February 2009

A report from TNNA, San Diego, CA

For the first time, I was exhibiting at TNNA. I had been to the show before and comparing this time with my previous experience, it was not a very productive show. I talked to many vendors who had exhibited before and all of them were saying that it was very slow. The most encouraging comment I heard from a very prominent whole-seller was that the show was not as bad as they expected. I like to be optimistic and think that in a few months, hopefully when the economy is in better shape, things will pick up and buyers will be in better frame of mind.

Since I was at my table most of the time, I did not get a chance to thoroughly visit all the booths. However, no one could miss the great wall of yarn. Fortunately, most of them were smooth (not textured) products that I love to work with and use them with different patterns. The majority were wonderful earth-friendly products.

A heart-warming sight was a lot of domestic yarn produced in the US. Everybody talks about job creation and strengthening the national economy. We as needlework enthusiasts can help reaching this goal by buying yarns that are produced locally. This way we encourage local producers and keep jobs and our dollars inside our economy. One such product was a wonderful Alpaca yarn which was produced in Oregon by Pacific Meadows Alpacas. The yarn was absolutely wonderful and the colors were fantastic. Look for this yarn at your local yarn shop.

A couple of other products that caught my eyes are very useful to knitters and crocheters. These products are not yarns or patterns but items that will make your experience more enjoyable.

The first one is STIX FIX. This is a wonderful product for people who use wood or bamboo hooks and needles. If you are one of them, you will notice that after a while, your hooks and needles are not as smooth as they used to be. This will cause problems with your work as the needle might catch on the yarn and since it is not slippery enough, it causes strain on your hands. This is when STIX FIX comes in handy. The kit consists of a very fine grain sand paper, beeswax and fine cloth to work the beeswax into the wood. The product worked wonders on dowels bought from the hardware store, so you can imagine how it works on hooks and needles. For more information, and list of yarn shops that carry this product, check out: http://www.knottygirlsknit.com/stixfix.html

If you are passionate about your knitting, and love beautiful accessories, you cannot miss Knitifacts. Check out their site for wonderful stitch markers, row markers, etc. http://www.knitifacts.com

Nazanin S. Fard

Needlecraft University

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