Posts Tagged ‘TNNA Long Beach’

Sparkle Goes To TNNA

Friday, January 14th, 2011
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Hi Everyone

As many of you know Steve & I were in Long Beach over last weekend to attend TNNA – the Spring/Summer buying show for the yarn world.  It was tough coming right out of New Year’s and getting on a plane almost immediately.  I had to leave on the Wednesday after New Year’s as I serve on the Retail Council and had meetings and such ahead of the show.  Although being away from home has gotten more difficult as the boys have gotten older, the early arrival allowed me a couple of extra evenings to catch up with some of my dear friends like Betsy of Classic Elite Yarns & Beth of Lorna’s Laces.  The opportunity to grab dinner with folks like them and catch up on things is truly priceless.

Steve & had a great show, saw lots of wonderful yarns, caught up with even more friends and met lots of new ones.  The show is always a whirlwind and somehow we never have enough time to do everything!  We did find lots of new goodies that will be arriving in the coming weeks.  Sparkle (introduced here)  came along for the adventure and let me tell you, that little penguin made the most of his time in Long Beach.

He thoroughly enjoyed the view from our room – looking out over the Convention Center:

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He loved the way the lights changed color at the hotel bar.  He was particularly fond of the blue:

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He met Beth from Lorna’s Laces while checking out the hotel bar and felt a strong allegiance to her display on the New Products Table at the Convention Center:

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Sparkle enjoyed the Fashion Show.  Here is Joel from Lantern Moon opening the show with a lovely wool-clad wee one.

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Some of the lovely new designs featured in the show:

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After the Fashion Show we headed to a local restaurant to grab dinner with the crew from Berroco.  We were early and were able to enjoy a little down time and music:

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Saturday morning the show kicked-off and it was time to get down to business:

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First stop was Fiesta Yarns and our friends Jeannie & Brad:

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We stopped by the Dream in Color booth to check out yarn and the latest items in the Herdy Collection.  Yes, those are sheep salt & pepper shakers (we bought them) and there is also a sheepy bank not shown (bought that too!):

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Of all the booths at the show, I’d have to say that Lantern Moon won for most beautiful, most creative, most – whatever – it was gorgeous.   Sparkle loved it too.  The vase you see here (and there were several in their booth) are filled with rice that was dyed by the talented Gina of Alchemy Yarns.

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Sparkle was busy sucking up to talking to Beth at Lorna’s again and I was loving this yummy new design:

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Beth makes string pretty:

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Amy at Madeline Tosh is no slouch either.  Her booth was INSANE.  The small twist skeins you see behind Sparkle represent new colors – there were 10 or 12 of them.  All magical.

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Sparkle also has very discerning taste.  Here he is wrapped in a 1 skein scarf made from Artyarns new 3-ply cashmere glitter.  Needless to say it was not pretty getting him to leave Iris & her lovely yarns:

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But like most of us, Sparkle is fickle and soon forgot the cashmere and was cuddling up to Be Sweet’s Bambino Taffy.  Lovely colors and Nadine is just so nice, Sparkle was smitten 🙂

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When we got back to the hotel after the show, we ran into our friends from Plymouth – Jen & Terry who were very happy to meet Sparkle.

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I think in Sparkle’s excitement from being at the show all day, he might have gotten a bit carried away Saturday night:

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Sunday we visited with our friends from Abstract Fibers.  I love their stuff.  We currently carry some of their fiber but wanted to add more.  Sparkle gave his vote of approval:

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We ended up adding to yarns from Abstract as well.  Although all of their colors are beautiful, “Pheasant”, shown below across several different fiber bases, really spoke to me.  I don’t think this picture does it justice but even so, it’s not a color that I would normally get excited about “Pheasant” really spoke to me.

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On Sunday evening, it was apparent that Sparkle had “arrived”.  He had the privilege to meet Debbie Bliss:

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We made it to Monday and the last day of the show.  We visited the Universal booth and Sparkle not only found his kind (more sparkle-y yarn) but this particular piece is woven, not knit.  Smart little penguin:

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Finally it was time to come home.  We endured a red-eye out of LAX which was not nearly as bad as the three of us were anticipating.  We were all very happy to see the East Coast.

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As you can see, we have lots of great new products on the way.  We had a blast and as hard as it is to be away, it’s always productive.  But it’s also always good to come home.  Keep an eye out on the website, here on the blog and in email blasts for the arrival of the products highlighted above and more!  Not on our email list?  You can sign up here.

I hope you enjoyed our recap.  What are your thoughts on Sparkle’s adventure?


Introducing Sparkle

Monday, January 10th, 2011
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Hi Everyone

Steve & I have just wrapped up our annual trip to the Spring TNNA Show which was held in Long Beach, CA this year.  We are actually flying home in just a few hours.  I don’t normally choose to fly on a red-eye but J1 has a hockey game tomorrow night and even a crack-o-dawn flight back home was cutting it too close.  Turns out we were smart to book the red-eye as we have a classic Nor’easter barreling up the east coast for tomorrow night and into Wednesday.

I’m planning to give you a full update on the show but I want to first introduce you to someone.  Our holiday catalog featured the adorable penguins & polar bears.

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When we first started talking about creating penguins, I really wanted at least one that incorporated beads for a little glitz.  Our designer Kirsten made several attempts but none turned out like the vision I had in my head.  In fact, one attempt had a frightening resemblance to Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs!

So color me surpised when I popped into my office over the holidays to find a this sitting onmy desk from Kirsten:

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This is Sparkle – the sparkly version of our original penguin.  I love him.  I never even had a chance to ask Kirsten what yarn she used.  Sparkle hit the road with Steve & I this weekend and really made the rounds at the show.  Tomorrow I’ll show you what the three of us have been up to!


TNNA Recap

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
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Hi Everyone

Thanks for your patience while I took my sabbatical from the blog.  It’s good to be getting back into the swing of things.

Shortly after New Year’s Steve & I headed out to Long Beach for the spring TNNA Show.  The show itself is only 3 days but between events and the fact that I’m actively involved in the organization itself unable to say “no” to my colleagues when it comes to projects and committees, I was in lovely LB for a total of 8 days.

The trip was great – enjoyed some of the most spectacular SoCal weather you can hope for in January, connected with many of the amazing people in our industry AND shopped.  I shopped for fiber-y things, but also go to do a little non-fiber shopping as well.  More on that in a minute.

The spring show is the smaller of the two.  Our suppliers introduce fewer yarns as the spring season is just that much shorter.  I often think we take the “seasonality” of knitting a bit too far – it’s not as if when the calendar hits March 21st everyone packs up their wool and alpaca yarns and only knit with cottons.

We do most of our major buying ahead of the show but there are always new and exciting products to be discovered.  One accessory that stopped me in my tracks was this beauty:

This is the Monroe bag from Namaste.  I.Love.It.  We’ve carried the Namaste line for awhile – they make a great product that looks good and is functional.  Bags are a very personal thing and although I’ve liked their bags in the past, they haven’t necessarily been my style.  This one is.  Why?  I love the lines, I love that it doesn’t have reversse-stitching as many of their bags do, I love the size, room with out being too big.  It has great compartments. 

It has symmetry and I love symmetry.  We’ll have this bag in stock shortly in all of the colors.  I was personally torn between black and the lime – you can see which won out.  Any guesses what that skein of yarn is in my bag???

Another find that tickles me to no end is Iris:

Iris is the result of a collaboration between Rebecca Danger of Danger Crafts and Lorna’s Laces.  Iris isn’t just your average monster, she’s a Gourmet Monster.  She has an entire bio on the back of the package.

She loves food – everything from the preparation to, of course, the eating.  Her favorite food?  Cheese – good cheese, gourmet cheese.  Iris and I have the potential to be VERY good friends.

Iris comes several sizes based on the yarn used and in the six new cool colorways that Beth introduced at the show.  Here’s the smaller Iris:

We have something very special in the works for this adorable monster so stay tuned!  The kits themselves will be up on the site and available shortly.

Lantern Moon wins the prize for the coolest display at the show.  Look at how they arranged all of their faboo accessories:

I only wish my camera/photography skills could have captured the real beauty of this display.  Kudos to the Lantern Moon team!

As Steve & I were walking the show, this caught our eye:

Gail’s (a.k.a. the Kangaroo Dyer) soon-to-be-released book was there!  We saw her book in the wild – all grown-up and out on it’s own!  It stopped Steve & I in our tracks and I think even Steve let out a little *squee*.  The lady manning the distributor booth mentioned it was not out yet and I explained “I know – the author works with us!”  Gail is our guest on this week’s episode of Ready, Set, Knit so be sure to tune in on Saturday or download the podcast to hear all about the book!  You can also pre-order it on our site or in the store!

There were some other great new yarns that we purchased that we’ll be talking about in the coming days and weeks so be sure to check back.

I was able to take an afternoon to myself before heading home.  Ironically, I opted for some retail therapy here:

I love to shop and I don’t have a lot of options in Western Mass.   Shopping in an A or probably an A+ mall is a treat – getting to see trends in style & color, checking out displays and merchandising  is such a treat.  Then there were the shoes. . . . . . .

But the true exclamation point at the end of this trip was this:

A gorgeous California sunset over Bloomies 🙂


That’s My Story and I’m Stickin’ To It

Saturday, January 26th, 2008
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Well, I guess we can check January off the list!
It appears that 2008 has no intention of moving any slower than 2007 did. At least we’re one month closer to warmer weather. Has anyone noticed that the days are getting noticeably longer? Five o’clock around here isn’t even dark anymore. Gives us summer people hope, despite what the thermometer says.
TNNA was a whirlwind all to itself. I went out a day early for industry meetings, which was nice. I love my work, I love my family and I treasure my alone time. Steve caught up with me the next day and we had the luxury of a dinner alone – no committments, no sitters to worry about. We were both exhausted with the time change, but we did get to enjoy a lovely meal together. Who cares that it was only 5pm “local” time – we were fashionably appropriate according to our internal clocks 🙂
After another day of industry stuff, TNNA finally kicked off with the fashion show. We had a dinner engagement that night so we were only able to stay for part of the festivities, but the garments we saw were breathtaking. I am looking forward to receiving the DVD and viewing it at home where there is much less distraction.
The next morning we attend the Tahki Stacy Charles breakfast. They host this event at each market for their customers. TSC previews all of their new yarns and designs and invites both Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits & Crochet to present their editorial of TSC products. I love this event, even though we’ve already made our purchases. It’s a good chance to review things again and see if we’ve missed anything.

Then, it was off to market! We had an extremely full appointment schedule for most of the show. We are usually focused on filling in any holes we may have, looking for smaller, independent companies or new companies and of course accessories. In all honesty, there was not a lot new or super exciting.
Friday night we attended a reception hosted by Potter Craft. Many of their authors were there along with retailers, magazine folks, etc. Here’s a shot of a pretty impressive gathering of who’s who:

Saturday featured THE highlight of the show:

In addition to signing books, Melissa did a reasonable job of spending money for us. First, she helped us pick colors of Louet Gems, which is a gorgeous yarn and featured heavily in her book. Then, at various times throughout the show, we’d walk into a vendor booth and they’d say “Oh, you’re from WEBS! People have been stopping in saying if you added XYZ product they’d love to buy it from you”. Now this is weird because the show is full of OTHER shops – nobody who would be buying anything from us. This happened a couple of times and we were a bit perplexed. Then, we were nearly tackled in the aisle by the owner of Conjoined Creations with a similar testimonial. That’s when we finally figured it out.
This is a shot of Long Beach from across the bay looking back at the city:

Thanks to Mother Nature for that last day of 75 degrees and sunny. The hour or so I got to enjoy sitting outside in the warmth of the sunshine was spectacular.
While we were gone, the renovations continued. Our office was packed, our furniture moved out and gutted. We’re still in chaos, but things are coming along. We’re living in the old shipping area, wrapped on two sides by plastic and functioning out of boxes. It will be worth the wait – saw the first coat of paint on the walls yesterday!
One of the major projects waiting for me when I was back was our next catalog shoot. The Spring Knitting catalog will be out shortly, as will our next weaving catalog. Spring knitting will feature lots of great new yarns and designs, including a few of our own. Here’s a couple of behind the scenes shots:

We’ve had lots of new yarns and books arriving almost daily. I’ve got a lot of updating still ahead!