June 15, 2006
I don’t know about you, but I am still on the mend after that weekend in Indianapolis. I’m still wearing my name badge. I keep mistaking my stash for a yarn booth. I look my children square in the eye, shake their hands, and say, “Hi! I’m Ann Shayne and we just wrote a really AWESOME knitting book would you like to see it sure ya would here it is.”
The National Needlearts Association trade show is kind of overwhelming. Clara Parkes of Knitters Review fame does a heroic job of providing an overview here. She clearly had more coffee than I did, because to me, the whole thing was a blur of alpacahandspunwetfiberbatchdyedwoolcottonlinencamel yarn. Plus fifty lifetimes’ worth of counted cross stitch.
Portents and Omens
It all started auspiciously enough when we discovered an Indian wedding warming up in the lobby of the hotel. The groom rides up on a white horse in the valet parking lane, and his bride parades past the Starbucks counter with a golden vessel on her head. Much dancing and carrying on for this elegant group. They’re looking better at 9:30 in the morning than I did at my own wedding. I start the day by swearing I will work on my wardrobe.
We make it to the convention center, and we see a girl with an unusual hairdo. We walk a little further, and we see another one. Before long, we’re seeing batches of girls with piles of curls hooked onto their heads. See?
Holy hairdo, Batman, TNNA is taking place next door to an Irish step dancing competition. Who knew there was such a rigid hair requirement for this activity? There are hundreds of girls wandering around in sweatpants, pool flops (worn over their little black leather dancing shoes), and hair hair HAIR! (If you’re wanting to try out the look yourself–and I’m thinking it would work with a sari as well as a Celtic miniskirt, here’s how.)
Before we even get inside the exhibition hall, we run into beloved Meg of Yarn Expressions in Huntsville, Alabama. She has something to show us:
A Koigu log cabin blanket. With 21 shades of everybody’s favorite yarn. Can it get more delightful? Seems impossible, but . . .
We witnessed Amy Singer signing Big Girl Knits, with help provided by the publisher of Clarkson Potter, Lauren Shakely. (Ms. Shakely ought to consider running for president. She’d get that Iraq situation sorted out snipsnap in a week or two. A force of nature, she is.)
Massive Fun at Mass Ave. Knit Shop
We ducked out of the trade show for a little retail therapy at the Mass Ave. Knit Shop. This is a truly great place–one of the largest yarn shops I’ve ever seen, a real treasure-hunt kind of shop. Susan Brennan, the owner, has that boundless energy that is clearly infectious, because everybody at the shop was brimming over with the love of the handknit.
We were so busy visiting that we managed to take only a few photos–this is Brittany, a very cool knitter working on a log cabin blanket. She’s the niece of Cindra, who you may know from the MDK knitalong. (Cindra claims to check in on the knitalong more often than we do, but she is wrong because we check on the knitalong about twenty-levendy times a day. The knitalong? Amazing!)
Turn those crappy old T-shirts into giant balls of yarn! Make a party of it! See: a dozen rotary cutters simultaneously whacking up old clothes!
This is what happens when you start with the chopping up.
Sightings and Sandwiches
L: Amy Swenson, of Indigirl fame–blogging since 1996, people. Out in Calgary, she’s opened a retail shop, Make One Yarns, where she has a whole dyeing kitchen. Cement floors and all.
R: Stefanie Japel, yes, the Glampyre, she of the One Skein Wonder which Kay has made EIGHT times.
Now. Get this. You may recall that I have recently started making socks. Imagine, as a new sock knitter, what it might be like to find yourself sitting here:
L: Cat Bordhi, author of the book that you used to learn how to knit socks.
R: Lucy Neatby, author of the sock book you bought alongside the book above.
Middle: Doofus who is blissing out at the unlikely fact that she is sandwiched between a pair of sock goddesses.
Truly, it was like sitting between Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta. Only, in this case, Roosevelt whips out some circulars for a quick lesson in a cool toe-up cast-on:
Knitting ninety miles an hour, Cat talks about dolphins and hummingbirds and goat udders, and before I can even get a look at it, she’s got a toe going.
She doesn’t even look at what she’s doing. She’s a WITCH, I tell you!
(Thanks to the quick-shuttered Ellen of Needles & Pins for the rare photograph of Cat Bordhi knitting.)
AS IF that weren’t enough, as if I could STAND any more knitting luminaries . . . we find ourselves here:
A Tara/Teva Sandwich.
L: Tara Manning, author of Mindful Knitting and Compassionate Knitting and the forthcoming Nature Babies: Natural Knits and Organic Crafts for Moms, Babies, and a Better World. (How’s THAT for a title?)
R: Teva Durham, whose Loop-d-Loop like, totally, blew my mind.
Middle: Two tuckered-out goofballs.
There were so many other sightings of the knittin’ famous: Sally Melville, Annie Modesitt, Norah Gaughan, Vivian Hoxbro . . . I was so starstruck to see these brainiacs.
I know you’re packing up today. I hope your move goes well. Ha hahahahahahahaha! When does a move ever go well? I hope your move . . . goes.