elite has one of the best color pallettes in the industry, as far as I am concerned. Throw in the fact that Pam Allen particularly loves this yarn and will probably come up with some amazing designs for it...yup. I didn't order it at the show... but my Classic Elite sales rep will be visiting us soon, and I can order it then. I will be looking for a late summer, or early fall ship date on it. I believe the yarn is called Classic Elite 150 (it has 150 yards/skein).
We ordered some fabulous Morehouse Merino knitting kits. There are some really cute, whimsical scarves, and some very fashionable scarves and shawl kits. We also ordered a really neat wool/hemp blend yarn from LanaKnits. I think it's called Wool Hemp. Or, Hemp Wool. Can you tell I am blogging with no notes? heh heh. I will have to go look through my orders from the show before I go on, I think.
Victoria and I took classes at the show, of course! Victoria took the Sally Melville class on creativity that I took last year, and I think she really liked it! She also took a class on short-row shaping, but I kinda got the impression she already knew most of the material. I took only one class, Portuguese Knitting, from Andrea Wong. It was great! When I was in college I had a friend who was from Colombia and she knit in a very different way from anyone else I had ever seen. I kept trying to figure out how she did it... she had the yarn around her neck and she made the stitches with her left thumb. She could purl about 5 times faster than she could knit. I tried to figure out how she did it, but I never could. But now, I have finally learned! The technique is fascinating, and it is a totally different way of knitting and purling than anything I knew previously. I am not that fast at the technique, but like with anything, with practice, I think it could be a pretty speedy way to knit and especially purl. In this technique, purling is WAY easier and quicker than knitting.