Thursday, June 27, 2013

TNNA More Luscious Yarn Sightings

 Simona Merchant-Dest and I pose Saturday night. She's wearing one of the signature pieces from her new book with Faina Goberstein. I'm also inspired by Simona because she is a runner! 

 Here's more swag from the Marly Bird Yarn Thing designer dinner.  Above is a gift pack from Lion Brand. Wool-Ease Thick and Quick and Romance and a tape measure.
 Yummy Knitpicks.
 Yarnbox! A new yarn subscription service... so interesting! Go check it out.

 I call this Drew Emborsky tote bag the "Ninja Bag" because it zips up the side, you can lay it flat, it has all sorts of convenient pockets and straps. Too cool. You can re-configure the straps to make it into a backpack! Go see the photos of how it works.
Westminster Fibers distributes Rowan, Schachenmayr... and who else... there is another big one...Regia!   They shared this new variety... Boston, with the designers.  One of the first yarns I grabbed out of the bag to play with.
A tri-pack of lovely Cascade yarns, Aran, Longwood and Hollywood. I didn't have a yarn swift at the hotel to ball up this lovely Aran yarn. I am very much looking forward to playing with all three.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

TNNA recap MORE...

 The sponsors were lining up to share their products with designers at the Marly Bird, Yarn Thing Designer Dinner. Above, Classic Elite yarns sent a wide selection of yarns including this one, Liberty Wool, and my other favorite, Color by Kristin, by Kristin Nicholas.
 The adorable Jemma pouch was the gift offered by Namaste bags. It's perfect for notions, small scissors, stitch markers and tapestry needles. It comes in several colors to coordinate with the larger project tote bags.
 The lovely folks at Red Barn Yarn sent these delicious little hanks! What a great way for them to get an audience in a hurry! I hadn't heard of them before... I know them now!  Gorgeous.
 Artist and Graphic Designer, Jill Zielinski of Knitterella makes stationery and accessories for crafters in addition to original patterns.
I've shared about Eucalan before, but it was so fantastic that I'm thrilled to replenish my supply with a new stash with the Wrapture fragrance by Kristin Omdahl.

Throughout the weekend I got to say hi to amazing talented people, here are a few more...

 Back row, left to right, Laurinda Reddig, Simona Merchant-Dest; Front L-R Faina Goberstein, Rebecca Velasquez, and me. :) Laurinda is finishing her first with-a-publisher book, having already written one independently. Simona and Faina co-authored a beautiful new knitting book that is a must-read for a knitter: The Art of Seamless Knitting.

Here I am with the unmistakable Kristin Omdahl. She's not just beautiful and talented... she's SMART. Super business savvy. Keep up the great work Kristin!

MORE tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

TNNA Recap....

How do I sum up what TNNA is all about? The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) is a professional organization of wholesale yarn manufacturers, retailers, publishers, tool suppliers, designers and teachers who all operate in the yarn industry. There are 3? trade shows per year. I'm told the Summer show is the biggest, but there is also a Fall show (usually in Nashville) and a Winter show (usually in California).  I've never been to the Fall or Winter shows, but since the Summer show is within driving distance for me, I usually get to go.

There are classes, tons of meetings, and the show floor. The show floor is full of creative booths and displays highlighting the yarn, tools, books, and other products that the wholesalers are trying to sell to the retailers. The designers sometimes have booths of their own, trying to sell to retailers, but most of us are walking around seeing the new products, thanking the yarn companies for past yarn support and building and maintaining relationships with everyone!

The colors and textures are overwhelming. There are sweaters and hats and blankets that you have likely seen in print ads and magazines that are on display. 

I even found one of MINE! That I didn't know would be there....

Smoldering Coals Blanket was on display in the Universal Yarns booth. 

NOT connected with the TNNA show, designer, podcaster, teacher, author Marly Bird, hosts the "Yarn Thing Designer Dinner" on Friday night.  She organizes this huge event every year. She lines up TONS of great sponsors who want to put their products into the hands of designers so we can try them, use them, blog about them, etc.  It will take me a FEW DAYS to go through all the great sponsors of the event who gave us swag.

How can I not have a photo with Marly and me somewhere... does anyone have one?

 Here I am with the lovely and talented Rebecca Velasquez, my roomie and dear friend before the dinner.
 These bags by Chic-a were totally a surprise.  I hadn't heard of the company before, but they gave a huge assortment of their products to the designers. I LOVE this blue draw-string bag that I received. It has an oil-cloth bottom for stability and it keeps it clean. I immediately put some yarn in it and a hook and scissors in the inner pocket and USED it the rest of the weekend. PERFECT. When I stopped by the booth to thank them, they gave me this gorgeous little conference badge holder/pouch. So nice!

 Love of Crochet and Love of Knitting Magazines were a major sponsor of the Yarn Thing Designer Dinner. Thank you!
Red Heart sent Boutique Filigree yarn and Ann Geddes Baby yarn. Thank you Red Heart!

More tomorrow!

Monday, June 24, 2013

TNNA recap

will be coming as soon as I spend some time with the kids....

Here I am with the lovely Kristin Omdahl.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Photo Friday

Swim Season!

Chickee and Chief

 Chickee's great friend, and Chickee
Chickee doing the backstroke. :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lacy Square Blanket REVEALED

It's a free pattern and it's Join-As-You-Go Crochet squares!

It's the Lacy Square Blanket :)

Thank you to Red Heart for making it a FREE pattern!  (I can't afford to work for free, but Red Heart paid me, and you GET it FREE... it's a Win-Win!)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Original Creative Festival

Now that I've experienced it, I guess I should tell you about it! The Original Creative Festival came to Sharonville, Ohio this past week.  The festival is mainly quilting and sewing, but even I recognized the famous names of Fons & Fons who were there to teach!  Marianne Fons and her daughter, Mary Fons. Marianne Fons is a co-founder of the Fons & Porter Brand.  I remember watching Fons & Porter on PBS when I was a beginner crocheter.  They had a show called "Sew many Quilts".  It was so inspiring but mainly I just crocheted while I watched!  It was the ONLY creative show on tv. But I enjoyed it very much.  Now, all these years later, I was listed as a teacher right up there with Marianne Fons.  Very surreal.

The things these crafters can do with a sewing machine is just magical.  They make it look so easy! The organizers of the Original Creative Festival want to introduce more yarn craft, and who am I to argue?  Thursday I taught 19 students Introduction to Tunisian Crochet. We had such a great time and stayed so busy in the class that I forgot to take any photos! On Friday I taught 4 brave ladies who came back from my Tunisian Class the day before, to learn Introduction to Bruges Lace.  Carol, in the yellow, is on Ravelry!  You can't go anywhere anymore without running into fellow Ravelers! 

I had a great time, and I'd love to teach there again! Thank you to Silk Road Textiles! They put together all of my class "kit bags" for me at a convenient price for both me and my students.

On a totally unrelated note.... I ridiculously excited about getting all the carpets cleaned in the house.  I guess I really am a grown-up now, because only grown-ups would get excited about cleaning....

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer Swing

Summer is in full swing here at the GoCrochet household!  I'm trying to keep up with my work among the numerous inquiries of "Can I have a sleepover?" and "Can best friend come over?" and "What time is my swim practice/basketball camp/volleyball game today?"

It's busy!  The weather is more spring-like than summer-like here in Southern Ohio, but that is likely to change as I type this sentence.

On the crochet front, I'm busy but not crazy busy.  I'm preparing to teach Introduction to Tunisian Crochet and Introduction to Bruges Lace at the Original Creative Festival later this week.  There is still room in the Bruges class.

I have a few more, ok 7, more projects to go for Book 4.  The title is still undecided, and I'm not able to talk about the content. But I'm SO EXCITED about this book. I think you all are going to LOVE it. I'm having so much fun writing it. 

At the end of the summer, I'll be able to really share all the juicy news about BOOK 3, co-authored with Shelby Allaho. It's up on Amazon now.

The photos across the top: Mittens (me), backpack (me), floral headbands (Shelby), Dress (me), Belt (Shelby).

Also on my schedule, I'm preparing for TNNA in a few weeks.
On the homefront:  I'm running in the Runner's World #RunStreak this summer, which is at least a mile every day from Memorial Day to the 4th of July. It's day... 15? I've lost count.  I think I'll have to squeeze in a run during Chief's swim practice while Chickee is at Basketball camp....

And, we lost another chicken the other day.... Say it with me, "DARN FOX!"  The chickens were safely (we thought) in the outdoor cage when I happened to glance out the window and saw the kerfluffle (great word, huh?)  The frenzy of feathers and flapping.  I ran out there (thank goodness I'm in training....) and ran the fox off. Unfortunately he did get one chicken but the kids and I were able to catch the remaining chickens and escort them back to the barn.  The Captain has had to move the outdoor pen, we found a spot where the fox had burrowed under to get in. Ok the kids are up, swimsuit, running shoes, and basketball shoes are on, and we're OFF! 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Decades by Drew Emborsky

I recently had the pleasure of working with Drew Emborsky's new yarns. 

I chose "Iconic" yarn, which is 100% merino, worsted weight. (shown above). It's Superwash and hand-dyed on the USA.
He also has "Inappropriate" yarn which is sportweight Merino and Nylon. (Which would be great for a variety of projects including socks)
"Sarcastic" is a DK cotton/tencel blend. I haven't had the pleasure of working with Inappropriate or Sarcastic yet, but I have heard other designers express their love for both of them!

If I understand correctly, those three above yarns, all come in the Decades colorways. As you might guess they are separated into 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's and are the colors that defined each decade. They have great names that relate to the time period that inspired them. Above is "Blue Suede Shoes" from the 50's decade.  I also have a hank of "Punch Bowl" that is waiting for just the right project.

"Gemstones" is also Merino/Nylon but is dyed in all the birthstone colors (as you may have guessed!) plus black and white.

I really appreciate Drew's concept behind all the yarn and colors.  Like so many of us, Drew noticed that yarns seem to go in and out of style and are often discontinued. By choosing classic yarns and giving them gorgeous classic colors, these are colors we have loved in the past and can continue to love into the future!

I loved the Iconic yarn enough to put it in my next book!  (Not the one the comes out in February... but the one after that....)  :)  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A New Motto

All these years as I have been building my career, my motto has been, "Find a way to say 'yes'"  Yes to opportunities, yes to customers.  My new motto is, "Learn the right time to say, 'No, Thank you'." 

Selectively, thoughtfully, occasionally you have to say, "No, Thank you".

If it doesn't work, I'll change to yet a new motto.... :)