Well that was a blur.
I flew to Columbus on Thursday. I left very early in the morning after too little sleep and didn't arrive at my hotel until nearly 8. I was starving. I looked around the convention center hotel lobby for some familiar faces and saw none so I headed to Marcella's by myself. I thought I'd waltz in for dinner or get a seat at the bar. There was a 30 minute wait for a table and no free seats near the bar. I hovered feeling exhausted and so hungry. The general manager passed me several times and finally stopped and asked if she could get me anything.
"I'm just looking for a seat."
"Can I bring you a chair?"
I was so grateful.
"Can I bring you something to drink?"
"Yes," I replied, nearly tearing up, I was so exhausted and hungry and grateful.
When my table was ready and the hostess showed me to my seat I felt a tug on my leg. I looked down and saw the yarn for Georgie trailing through the entire restaurant and back to the bar. I followed it back, rewinding it until I got to an amused though confused young woman standing in the bar holding the remainder of the skein in her hand.
"Bet that's the first time that ever happened here," she said.
"There's a yarn convention in town. It's going to happen a lot."
I had an all-day class with Cat Bordhi on writing patterns. It was about formatting and editing not the creation of a design. I got some very good information from it.
Then there was Sample It. This is an event where vendors, if they choose, can offer one item at wholesale prices--sometimes slightly below wholesale--to buyers. This, in theory, allows buyers to try out a product before committing to a whole order. But really people just use it to buy themselves a bunch of stuff. It's always super-hot and jam-packed. I got some items for my shop--not for me!--and then fled to the much cooler, calmer lobby. There was a teacher's gallery where experts who offer classes can connect with shop-owners. Mary Beth Temple was there. She is a crochet designer and teacher. Her brand is called Hooked for Life. There was a slight typo in her signage.
Next was the fashion show which was much, much better than the January show. It went more smoothly and faster and the designs were better on the whole.
Then it was off to the Tip Top for a much needed late dinner. I ordered a Diet Coke and was handed a vat of soda. Seriously, look at it compared to my cell phone.
Or Laura Chau's head.
Saturday the market opened. I shopped and walked and shopped and walked and shopped. I'd say I'm most excited about Spud & Chloe. Blue Sky Alpacas are a class act and they do a beautiful job on the yarn, the patterns, the whole packaging. Plus they always have the cutest, most inviting booth at the show.
There are social events and lots of food in the various booths. Interweave hosted a Twitter meet-up (tweet up) called Let Them Tweet Cake. They served massive cupcakes and coffee. So that was lunch (nutrition and sleep both suffer terribly at TNNA).
More shopping and walking and shopping. Then out to dinner with several designers from Stitch Co-op plus several other crochet designers. We met up with...well, everyone in the universe...back at the Hyatt lobby. There is a huge circle of chairs, and couches. We rearrange all the furniture. We sit and knit or spin. You just grab a free chair and when you see a free seat next to someone you want to talk to you just go over and plunk yourself down. That is how I met Melissa La Barre and Cecily Glowik MacDonald. These two extremely talented ladies, who are also a hell of a lot of fun, are collaborating on a book from Interweave. I am really looking forward to seeing it.
Sunday was more market. At this point I was operating on almost no sleep. More shopping and walking but also more staring off into space. So tired. A huge group of us had converged on the Stitch Coop booth where Cat Bordhi and Ysolda Teague were on the floor playing with a trash can full of water and dry ice. It was in part a recreation of last year's dry ice session. I'm sure the internet will soon be flooded with photos of it. After trying for a while to find a restaurant that could accommodate 20+ people with no notice, we gave up and split into small groups. I had a really great dinner with Laura, Ysolda, Miriam Felton and Mandy Moore. We then made the required trip to Jeni's for awesome ice cream. Everyone wanted t-shirts but they were pretty much sold out. The guy behind the counter was apologetic.
"Yeah," he explained. "There's this knitting conference in town and they just went nuts."
Back at the hotel, during all the hanging out, knitting and laughing, Cirilia Rose and Ysolda began to act out all the cliches of knitwear photo shoots. It looked something like this.
And that is what TNNA is like.