Wes kindly took Younger Son to school so I can start attempting to assemble my thoughts on TNNA. Overall it was a great show. There was a much higher energy level than the last few shows I've attended. Attendance also seemed quite high. In fact when the show opened I headed to the first row of booths (I wanted to walk through the entire show before making any purchasing decisions) I couldn't get into most of the booths. So I hurried ahead and looped back around later.
When I went to my first TNNA it was also the first show that Jess, Casey and Mary-Heather from Ravelry attended. A lot of people still hadn't heard about Ravelry, weren't using it, etc. Now they are heavily involved with the show. They hosted an ice cream social on Firday night after the fashion show that was absolutely mobbed. I waited in line for at least an hour for ice cream. They also put together a very cool Tumblr and Twitter feed called Hello TNNA with snapshots and videos from the show floor.
Friday is for classes. This year TNNA offered a new set of mini-classes called TIPs, which is an acronym for something I can't remember. (Trends, informations, products? Something like that.) There was a series of half-hour sessions, with a wide selection of sessions for each time slot. Some were informational. For instance, I attended one in which Norah Gaughn and Cirilia Rose presented a slideshow of Berroco's fall books and explained the new yarns. Some were instructional, Clover was doing sessions to teach Tunisian crochet. I attended a session presented by Alpaca with a Twist about easy class ideas. I also went to a presentation by Beth Casey of Lorna's Laces about creating custom colorways. I had the most fun in Ysolda Teague's presentation about her new book due this fall, Little Red in the City. You can see some gorgeous preview photos here. The sweaters are all presented twice in the book. Once in Ysolda's size and once in a plus size with information about modifications. She asked for some plus-size volunteers to try on some of the sweaters and I very happily obliged. The designs are all really lovely and I can't wait for the book to come out. I pre-ordered a big pile for the shop.
Friday evening is Sample It! During this event, that only buyers can attend, vendors offer a sample product or small selection of products at wholesale or slightly below. The original idea is that it allows you try a product out and see if you'd like to bring it into your shop. I believe the reality is more that buyers use it as an opportunity to get cool stuff for themselves that they wouldn't normally stock. Namaste always sells a bundle with one of their bags and accessories and their table is deluged with buyers. And if you look around the show floor most of the buyers--myself included--are carrying Namaste bags.
After that comes the fashion show. It's always quite a mixed bag. Last year's was so long I thought it would never end. This year I was smart and ate some dinner beforehand. It was also a much shorter show. The trends I saw repeated quite a lot in the show were cables, lace, bobbles, drapey cardigans, boxy vests and the color burnt sienna.
On Saturday the show opens and it's eight hours of walking the floor and learning about all the lines and products.