January 17th, 2007

We’re Back!

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A bit confused on what time zone we’re actually in, but we’re back from TNNA San Diego. First off – it was COLD in San Diego. Okay, not as cold as it is here (yes, winter has arrived) but by Southern Cal standards. . . . I was not a happy camper. This is what I left as we headed out last week:

But reports on the weather are not what you are most interested in. The show itself was great! Steve and I were busy from start to finish, which is unusual. We purposely plan in some downtime for ourselves, but this year didn’t get as much as we had hoped.

Some highlights include getting to hear Kate Jacobs, author of the new novel “The Friday Night Knitting Club” speak twice and score an autographed copy. I’m not much into book signings usually, but there was something about her and this book that made me jump up to the front of the line. The book publishes tomorrow – we will be carrying it as will your local book store and of course the big chains. The story is about Georgia, yarn store owner and the women she comes to know in her Friday night knitting group and the trials and tribulations they endure. As you may have heard, the book has already been picked up by one of the studios and will be produced as a movie starring Julia Roberts. Originally scheduled for release in ’08, no word on how Julia’s pregnancy will alter filming, etc.

Saturday was spent in appointments with some of our larger vendors as well as mills who make our Valley Yarns – oh boy do we have some goodies in the works! We spent about 2 hours walking the floor at the end of the day. Blue Sky Alpaca has a few new cotton colors and alpaca silk colors that we ordered, as well as a yummy new handspun organic cotton – natural only, that we also ordered. Lantern Moon had some great new items – we were thrilled since we cleared out the bulk of the inventory we had on their old stuff during the Christmas sale. Highlights from them include new round drawstring boxes and really cool messenger bags, made in Cambodia by land mine survivors using a material from bags of fish food. The material reminds me of a sail on a sail boat – coated – and comes in bright colors with the original printing from the bags still on the fabric. Loved them! Southwest Trading was also a great stop – we added Tofutsies (and the crowd goes wild). For those of you not in the know, it’s their sock yarn that is made with among other things Critin. Yup, I said Critin – which comes from shrimp and crab shells. The yarn is killer. Then we previewed and ordered the new Vickie Howell collection – three yarns that SWTC is producing with/for her. They are winners – classic yarns, beautiful twists, with the alternative blends we expect from SWTC, including one containing milk fiber. The true highlight here was meeting Vickie – champagne glass in hand (read “hmmm, wonder where I can score me one of those”). She was charming and lovely and did not share her champagne, but revealed the source.

At the close of the show on Saturday, we moved upstairs to Interweave’s 10th Anniversary party. Each table featured a recent project in Interweave Knits and on one of the center tables, guess what we saw? A project from the most recent issue that used our own Valley Yarns Stockbridge – the excitement was almost too much for Steve & I – it was the FELTED BABY BOTTLE. The Interweave folks were thrilled we noticed. The party had good drinks and noshables, courtesy of the lovely Interweave folks. Steve and I set about working the room (hey, we’ve got this podcast thing going on and we need guests!). So, we met Clara Parkes, Amy Singer (sort of). I was so thrilled to see she was there I made one of the Interweave people take me over to introduce me and poor Amy was just trying to eat and had a mouth full of food and there I was saying “hi” and being all star-struck and excited and she was now almost choking and that’s when Clara jumped up to say hi. Steve stood by and just shook his head. . . . . . But I did much better with most of the other folks – remained composed and professional and all, until Annie Modesitt asked if I knew “Nicky” who happened to be sitting next to her. Now the room was dimly lit, it had been a long day, I was on wine #2 and I was obviously being an idiot and I said “no, I don’t know Nicky”. So Annie says – “Nicky, this is Kathy she owns WEBS and Kathy, this is Nicky EPSTEIN (I swear there were trumpets playing somewhere as the name echoed in my head). Now the funny part is that Nicky seemed almost as excited to meet Steve & I as we were to meet her! I am hopeful that our mutual admiration will help get WEBS on her schedule sometime before the boys graduate.

Sunday – busy, busy, busy. . . . where to watch the game, can we watch the game, there seem to still be tickets for game, will someone, anyone, PLEASE take Steve to the game – I’ll treat!!!! Our beloved Patriots were in San Diego for the playoffs. It nearly killed Steve to not go and not watch even a single second of the game. But from kick-off to the final buzzer, I had to steer him through the show as he was glued to the updates on his cell phone. Our progress slowed somewhat as we also had to continually zig zag between the booths where others interested in the score, but were required to work.

We managed to buy some cool new bags from Namaste, two new yarns from Fiesta (I love them – the yarns and Brad & Jeannie the owners), some closeouts from the usual suspects, new colors of Jade Sapphire’s 2-ply cashmere and Savannah DK from The Fibre Company. Tobias and Antonio from Malabrigo have some great new colors that we added as well as a new single ply, laceweight merino (oxygen masks will eject from your computer shortly). Plus they had some cute patterns to boot! Here’s our beloved Abigail on gorgeous handwoven throw given to us by Tobias during his visit to us in Baltimore at Stitches East. Some things meant for the store are just simply too beautiful. This was one of them.

Spent some time with the Interweave folks again (no free wine or munchies this time) talking about some marketing initiatives and then dinner with one of our fave vendors. We ended the night on our own, for a night cap and witnessed a well known industry person being escorted from the fine establishment we stopped into due to his/her poor behavior. You won’t get another word out of me – what happens in S.D. stays in S.D.

Monday we purchased a new silk/wool blend from Sheep Shop – Fonnie the owner has a homerun with this one. Misti had lots of new colors and gave us a sneak peek of what’s to come. At 2:30 I hit the wall – I could not talk to another person, look at another product, nothing. We went back to the Gaslamp District – the area just away from the bay that houses restaurants and shopping and bars and Petco Field where the Padres play. Had a beer, a burger and then we went and passed out for an hour or so (back in our hotel room, not on the sidewalk or anything). One last dinner with our dear friends from Berroco, packed up and sort of slept before our 6:30a.m. flight home.

Today kicked off with interviewing Stephanie Pearl McPhee. Yup, just a little ole chit chat with The Yarn Harlot for this week’s radio show. I was freaking out – although she was at the store last March and I spent a fair amount of time with her, she’s like a rock star! I think Steve and I did okay. . . .

So, I still owe you all the Berroco spring pics & run down. But I think this is more than ample for one day – especially one in which I am still not sure what day/time it is.


P.S. I finished the silly garter stitch polar/lurex scarf last night. Woohoo! That’s 2 F.O.’s in 2007 and it’s not even the end of January! I am on such a roll!


One Response to “We’re Back!”

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