The TNNA (The National Needlearts) Winter Trade Show is an industry trade show for vendors, yarn companies, books and magazine publishers, needlearts designers, and more, showcasing new things for the upcoming year. Katie Dougherty, Heather Harmon, and I ventured down to San Diego to work the CRAFT booth, and while there, we meet an array of inspirational crafters and amazing new products, which you’ll see on the blog and in future issues of CRAFT. We had a lot of cool people come by our booth like Jennifer Stafford of Domiknitrix and Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching.
No photos were allowed on the trade show floor but Rachel John of Extreme Knitting wanted me to take pictures of her session to spread the word and inspire other knitters to dare to be different in their knitting. UK knitter Rachel John inspired me completely and brought her British sense of humor to the show, telling attendees that we no longer need to knit the same old usual “jumpers and socks” to survive and rather wanted us to challenge our own creativity. Knit with more yarn and to not be afraid to use color. Rachel should know this. Growing up with her artist mom, she learned the importance of color, and with her sculptor dad, she learned how to make things. Rachel challenged herself to knit 1000 strands of carpet yarn to make a mattress. “Cast on 4,” she’d say with a laugh as the movie of her making the mattress played on the laptop below the stage. Six hours later and with her hands swelled up double their size, Rachel completed her goal of knitting a mattress. Rachel creates her own line of large knitting needles, which are made in her sculptor father’s woodworking studio. In the demo at the show, she used 40 strands of yarn at one time, grouping about 5-6 balls in The Bag Smith containers grouped by color. When the strands are pulled together they create Rachel’s inspired seascape blanket. Rachel John was truly inspirational, so look for a CRAFT blog interview with her soon.
Sunday night was a fun hang-out night with the knitting and crochet gals — Shannon Okey, Amy O’Neil Houck, Kristy Porter, Cecily Keim, and Robyn Chachula and Brett Bara (pictured right), as well as fellow local Bay Area ladies Christina Loff and Nancy Deane from Chronicle Books.
Crochet queens Cecily Keim and Kim Werker came by our booth again on Monday, Jan. 15th when things were a lot calmer. It seemed a lot of people who were East Coasters ended up leaving Monday morning, leaving us more time at the trade show to really hang out and talk. Cecily taught us how to crochet and gave us a copy of her book, which she co-wrote with Kim, Teach Yourself Visually Crocheting. I loved the tips on how to hold the hook and yarn as well as the differences in different brands of crochet hooks.
Here are more recaps from the other crafters who attended (I will be adding more as they come in):