Saturday, June 9, 2007

Summer Hotties as per the Glitter Knitter

Angela has allowed me to input my two cents worth as I have just returned from the TNNA yarn market in Columbus, Ohio. I traveled with the grand matriarchal Glitter Knitter, Christa (aka mom). We had a blast once we finally got there. Traveling is such a pain these days. Gone are the days when I enjoy disrobing in public. Then came the delays. Yes, I brought small travel projects to work on, but sitting crumpled in a molded plastic facsimile of a chair is not my dream.

Once we arrived in Columbus we headed straight for the Convention center. No time to change into one of my hand-knit runway creations. I saved that attention getting method for Sunday and Monday. We even gussied mom up a bit with some of our in-shop samples. After all, she craves the limelight nearly as much as I do.

I was hugely inspired and my creativity soared with each vendor I visited. One of the trends that I am starting to appreciate are the flat classic yarns. However, they work best for me when executed in luxury fibers with blends of merino wool, silk, baby kid mohair, alpaca, cashmere, and bamboo among a few. Colorations going forward are key to a fiber's desirability factor. The market has been greatly influenced by the hand-dye artisans. Many of the commercial yarn manufacturers are hopping on the hand-dyed bandwagon.

I purchased many new yarns for the shop in the Luxury category so start ramping up your fall yarn budget allowance. I would love to carry the Qiviuk fiber but at $80 an ounce I decided to special order for customers. I am excited to carry the new Alchemy Yarns of Transformation this fall. They are amazing fibers - many of which are based around silk and luxury fibers. I had a blast working with Gina on a custom package of fibers especially for the Yarn Garage. Tilli Thomas will have an even larger presence in the shop soon with beaded and sequined silks and novelty seaweed fibers. The $130 skein of silk with Swarovski crystal accents is jaw dropping, made for a Hollywood red-carpet event.

Of course, I fell in love with Nadine at Be Sweet all over again. Her South African creations are top notch. The soft delicate feminine fibers and accessories are unequaled. I tapped into all of her new items and reordered new colors in Magic Balls. She gave us a couple of novelty hats and a tea cozy. Make sure you come and see them.

One of my favorite new vendors was Ozark Handspun. The two owners were wildly headressed in multi-fibered dreadlocks in rainbows of color. Their yarn is a wonderful blend of wools, mohair and novelty twists. They are a prime representation of the Hand-crafted yarn movement. Joining in with Ozark is Pagewood Farms. They are even adding in a little of my favorite "BLING". I can't tell you how excited I am. Of course, I ordered enough in every color to make myself a sweater and we will have wait and see how much I actually get done.

Another big trend is "green". Al Gore would be proud of the fiber world as there was a strong presence of organic yarns in fibers colored with low-impact dyes. My favorite was a felting machine that looked like a Suzy Bake Oven version of a washing-machine. It uses less water and you can set it up anywhere. The best feature is that it traps the excess fiber and doesn't ruin your home machine.

Felting was represented everywhere in the show. Of course, there was a strong presence of knit felting. In fact, Noni has a great selection of new patterns on the way. Needle felting was everywhere and done on every backdrop from the expected handbags to the unexpected jeans and chiffon. Wet felting will be the next huge version. I ordered some ready made jackets and vest from Horst Couture. We will have to have a style show this fall. Perhaps right after the Glitter Knitter Cruise. I will have some amazing samples and kits available for late summer and fall classes. You won't believe all we can do as fiber artists. And if you know me, you know I will be throwing in everything but the kitchen sink. Unleash my creativity. I hardly need an excuse.

There are so many things I am excited about I can't fit them all here. I had promised not to spend any money at the show but rather gather wish list orders and once home recap all, ordering only the best of the best. That lasted about 5 minutes. Then I was off ordering like Thurston Howell just rescued from Gilligan's Island. You would have thought my store was empty judging from the inventory I ordered. Perhaps it is time for a second location. Then I think with the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro having around 36 yarn and fiber shops what nut would open yet another. I have been creating my alter-ego. The Glitter Knitter launches Stevee Be's Fiber Salon. We will have to see how this hair-brained notion manifests itself.

Time to get back to organizing the shop and working on samples for all the new yarn I still haven't touched. Bibi has done an amazing job with inventory of all the yarn. We should know how much and where it all is soon. Monika and Angela will even have a map to follow. Come on in and quiz them.

- Steven


Yarn Tails said...


Sounds like an awesome show!

Pam said...

Thanks for the cool update on TNNA!

Robert said...

I just love the blog. This will keep my interest up and really works for me.