TNNA

Well that was fun!  I’m back from TNNA.  (It’s the big industry trade show.  Yarn companies, tool & notion makers, and publishers go there to show off what they do, and yarn stores go there to see what they might like to carry in their shops.)  It was a blast.  I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of this (it apparently took me until my fourth show to feel comfortable at it, but I got there, so I’m calling it a win).

I did a few book signings, caught up with lots of lovely people I only get to see once a year or so, met scads of delightful new folks, and discovered some charming new-to-me yarns (you’re going to want to keep an eye on Fiberstory, I’ve fallen madly in love with them).  I may possibly also have brought lots of look books for the new book coming this fall (and sent oodles and oodles of them home with shop owners).  If your local shop went to TNNA, there’s a very good chance they came home with one.  I’ll be talking about the new book here over the next little while, but if you’re itching to know early, that might be the best way to find out!

Oh, I also came home with a little stack of books to review and give away, so we’ll be having some fun with that over the next few weeks.  Totally a productive trip.  Alas, I didn’t manage to take a single picture, but otherwise a smashing success on all fronts!

TNNA

I am typing this from my hotel room in Indianapolis.  I’m using ‘update the blog’ as a fairly shameless excuse to delay leaving my quiet, private hotel room and start walking the noisy, bustling show floor at TNNA.  I know I’ll have a great time once I actually convince myself to go, but that convincing is taking an extra minute or two this morning.

But, the show floor is where the yarn is, and my whole goal in being here is to find yarn for the next book (plus, you know, see all the lovely folks I only see at these events), so I must go.  If you see me on the floor, come say hi and remind me that hiding in my hotel room is not super productive.

I’ll be home Tuesday, at which point I’ll get in touch with winners of the last two giveaways and get ready to send their way.

Miss Blossom

I’m back from TNNA and suffering from that odd mixture of exhaustion and exhilaration that comes from long hours spent in the company of others who do this funny thing I do.  I both want to take a very long nap, and want to start in on all the new projects that came to mind while I was there.  I think what I’ll likely do instead is the super exciting stuff like laundry and grocery shopping.

I’ll try to share bits and pieces of what happened while I was there over the next few weeks.  But for now, I have to share one of my more unexpected finds.  It’s pretty normal to come back from TNNA with the odd skein of yarn.  I try to be very careful and not take yarn that I don’t have an immediate project for, though every now and then a skein slips past my defenses.  But the things that follow one home from TNNA are generally of a yarn or yarn-related nature.  They are not usually things like this.

But, during booth tear down, it became clear that this dress form was in dire need of a good home.  And as I’ve already filled out all the necessary paperwork to become a Home for Wayward Knitting Props, it seemed natural for her to follow me home.  Points to anyone who gets the name.  And yes, my office does look funny to other people, but I’m coming to terms with that.

TNNA Bound

If all has gone according to plan (and if you’re reading this on Saturday or Sunday), I’m currently hanging out at the Visionary Author booth at TNNA (we’re in 114, 116, & 118 so come say hi if you’re there).  In order for that to happen, all of these things (plus, you know, a small suitcase full of clothes…oh, and two chairs) will have somehow made it from my living room, into my car, down to Columbus, back out of my car, and into the booth.

I’m very much hoping that by the time you read this, that has all been easily accomplished and that didn’t prove nearly as daunting as it seemed when I wrote this.  My favorite part?  The sack full of mannequin feet.

Throwing that over your shoulder and running around grinning (like some sort of evil Santa from an alternate universe where the idea of a sack full of presents and a mantle full of stockings went horribly horribly wrong) is unreasonably satisfying.

Out the Door

I’m out the door bright and early this morning and on my way to TNNA.  This afternoon is booth set up, this evening is stiff drinks and catching up with friends.  I’m looking forward to it.  Levon, on the other hand, does not seem to approve.  He thinks I just got home and have no business heading out again so soon.  I’m not totally sure he’s wrong…

Hah, AS I was typing the above, Barry and Douglas came to join the party.  Why have one kitten when you can have three!  Note, this kitten configuration is unstable and did not last long.  But this way there will at least be some ambiguity about which cat’s hair is on my shirt at TNNA.

We Interrupt Your Scheduled Programming

 

I’m home safe, and I owe you lots more San Francisco posts.  But today is dedicated to TNNA prep (why yes, yes I do leave for that on Friday…and yes, yes indeed that is quite soon after returning from the previous trip…and now that you mention it, that is making me just the smallest bit crazy).

But, sensing that I was in danger of not posting here often enough during this transition, Kitten Overlord Douglas helped ensure that there were adorable hi-jinx to report.  He did this by climbing in to the sample box, nestling riiiiiiiight on in, closing his eyes up tight, and purring like a tiny motor.  It was too cute not to share.

TNNA Recap

So, as promised, a recap of TNNA.  It will, alas, have to be a bit brief.  I seem to have managed to pick up some sort of cold bug while there and am trying to take it easy today in the hopes of fending it off quickly.

So, first, what the heck is TNNA?  It stands for The National Needlearts Association.  They hold several tradeshows every year.  The summer one happens in Columbus, Ohio, and it focuses on yarn and knitting.  It’s not a fiber festival like Rheinbeck or Maryland Sheep and Wool.  It’s only open to folks in the industry.  If you sell yarn, or knitting needles, or (just for example) books, you go to TNNA and set up a booth.  Then store owners from around the world come and look and see what you have to offer and place orders. If you want more details, the lovely Jaala at knitcircus has provided lots of info in this week’s issue.

Next up, what the heck was I doing there?  This part’s longer.  Do you remember back in March of last year when I mentioned I’d gone off on a trip to work on future books?  I realize now that I didn’t go into a lot of details.  I was there as part of Cat Bordhi’s Visionary Authors group.  Cat has spent the last eight years encouraging people to self publish books they’re passionate about.  The results have been sort of spectacular (the books on that page are just some of the titles that have come about because of this project).  I’m still sort of wondering just how I managed to convince her to let me come play.

Now bear with me for just a bit longer, I promise I’m getting to the point.  One of the tricky parts about self publishing is letting stores know about your project, and then getting it to them.  If you don’t want the books filling up your garage till the end of time, and you don’t want to get to know your local post office very very well, you need a distributor.  A distributor stores your books, sells them to stores, ships them out, and then sends you checks.  It’s an excellent arrangement.  The Visionary Authors generally use Unicorn Books as our distributor.  Unicorn, being the biggest seller of knitting books in the industry, has a huge booth at TNNA.  This year, because they like the Visionary Authors (and because they sell a lot of our books), they got us two booths across from their giant island of books.

That’s what I was there for.  We spent Friday setting it up.  We had books and samples from lots of our projects.  There were old favorites (like Cat’s books, and Sandra McIver’s Knit, Swirl, and JC Briar’s Charts Made Simple) and brand new projects (like Charles Gandy’s The Embellished Sock, and Chrissy Gardiner’s Indie Socks, and um, mine).  I completely neglected to take photos of the booth until we were just about to start tearing it down (they don’t really allow photos on the show floor), so you’ll have to forgive things looking a bit scattered, but this should give you an idea of what the booth looked like.

And this over here is the little section full of my goodies.  Again, it’s the end of the show and things are a wee bit rumpled, so if you could pretend it’s a tiny bit tidier that would be great.

So that’s where I hung out this weekend, except that during the show, it was filled with people.  Lots and lots of people.  Yarn store owner type people looking for books to carry in their shops.  Which was sort of the point, and was of course marvelous (though perhaps the one person who brought the cold germ with him or her might possibly have just lingered in the aisle instead of shaking hands…that would have been ok, but everybody else was spectacular).

And do you know what I heard, over and over?  I heard yarn store owners say that someone had brought The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet to knit night, and that people loved it, so they were here to order it.  So to all of you who were brave enough to preorder it (and trust met to get it to you) and excited enough by it to take it to your local yarn stores and show it off, thank you.  You guys rock.

It seems to have been more or less the most effective marketing ever.  You know how I know?  Because Unicorn posts a list of the bestsellers for the show.  Now this will totally sound immodest.  But you know what, at this point, I don’t care.  The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet made the top ten.  Out of the thousands of books that Unicorn carries, mine was number 6.  The things I said when I found out were not modest, nor were they decorous or seemly or even terribly ladylike.  They were, however, extremely heartfelt.  There may have been a tiny Snoopy dance of glee.

And with that, I think I need to end for today.  Brevity is apparently not my strong suit, and I really do need a restorative cup of tea and possibly a nap.  And with any luck, I’ll be all caught up and back up to speed by tomorrow.

Meet

So I’m off at TNNA.  I’m writing this ahead of time, but with any luck at all by the time you’re reading this, the booth set up is done, it went smoothly, and I’m relaxing in a comfy chair and consuming some sort of refreshing beverage right now.  Now the reality likely has more swearing, an emergency trip to target or home depot, and at least one broken nail.  I’ll report back later and let you know.

One of the things I’m looking forward to doing while I’m here is meeting people I’ve only worked with online.  One of these people is the amazing Laura Nelkin.  I’ve known her for a while now, but we’ve never actually met face to face.  I have a feeling we’ll get along fine though!  To help keep me in blog posts while I’m away (I’ll try folks, but no guarantees), Laura has graciously put up a little review and give away of The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet over on her site.

And just in case anyone was wondering where to start, I’m getting a knit along up and running over on ravelry.  We’re starting with the Crocus vernus patterns (socks or mitts).  All the details are on the kal thread, but if you’d like to participate, I’d love to have you!

Declined

Dear Human,

After careful consideration, it has been decided that your proposed trip will not be allowed.  In your application, you failed to note how this trip would result in increased kitten happiness.  You also failed to provide a detailed list of the steps you planned to take to ensure we continued to receive our daily allotment of chin scratches, belly rubs, and ear kisses.  You didn’t even outline the bribes you would procure to garner our favor upon your return.

This inattention to detail is disappointing, and no future travel plans will be approved if you do not take greater care in preparing your application materials.  We will, however, allow you to leave this suitcase here, as it makes for an excellent napping pod.

Sincerely,

The Nefarious Kitten Overlords