We are finally starting to catch up on sleep after our travels to the Estes Park Wool Market and TNNA!
On June 10, Jess, Casey and I traveled to beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. There is an annual Wool Festival there, and, while we weren't able to stay for the entire weekend, we would love to go back - just look at the amazing scenery!
Jess and Casey were greeted by the lovely secondsister, who had knit each of them a pair of cozy coordinating socks - such a generous gift! They've both worn them frequently since:
We came to the Wool Market to teach a class on Ravelry, called Ravelry: Unraveled. Classes were held in the local high school (our room had a Johnny Cash poster on the wall - cool!) and we felt quite official! The room was full of friendly Ravelers, and of course knitting, crocheting, and spinning in class was not only permitted - it was encouraged.
The class went quickly (for us at least... hopefully for the attendees, too!) and we really enjoyed sharing the details about how Ravelry got started as well as handy tips on how to use the site. It felt like we had just arrived in Estes Park, but early the next morning, we got up and headed to Ohio for TNNA!
When we arrived in Columbus, we met up with Sarah - our first meeting with her since she started working for Ravelry a month ago! Sarah was given such a warm welcome at TNNA - it was great. Lots of questions about "the new baby" and mentions of that silly stork image kept us laughing!
It was great to have the whole team together in person - boy do the ideas flow when we all get talking!
TNNA, our industry's trade show, is always a whirlwind. There is truly no other way to describe it. From the moment we arrived until we left, it was non-stop activity. Our first event was the Keep the Fleece party organized by BuffaloGuy of Buffalo Gold yarns (mmmm)...
Keep the Fleece is a celebration of fiber in honor of the United Nation's proclamation that 2009 is the International Year of Natural Fibers. The goal of Keep the Fleece is to raise $250,000 for Heifer International by organizing teams to knit and crochet on the world's longest scarf! Our job at the party was to help at the front door and sign up shops to sponsor rows on the scarf (they will be sewn together at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival this fall). Anyone can help with this effort - for more details and to participate and talk to others taking part, you can join the Keep the Fleece Ravelry group!
The party gave us the chance to start this year in a festive mood and talk to lots of other TNNA attendees. We met up with new and old friends, walked every inch of the conference center floor (next year I want to wear a pedometer - our feet take a pounding!) and saw an unbelievable amount of beautiful yarn and many exciting new books and publications coming later this summer and fall. The mood of the show was upbeat, busy, and invigorated - great news for all yarn lovers!
As much fun as we have at TNNA, it really is a lot of work (in a good way!). This year, we were even busier than usual, because we taught a class at the show! Together with Kim Werker, we gave a class for LYS owners called "Your Shop and the Internet: Working Together."
Despite an early class time (8 am on Sunday morning - brutal!) we had a good number of attendees; shop owners with a wide range of comfort and experience levels with the internet. It was very exciting to have been selected to speak at TNNA about something we are so passionate about, and the class had great questions and feedback both during and after the session.
We were also honored to have been present for the outstanding (and hilarious) model-off between Cirilia Rose and Ysolda Teague. They explored all the "knitting + modeling" cliches we could come up with. These two are pros, indeed - just look at the "expert" way they hold their needles!
No post about TNNA in Columbus is truly complete without a mention of that most splendid of treats, Jeni's Ice Cream. Many have spoken of its charms, and if you've never tasted it, I'm sure you are wondering: "seriously, is it THAT good?"
The answer is yes. Yes it is. Jess and I already miss the yummy "goat cheese and roasted cherries" flavor we got hooked on - it will be hard to wait until next year, but wait we must.
Thank you to everyone who we spoke with and met with at TNNA and Estes Park, and especially all of you who took the time to come and hear us speak at either event. There is nothing like a friendly crowd of Ravelers to put us at ease, and we're honored that you were interested in what we had to share. Thank you!
Updated! Two important, burning issues from the comments:
1) What is the blue shawl that Jess is wearing? The pattern is Andromeda, by Miriam Felton. One of these days we'll learn that any handmade items we post on the blog require pattern names and links! ;) (To that end: the purple that I am wearing wearing is Ishbel, by Ysolda Teague, and the deep red shawl that Sarah is wearing is the lovely Cleite by Miriam Felton.)
2) When I wrote about "the new baby," it was a silly reference to the stork image that we used to announce Sarah's hiring (if you click on the link where I joked about the new baby up above, you'll see it); lots of people at TNNA thought the image was funny and commented about it. Nobody on Team Rav is pregnant. :) (Sorry, Frecklemom, Mama Forbes, Grammie Philips, and Rainydaygoods' Mommers. No grandbabies yet... but you have very cute grandpuppies.)