Friday, January 27, 2012

PTSD (Post TNNA Stress Disorder)

I love showing at TNNA.  Not only is there the opportunity to meet up with friends and customers (both old and new), but you have the chance to see and touch up-close and personal all the new yarns and gadgets and books and dyers and designers.  (Well, maybe you don't actually get to touch the dyers and designers, but hey.)  It can actually be somewhat overstimulating; I come home with my brain on overdrive, full of inspiration and ideas.  Then of course there are the orders to fill, and the inventory to make for the next upcoming show (in this case, Stitches West), the follow-up contacts to be made, etc etc etc.  It takes a week or three before I can sleep regularly again and get back to a normal schedule.  It's a stressful time, but in a good way.

For some reason I tend to come down with a serious case of camnesia whenever I attend TNNA; this winter's show in Phoenix was no different -- I lugged my camera everywhere but neglected to snap a single pic.  But I can tell you about just a few of some of the great folks met and lovely goodies procured at the show.

I roomed with my pal Michelle of Fickle Knitter Design.  We had a good time, and there may have been some chile mac-and-cheese and tequila and wine consumed.  I finally got to meet the charming Roxanne of Zen Yarn Garden.  Her booth was near mine, and I kept sneaking over to fondle her wares.  Mmmmm.  I'll be working with her yarn in the near future, for sure.  I also got to meet Mira Cole of Baah Yarns, a new vendor at TNNA.   A skein of her superwash merino fingering weight yarn in the saturated Blue Sapphire colorway came home with me; I'm using it for a new pattern I'm working on (so far so good on both fronts). 

A couple of gadgets also came home with me:  The Stitch Light and Yarn Cozies by Buffy Ann Designs.  These are items that I didn't know I needed, and boy are they coming in handy.  The Stitch Light hangs from a strap around your neck and provides a bright white spotlight.  My new studio is surrounded by tall trees so the natural light I like to work with is limited.  I gave the Stitch Light a test drive this morning, and it provided just the right illumination I needed when I was working with fine gauge wire.  I'm becoming rather enamoured of the Yarn Cozies as well.  I normally work with yarn cakes and thus hadn't seen a huge need for a cozy, but with multiple cats (plural) in the household I'm finding that the Cozy not only keeps the yarn on the outside of the cake well in place, it also protects it from acquiring the inevitable coating of cat hair.  I'm told that Cozies shaped for pull skeins are in the works and will be released soon.  Thanks to Larry and Buffy Ann for letting me give these a whirl.

Speaking of my new studio, it's finally finished and I began moving in this week.  It's spacious, full of windows, and painted in a bright chartreuse that's sure to keep me going.  I even found the perfect rug for the space.  Once TNNA orders are filled, I'll be setting up the other half of the building to use for fiber production.  My drum carder is calling me.