We’re delighted to welcome the words of world-famous Irish designer Carol Feller to our wee blog today. Carol recently travelled to the yarn industry’s biggest trade show, called “TNNA”, in Columbus Ohio. The June show (that Lisa and Jacqui attended back in 2009, and hope to make it back to some *year* soon!) previews all that the yarn world has to offer for the upcoming Autumn/Winter season. We’re thrilled to be sharing Carol’s experiences with you all…
At the end of June I went over to Columbus, Ohio for a trade show, TNNA Unlike most knitting shows in Ireland and the UK this show is aimed entirely at yarn stores which makes it very different. It means that buyers are there on behalf their businesses and it also means that itâ€™s not going to be as crowded as a show that sells directly to the customer.
As a knitwear designer there are multiple layers of benefit. The most obvious one is that I get to promote my new book, Among Stones, to yarn stores.
Even though this is my second time going to the show it was my first time exhibiting. I have a US distributor, Deep South Fibers who has a block of booths that we can reserve. I opted to share a booth this year and I was paired with Stephen West who is always lots of fun! It is rare as a knitwear designer to meet up with other designers, so events like TNNA are a huge mental overloadâ€¦but in a good way. Every year I get to meet up with old friends and meet a whole host of new faces.
This is where the next layer of TNNA comes in for me, networking. Not only do I get to spend every evening with designers I love, I also get to meet and talk with magazine and book editors that Iâ€™ve only known virtually. Itâ€™s good to have a face to put with the name and it does make emails easier when you have a personal knowledge of the person on the other end.
Last year I began doing some teaching on knitting tours for Tourism Ireland and they put together a great hamper for me to give away at my stand this year. It made me feel extra Irish to have a big basket of Irish yarn at my feet! I was astonished at how much interest there was from yarn stores about the tours. Seems like everyone wants to come to Ireland knitting.
So what about the yarn I hear you sayâ€¦.
There was much yarn, needle, button and knitting goodness. Interestingly there seemed to be tons of bright neon yarn, there was even a very cool yarn with light reflector material spun through it to make reflective accessories. Who doesnâ€™t need a hat that glows in the dark right?
I discovered that I am very focused on greens at the moment, every shade from lime through to olive. The only yarns I actually brought home with me this year were Phydeaux Designs â€˜Caresseâ€™ and Anzula Yarns â€˜Cricket’. You may notice they are both greenâ€¦
I forgot to go back and order some but Moving Mud had the cutest buttons and accessories. The small, flat buttons they were displaying were just beautiful.
Hopefully this post will give you a little flavour of what my extended weekend was like, now add in enough talking that your voice was gone when you got home, lots of cocktails and 17 hours of travel each way and youâ€™ll be right there with me!
Wow, that’s a lot of yarny goodness right there! We hope you enjoyed the round up. And, we’re curious… if you could choose one of the featured brands for TIK to stock, which one would it be? Tell us in the comments and, you never know, wishes just might come true! 🙂