Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trade Shows and New Yarns

The trade show for yarn and needlework store owners occurs twice a year. It is huge, exciting, overwhelming, exhausting and simply just a fun show. I love seeing company owners that I've emailed or phoned with over the last 6 months. It's like seeing old, but very good friends. It is against show rules to photograph the booths, but I think I can photograph the ceiling. The ceiling does a fairly good job of showing you that this is a large convention center.

I was sitting at the end of one of the isles where there was a sandwich shop. This is also the same isle where Silver Reed Knitting Systems had their booth set up. I spent approx 2 out of 3 days demonstrating in the booth. I've spent many years, off and on, teaching and demonstrating machines to the general public. But this was a new experience demonstrating to my peers (other store owners). It seemed a natural step and once I found my groove, it was a very enjoyable experience. I spent half of time operating the standard gauge punch card knitting a lace shawl in very thin lace weight yarn. It was a good project to show considering lace weight yarns and lace is just about as popular as sock knitting! I felt the machines were received very well and the hand knitting community was very ready to look into machines. So I left the show feeling very excited about the future of machine knitting. You have to remember that machine knitting was my first love .... way back in 1984. My favorite thing to do on the machines is hand manipulation. Which I guess I could say is a cross between the hands on of hand knitting and the speed of machine knitting. And, oddly enough, I feel I am much more creative and original with machine knitting than with hand knitting.

You can check out knitting machines by downloading my pdf catalog:
Silver Reed Knitting Machines.

Lorna's Laces introduced 4 new colors and re-introduced a color that was semi-retired a few years. Tonal variations are very popular right now. We all like to work with color, but too much color isn't often the best look for adults. A compromise between solids and multis are tonal shades. The first 4 above, Sheridan, Midway, Hermosa and Fiddlehead will be in the store in a couple of days. They are in UPS right now! The 5th shade, Valentine, is a color that I never did retire. These colors are available in all the Lorna's Laces lines.

I saw some garments done in Lorna's Laces Pearl, a silk bamboo blend. Wow, this yarn never fails to impress. And you'd think after working a project myself with it, it would be old hat. Nope! Anne Modesitt knit Pearl in the color Montrose in her pattern Silk Ribbed Corset. I just fell in love with the garment on display. Just stunning. You can purchase and download Anne's pattern from her site ( I did ). The photo is in another yarn, but I want to use Pearl.

Returning to the store to the daily routine of shipping in and out, bookkeeping and so on, took some adjusting. It was great to get out, but nice to return home. The big project this week was still working on the new colors of Cascade 220 and the umpteenmillion steps involved in recreating the new color cards. Cascade introduced 16 new colors in their Peruvian Wool line. When new colors are introduced, you don't just add the colors to the end of the cards. No, the cards are totally redone and the 8 extensive steps involved in making them usable for my catalog, for the website and in a pdf for you takes days and days. I am only able to devote a few hours a day to this job. But the end result is very nice. I will post the pdf URL when they are done. Beautiful shades. I think the Seafoam Heather is my favorite. Pale light blue, with a touch of green to it. These are so new I don't even have them on the website yet. Cascade has a bulky weight wool. Very, very nice. Can't decide if it would be a good investment for the store. It is a superwash, and it knits up really nice. Soft, yet has great body. But do I need another bulky weight? These days it is the worsted and DK weights that seem to sell the best. Makes me think I'm playing the stock market with yarn!! Scary!!

Father's Day today. Cody is down from Portland again. Fishing, what else. John's sister Sylvia is here for the week before flying to China to teach. The weather is typical Oregon coast. cool, breezy, can't decide whether to rain or shine . . . . . My music (techno today ) is up loud and I'm working!

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