As I write this, at 11:30 on Monday night, I hope that your very delayed 6:30 p.m. flight has finally left Columbus and you are homeward bound. I made it home just fine, but I’m knackered and dazzled by the 72 hours we spent in Columbus at the summer trade show of TNNA (The National NeedleArts Association).
How to describe TNNA? At its core, it’s the Knitting Industry Establishment all gathered up in one highly air-conditioned place for a few days. All of the old-line yarn makers and distributors, and many of the new, showing their wares and sharing their ideas with their customers—local yarn stores by the score, and businesses like ours, small as a local yarn store but existing up here in the atmosphere. Plus designers, writers, publishers, technical editors, and purveyors of the latest gadgets to take pills off sweaters. wind yarn, wash wool, and make ropes, tassels and pom poms.
In addition to the knitting and crochet-centered exhibitors, there are miles of aisles that we walked past as if they were not there: these were the needlepoint and cross-stitch people. They seem super nice, and we love a whimsical canvas as much as the next person (probably a little more than the next person), but we had yarn to see! My brain is buzzing with all the color I’ve seen, and all the textures I’ve touched.
We saw many people, and we had many intense, productive and laughter-filled conversations. So many old and new faces, and yet so many we meant to see and only waved at, or missed entirely.
I feel like I need to stay in my apartment and speak to no one for the rest of the week, just to restore some balance. We talked a lot. We listened a lot. We learned a lot. We bragged a little as we showed off our Field Guides. We worked the phrase “Melanie Falick” into as many sentences as we could. (SHE IS OUR CREATIVE DIRECTOR Y’ALL I DON’T KNOW IF WE HAVE MENTIONED THAT. WE ACTUALLY KNOW HER.)
Also, the food in Columbus, Ohio is very good. To restore that particular balance, I am going to subsist on sunflower seeds and black tea for the next little while. Definitely no ice cream or gin.
Despite being surrounded by beauty, we barely fired up our cameras. Up top, a few of the highlights. Write your own captions. (Yes, there was a llama and alpaca visitation this year! And wasn’t that a cute service alpaca? Hardworking little guy.)