Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Trade Show Weekend

TNNA (The National Needlework Association) held the annual Summer show this past weekend in Columbus OH, and Sarah and I were there. It was a weekend of introduction of a new Wool2Dye4 line intended for yarn shop owners, and marked the official beginning of a new distributor relationship with Knitcellaneous. Sarah took two classes while there, one of the wonderful side benefits of the TNNA shows .. classes with the glitterati of the needlework world. I worked the booth with Knitcellaneous owners Deb and Bill, and with the owners of two British boutique yarn companies who also introduced new lines with Knitcellaneous. Both FyberSpates and Rooster Yarn joined me in the expansion of Knitcellaneous's offerings.

Many shop owners and knitters already know Knitcellaneous as the manufacturer and distributor of those cute little mini sockblocker key rings, wooden shawl pins, and the dog tags printed with instructions for the Kitchener Stitch. So, now, they are expanding and becoming the exclusive distributor of these two British yarns, upper end yarns which are really gorgeous. I am talking about luscious blends of alpaca and superfine merino Rooster yarns, and the luxurious silk/superfine merino in Scrumptious by FyberSpates. Really, really nice stuff!

We are excited about being the other entry in the new lineup. Even more so after a weekend of working with Deb and Bill, Andy of Rooster Yarns and Jeni of FyberSpates. All of us have the same work ethic and soon were hopping up to talk about each other's lines, just pitching in and making it work. How invigorating to work with people like this and to have fun doing it. Must tell you that many shop owners were spotted actually petting Scrumptious. And their eyes popped appreciably open when they were handed a ball of Rooster and gave it the all familiar yarn lover's squeeze.

Wool2Dye4's new line is a trio of simple kits called Try It/Dye It. Each kit contains a pattern, 12 packets of Kool Aid drink mix, gloves, instructions, and a skein of the yarn appropriate to the pattern. I designed three simple projects which any advanced beginning knitter can knit without being bored. We've got a neck warmer which employs a 4-stitch reversible pattern and folds into a mobius for a nice drape around the neck. Also a set a wrist warmers which uses the faggotting and slip-stitch combination. The third is my basic sock pattern using a one-piece/shortrow heel. At the booth we laid out knitted samples of each project and some handdyed skeins. For every order to a yarn shop, we will also include a party planning guide on how to throw a good Try It/Dye It dye party.

Friday's early orders looked good, and we look forward to receiving the orders placed on Sunday, the typical day when shop owners place their show orders after walking the vendor floor and attending a majorly mobbed Sample It event ... where we did really well, by the way!

So much fun to be associated with these upbeat folks who love their businesses as much as I do. I do like the idea of slowly introducing more people to dyeing wool and think that our Try It/Dye It kits will be a comfortable way to let more people try their hand at dyeing. This is the beginning of a new venture for Wool2Dye4, and TNNA was a terrific way to start.

Picture: Jeni Brown of FyberSpates stands at our booth. If you look very hard on the far left of the table there are three of my kits propped up against the backdrop. Those are the Try It/ Dye It kits!

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