this was one of the few moments of stillness and peace i experienced in the last few days—ironically while running in downtown columbus.
our trip down on friday was speedy and uneventful; sarah and i got there midday to meet up with the detroit contingent (erica, padraig, and nana candy), who were transporting the other half of our booth setup, as well as our friend carrie from irish girlie knits, just in from the west coast.
with three of us on hand and candy looking after the baby, our setup went smooth as silk; by five pm we had a booth arrangement that we all liked, which could be easily navigated when showing designs to prospective customers.
thanks to drew at lovan printing, we had some great vinyl posters showing off some of our more popular pieces; carrie was even able to order some from where she is on the west coast and have us pick them up to deliver at the show.
once we were satisfied, it was off to enjoy a cocktail with our friends from shalimar yarns—as is our tradition on setup day.
kristi held the baby for a while and in a short time managed to get him hooked on a particular blue skein of fingering yarn.
one of my favorite things about the trade show is spending time with colleagues and catching up with people i like within the industry; i feel lucky that so many colleagues in my field of work have become lasting friends.
friday was also the evening of the marly bird designer dinner, which i attended for the first time this year. i must have had a really great time talking with my table mates because i don’t seem to have even one photo from that event!
after that, we trundled ourselves back to the hotel to get a good night’s sleep—saturday was a big day for us as this is the first year we had booth space at the show.
i was up at dawn and itching to go to the gym—which was closed until 9 am (i know!), so i opted instead for a nice run outside, which turned out to be the perfect thing.
the streets were almost deserted, but not in a scary way, so i not only got my run in, but some wonderful pre-sunrise shots of downtown columbus, like this one of the state capital.
when i spied the planter’s peanut sign, i stopped in my tracks; i hadn’t seen one of those in years—not since high school, when my brother worked in the planter’s peanut store in downtown schenectady.
this one looks almost identical to the one he worked in; what a throwback. he used to bring home a huge bag of hot peanuts every payday, which really spoiled us—to this day they are a favorite snack, but i can’t just eat any old ones from the grocery store.
and with that, i headed back to the hotel for a shower and to pick up erica and head for the show floor.
our booth was part of the deep south fibers group, which is a wholesale pattern distributor that aggregates a number of indie designers to offer yarn shops a one-stop shopping opportunity. having a booth under their umbrella is nice because each designer who participates brings a following, which all the other designers then benefit from.
the floor was fairly busy, but traffic was definitely lighter than in other years. we were expecting more inquiries on saturday than actual sales and had prepared accordingly, so we talked to as many people as possible about our patterns, inviting them in to look at our samples and have a chat about what their customers enjoy knitting.
baby knitspot stopped by at lunch time with candy, sporting his special show badge and looking quite the happy tourist in this new situation.
by afternoon, the pride parade had pulled a large percentage of the crowd outside to enjoy the sunshine and activities of that event. traffic through the booth evaporated and soon we saw the babies again, just in from the parade.
padraig’s new friend is sam from french press knits; they are the same age by just a few days and so perfectly suited for playing together. they monkeyed around together for a bit, playing at who could show off his crawling skills better. i was out strolling and came back to quite a crowd gathered in front of the booth, haha.
by then it was pretty close to the close of the show floor for the day; i was surprised at how far i’d managed to knit on my jazz strings sock during the periods when we weren’t busy.
between the knitting i got done in the car on the way down and the inches i added on saturday, i was nearly done. go me. i love how the ghillie sock is knitting up in this design; once the fabric is washed, it will be even more lovely to look at.
that evening we ate with the family and afterward, headed over to the main hotel lobby where a big stitch n bitch usually gathers in the evenings. this is a wonderful time to see friends and gossip and a part of the TNNA weekend that i really look forward to for meeting new designers as well.
ready for a change, i grabbed my sea pearl sweater project, which is a very easy stitch pattern and pleasant to knit in the company of others. i love how this yarn feels as it runs through my hands; it was the perfect thing to settle in with for the evening.
that evening i got to the point where i need to change stitch patterns and begin the lower part of the sweater. i had not however, swatched that new stitch pattern to determine whether the gauge was the same, so i stopped there until lat night (more on that progress in a bit).
sunday at the show was much busier and we wrote lots of orders, yay. the day passed very quickly and even though we were tired, we agreed it was a good one. for one thing, i think we finally have a mill that can produce our breakfast blend yarn. with a few tweaks to the samples we saw, we should be back in production with that VERY soon. yay.
that evening erica and i joined the other craftsy teachers and staff over dinner to celebrate the good year which was had by all. it was really nice to see everyone there; i love the craftsy crowd.
we headed back to the knitting circle for a second night and on the way, we may have been diverted by the sight of dessert at le chocoholique. can you spell mm-mmm??
i finished sock one and cast on for sock two and that’s about all the knitting i accomplished that night; sitting with the ladies from shall we knit?, we spent too much time doubled over laughing to engage in actual knitting.
soon though it was time for me to turn into a pumpkin, so we headed back to our own hotel to repack suitcases for departure in the morning.
bright and early monday morning i piled my stuff into the clown car 2013 and headed to canada for the next stop on my journey—a week in waterloo, ontario, where i was to teach at shall we knit?
kim from indigodragonfly was in the back seat and when i asked if she had a nice soft yarn i could use for a special project, she threw a bag forward for me to root through. i picked a couple of choices and set them on top of the cooler to my left to consider while i rode along
i worked on my ghillie sock while i thought about which one i liked.
then i worked on my swatch for the lower part of the sweater. the new pattern will be a bit more decorous than the simple one running down the bodice, but a very much appreciated change of pace. turns out too, that i don’t even need to switch needles—my gauge is just about the same in this stitch pattern as it is in the one i’m working now. yay.
as for the yarn i’d been mulling over, i finally decided on both choices—one very colorful option called as god as my witness i thought turkeys could fly and another option named bright lights big city busy highway slow unicorn. i swatched another oldie but goodie pattern, this time from everyone’s favorite, the roger sock.
more on this project as things develop . . .
merrily we rode along, making excellent headway until we got to the border, where we ran into a bit of difficulty, the fallout of which was that unfortunately, i was not allowed to enter the country to teach my classes which were scheduled for later in the week.
fortunately, erica doesn’t live too far from the border and i was able to head back here to spend the night. karen tried to make some headway to get me in today, but to no avail. oh well, i’ll really miss seeing my friends at the shop up there, but we will straighten this out so i can return at a later date.
i actually returned to erica’s before she and the gang got here, so i set to work finishing my swatch and washing it. i love the pattern and am looking forward to starting the next section of the sweater.
everyone here is a bit dazed and tired; we’re all moving a bit slowly.
carrie left for home this afternoon and we’ll miss her. david will come to pick me up tomorrow; i’ll get home several days earlier than previously planned, which could be a good thing. there is plenty to do at the house—for one thing, blueberry season has begun and i want to get a bunch of those put away in the freezer for winter.
and i think with that, we are all caught up now! i actually have a little backlog of patterns to release and erica has at least one post she wants to put up too, so stay tuned; we have a full week planned.