Friday, June 25, 2010

So little time

Past couple of weeks had been really hectic. Ever since I got back from TNNA, I've been going nonstop.  I have many things I am trying to finish before I go to the Czech Republic for the summer and the days do not seem to have enough hours in day.

1.  There are several submissions I want to send some proposals to but I am seriously running out of time. I have to prioritize and let some go.

2. I am finishing a class on-line. Tomorrow is the last class and over the weekend I am hoping to do the final, since I don't want to do it while traveling.

3. I need to pack; and I have not started yet at all!

4. I need to pick suitable yarns and stitch patterns for multiple design proposal to take with me to work on while in Czech.

5. I had been finishing  two projects for a holiday magazine. Luckily, they are ready to be sent off tomorrow. I was hoping to send it off today, but was unable to have it all done until evening.

Having my kids out of school for over a week now makes me to have a bit less time during the day. But they help me. My oldest daughter helped me rewind the new hanks of yarn I got at TNNA into balls today. By the time she was done, she was a pro. My six year old also wanted to try it, so she did some of the tiny yarn samples I had.

6. I have to finish proofreading of several patterns that had been tech edited.

Oh my, the list is growing. I better go to bed to get an early start tomorrow.  I have only three days.

Monday, June 21, 2010

TNNA 2010 - part 3

So here is more on TNNA goodies.


I had gotten a chance to stop by dellaQ booth and buy their awesome circular needle case. I don't know about you, but I have my Addi circs still in their original packaging stored in a gallon Ziploc. I am always searching for the correct size like a mad woman. So finally I decided enough is enough and I bought this case. I had bought a similar case for my crochet hooks (crochet roll) last year and absolutely love it! I never have to search for anything and I can always grab it and go.  It goes well with my favorite large knitting bag from the same company. That bag is very cool.

Then I stopped by Lantern Moon. Faina and I had a very nice talk with the owner. She was offering some new needles and had great plans for their future products. I can't wait. I had shared with her that the small silk taffeta knitting bags she sells are absolute hit with my girls. The colors the bags come in are just sensational. I ordered those bags for my kids last year, and they just loved it. The girls feel inspired to knit when they have these beautiful bags to store their knitting in; they are just like Mommy.  Sometimes they even use these bags as purses when we go out!

This year the girls got clam shell cases. They come in sets of three. You can use them for your little notions we all carry around.

More on Yarn

I took a class at TNNA on dyeing yarn. I have long admired hand-dyed yarn and wanted to learn how to do it myself. I am not a huge fan of the variegated yarn, but I love the monochromatic yarns. The class I took was good -- hands on. Though my results were not necessarily what I had imagined. I wanted to dye my yarn in a "happy" orange, but it turned out to be more golden, fall looking orange. It still looks OK, but it was not what I was going for. I guess I cannot expect to be an expert at my first try! Here is the result.

It has a golden orange and a bit of apple candy color in it. Eventually, I'd like to make a shawl out of it.

The second dyeing attempt was a bit worse.  My daughter called it a tie-dye (!), even though it was just painted flat on the knitted fabric. Hmm. Maybe I stick with designing. But the yarn dyeing in a hanks I might try again. This flat knitted fabric is machine knitted with two yarns held together, so if one wants to make socks out of yarn dyed this way, you will end up with matching socks. And that's nice.

Friday, June 18, 2010

TNNA 2010 - Part 2

TNNA is an international trade organization representing retailers, manufacturers, distributors, designers, manufacturers' representatives, publishers,... and twice a year they have a trade show where buyers and sellers are brought together. Sellers are representing the best in the business. Buyers are busy snapping up the latest and most exciting new products.

Since nobody is allowed to buy anything on the market floor, people might get samples of various products to help them decide if they want to make order or not. For us, designers, the best samples we can get is yarn. These are all my goodies packed in Lantern Moon's silk bag. 

I have seen many new yarns offered by veterans like Cascade, Berroco, Blue Sky Alpacas, Bijou Basin Ranch, Plymouth, and many others, but also discovered several new yarn companies that had amazing yarn. Those new companies might not be necessarily new in business, but they were either exhibiting for the first time or they are new to me.

One of my favorite new yarns I discovered was yarn of Abuelita Yarns.  Abuelita yarns is a well-established Uruguayan company (I was told they've been in business over 35 years) and they produce very fine, heavenly soft hand dyed yarns. Their specialty is merino, but they offer some merino and silk blends, and organic cotton.

In the picture you can see from left to right:: Abuelita Three Ply (New) - 100% merino, 420 yd in 3.5oz/100g per skein, and the other two are Abuelita Thick and Thin - 100% merino, 136 yd in 3.5oz/100g skein. I can't wait to rewind them into balls and swatch them. Both these yarns are so very soft. Ahhh.  You can see their whole line of yarns here.

Another yarn that yarn I got magically drawn to whole weekend was yarn offered by Anzula luxury fibers. They offer hand dyed luxury yarn and incredible choice of spinning fiber. They carry wide variety of yarn weight from lace weight to worsted in semi-solids (my favorite) and variegated colorways. For those who enjoy variegated yarn, you can request any combination of their 40+ colors they offer. All the colors are very unique and really beautiful.

Here you can see Oasis (70% silk, 30% camel, 375 yd, 6sts/inch on US #5), Cricket (80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon; 250yd, 5sts/inch on US#5 - here you can see only a half skein), Mermaid (60% sea cell, 40% silk, lace weightt +/-700yd), For Better or Worsted (80% superwash merino, 10% cashemere, 10% nylon, +/-200yd, 4 sts/inch) - this yarn is incredibly soft and pleasure to knit with.

Another yarn I really liked was yarn by Pear Tree Yarn. It is an Australian based company that offers natural Australian luxury yarn. I have seen them at the previous shows and I always love coming to see them at their booth. Their yarns have beautiful natural colors that I am drawn to.

Last, but not least Fibre-Isle Fine Yarns. It is a company that is specializing in bison and bison-blend yarns. The owner, Sylvie Toupin, is a spinner and incredible lace designer.

Here you can see from in front Kami Bison DK (60% bamboo, 30% merino, 10% bison, US #6-7 needles) and in the back Kami Bison (60% bamboo, 30% merino, 10% bison, US #1-2 needles).

The scale you see in these pictures belonged to my beloved Grandmother. She was a great baker and used it all the time. The scale is very special to me because it reminds me of her everyday. I lived with her for most of my childhood. She passed away 9 months ago and I miss her terribly.

On a lighter note, next time let's talk some more yarn, new designs and gadgets.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

TNNA 2010 - part 1

This TNNA was awesome! I hung out with old friends and made new ones. I had seen some yummy new yarn from veteran yarn companies, but also some wonderful new yarn companies.  I had seen new gadgets for the season. I had conducted some good networking and established new work relationships. Overall, it was a great, fun and productive weekend.

So much happened that I will need more than one post to report it all. Let me start with all the wonderful designers I met.  They always make the visit of TNNA market the most fun. So here we go.

I had met with Marlaina "Marly" Bird (Yarn Thing and Blog Radio) who I am always looking forward to seeing. She seems always happy and is extremely funny! She always hangs out with Kristin Omdahl who I met last TNNA. She is very talented and always stylishly dressed in her beautiful crochet creations. Kristin has a new book coming out Crochet so Fine that was revealed at the show.

My friend Faina Goberstein arrived on Sunday, so I did only have a day and half to spend with her. It's always a pleasure to be around her; we have always tons things to talk about. If you have not heard yet, Faina is running a very popular site Designer's Studio where you can read interviews of all the finest knit and crochet designers. Faina has  a great oversight of what's going on in the designing world and knows everyone!

I briefly talked with Stefanie Japel who arrived with her baby daughter Olive and her hubby. It was nice to see Mary Beth Temple.

I also met new designers whose work I had been admiring for long time. I met Ellen Gormley at Raverly's Ice Cream party that was held after the fashion show on Friday.

Saturday I met Linda Permann, who I also met for coffee and coke break on Monday. We talked all stuff designing and I clicked with her right away.

At the Stitch Cooperative party on Saturday I met Robyn Chachula - a crochet design genius. I had dinner with Dora Oherstein - a stylish crochet designer who runs an on-line crochet magazine Crochet Insider.

At the Designer's dinner at Buca di Peppo I met among others Amy Polcyn - we've known each other through e-mails a good while since we work on projects for Mission Falls together, but we never met before in person. I sat across a table not even knowing that it was her until we introduced ourselves. She looked much younger in person than I saw her on the Internet. Good for her.

By mere accident, Faina and I had bumped into Nancy Marchant, brioche stitch mastermind, in Einstein Bagels and ended up having a nice breakfast together. She has also a new coming out, Knitting Brioche - it's really cool.

The list can go on and on. I met Kate Oates, Allegra Wermuth, Cecily Glowik MacDonald, Veronik Avery, Teva Durham, Anne Kuo Lukito, Ysolda Teague, and many, many others.

Next time, let's talk yarn.