On Thursday afternoon, Anne and Rosi and I piled into the car and headed to Columbus, Ohio. The National Needle-Arts Association holds an annual conference and trade show in Columbus every June, an event we often refer to simply as “TNNA.” TNNA is where we do the majority of our fall and winter yarn ordering for the shop, and where we look out for exciting new products and project ideas. We also take classes, both in technique and in business, and we come home even more inspired than usual to be in the business of yarn.
This morning, we had our first classes. Anne studied “7 Techniques to Instantly Make You a Better Knitter” with designer Cat Bordhi. The seven techniques are all used in one of Bordhi’s patterns, a cabled cowl, which Anne and the other students will create during this day long class. Meanwhile, Rosi brushed up on finishing techniques with Chris Bsylma, skills that we all benefit from revisiting from time to time.
I took a class with Melissa Leapman called “Crochet for Cowards,” aimed at knitters looking to pick up new crochet skills. Until this morning, all my crochet skills were self-taught, and it was useful to check those skills with an encouraging instructor. We practiced chain, single, double, and slip stitches, worked on flat swatches and in the round, and started two projects: a purse and a hat. Most helpful of all was troubleshooting common crochet pitfalls, like extra stitches, loose edges, and turning chains. I left feeling more confident, one of the loveliest possible side effects of a needlework class, and spent lunchtime practicing a new-to-me stitch pattern, “crochet seed stitch.”
Tonight, we’re looking forward to Sample It, an event that allows us to purchase samples of all kinds of new products, from yarns and patterns to bags and other accessories. That way, we can try them out before we decide to buy them for the shop. It’s always a bit of a feeding frenzy, with a long line outside the door and plenty of activity within. That long line is where I’m headed next; I’ll report back tomorrow from the market floor!