TNNA stands for the National Needle Arts Association. It’s our trade association for the specialty needle arts business including knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, needlepoint, and so on. There are two major shows a year, one typically in January and one in the May/June time frame.
What a great trip we had! It’s always wonderful to go to these trade shows and see all the latest, meet with our vendors, and see what trends are coming in the industry. This time, the show was in San Diego, a city we hadn’t been to in a long time. We also decided to make an adventure of it, and take the train! So, early in the morning, we left our little village of Cambria and headed to SLO (San Luis Obispo) where we enjoyed free parking at the train station. (Yay Amtrak!)
As the we pulled out of the station, we got to see sunrise from the train.
A benefit of train travel – knitting time!
We enjoyed some lovely scenery
And, after a lovely trip with plenty of knitting, chatting, and lunch, we pull into San Diego!
We wandered a little bit, had a light dinner and an early night, as we had classes the next morning. Oz was teaching two classes that day (Thursday), and Kris was taking classes. So, a healthy breakfast to start the day off right.
We got to Oz’s classroom early… yes, more knitting
People start showing up for class. A friendly bunch, they wanted to say hello!
Oz taught his classes, Kris took hers, and we headed out for a quiet dinner and an early night, as the next day was destined to be a long one!
Friday morning. Another healthy breakfast and off to the convention center for 8AM classes.
One of the classes Oz took was on social media and other marketing ideas.
During the day, we did get a chance to get outside for lunch where we ran into some friends.
It was Team Anzula on Set-up day! Such a fun group of folks, great to see them, as we dashed off to various meetings and more classes.
After our classes, we had volunteered to help out at the Fashion Show!
The stage is set up, they’re still working out lighting and other logistics. We head in the back where we’re working as Dressers, meaning we’re to help the amazing models into and out of their various outfits.
What a fun group of women, very professional. For all of us, it was the first time we had seen any of these garments, so we’re trying to make sure things are going on the right way. It was fun to hear them love various pieces. A fun experience, and a great way to do our little part for the industry. The majority of this show is put on by volunteers! Amazing, considering how well it goes and how many people are involved.
Another early morning and off for a breakfast meeting on the show floor before it opened. On the way in, we saw this…
How fun, they’re making a big sand castle at the entrance to the show!
After our meeting, we were off and running, meeting vendors, looking at what’s new, and renewing old friendships and making new ones.
Oz with Stephen B, a designer and shop owner from the Minneapolis area.
A great way to display Rowan Pure Wool Worsted! They said they found this at a mail order place in Spain, bought it, and paid a huge amount to ship it to San Diego. Too much fun!
The always Fabulous Kira K, a designer that we really like from Oakland. Some beautiful knit and crochet pieces.
We ran into these great friends and fabulous teachers, Gwen Bortner and Melissa Leapman.
We also stopped by to look at some beautiful tatting done by Kris’s tatting instructor. Yes, she took a tatting class!
After a long day, a fabulous dinner with Mira and the whole crew from Baah Yarns and sleep, because…
Another early, foggy morning. We felt like home.
More meetings, more vendors, and a visit to Alchemy Yarns.
Always one of the most creative booths at the show, Alchemy didn’t disappoint with a new big booth! They were showing their whole palette of colors, most of which are to be discontinued, so attendees were urged to vote for their favorites by dropping marbles in the jars that contained the colors you loved.
Always so many beautiful designs and colors, Gina always creates such a beautiful space that mirrors the theme of this years palette. This time, it’s called “The Garden of Earthly Delights”
A wonderful extension of last years “Wild West” pallet, we’re very excited about the new colors.
Kris with our dear friend Gina, founder and creative director of Alchemy Yarns
This year, we were delighted to meet their daughter, Clio! Her first TNNA, she seemed to have a good time and was as fabulous and gracious as her folks.
We got to see Rebecca of Reywa Yarns, such beautiful yarns, and such a great story.
Colinette! All those fabulous colors, they were also having such a great time! Sam on the left is Colinette’s son and has taken over the day to day operations of the company. He’s also responsible for all those great color names. We may be getting a visit from Sam soon, so stay tuned!
Lots of beautiful eye-candy from Anzula, including their new Sparkly Fingering weight yarn (In-Stock at the store!)
More meetings, dinner, and another early morning for classes and more floor time on Monday
Outside our hotel was this huge ship unloading those containers. Impressive.
Ok, off to the show again…
How fun, what detail on the sand castle! A fun touch to the show.
Mary Crowley, designer and all round wonderful person from Frog Tree Yarns working on Kris’s design, the Cambria Cobblestone Wrap! Wow!
Kris and Oz with Sion. Sion is the man that brings us Noro, Debbie Bliss, Ella Rae and so many other wonderful yarns. We understand he’s quite the harmonica player as well.
Kris with Lisa and Jocelyn, the fabulous women behind the scenes at Fairmount Fibers, the company that brings us Manos del Uruguay! To say they’ve been helpful to us over the years is an understatement. It’s a joy to be able to work with them.
New Manos designs!
Towards the end of the day on Monday, everybody gets a little silly. We came around the corner to see Sam at Colinette, and we found him channeling his best Jedi impression. The force is strong with this one.
The view from the hotel. That’s the stadium where the San Diego Padres play. The domed building in the background is their new library!
A little boat in back of the convention center. We learned it had been on the market for $92 million. Wonder if they’d take a check?
Tuesday morning, early again. We’re at the train station which had all this beautiful tile work.
Changing trains at Union Station in L.A., we’re ready to board the Coast Starlight that runs from L.A. to Seattle! The whole station is full of Art Deco goodness.
On the train, having fun!
We made reservations and had lunch in the Dining car, where you always sit with other passengers. It was a great way to meet some very interesting people, while moving through scenic California.
At one point, we pulled on to a siding so another train could go by. Amazing to have such power and speed inches away from your window! The sound and feel was impressive.
All journeys have an end, and Tuesday late afternoon were were back in our little town of Cambria once again. It was a long, busy trip, but we love to do this for you. We had so many experiences. Great conversations with Barry Klein of Trendsetter Yarns, lunch with Gwen Bortner, a chance meeting for drinks with Laura and Matt Bryant of Prism Yarns, dinner with our friends from Kollage, just so many experiences. We always come back exhausted but at the same time energized to bring new, exciting ways for us all to enjoy the world of fiber.
Thank you all for letting us do this for you!
Kris and Oz