I got back this morning from a whirlwind 48 hour trip to Long Beach to attend the TNNA
Winter Show. I took the red eye and got home at 6:30 am. I'm jet lagged and exhausted and left to sort through STACKS of information.
I left straight from the Point
at 4:00 pm on Thursday and got into my GLAMOROUS Travelodge
at 10:00 pm (1:00 am NY time). I waited way too long to book a hotel, so all the good ones were gone. The important thing is it was 5 blocks from the convention center and it had wireless and a clean bathroom.
I did get a lot of knitting done on the plane. I spent the first hour or so getting all my notes together about what vendors I wanted to visit, what books I wanted to see, and what bags I wanted to check out. After that I worked on David's vest and my Mr. Greenjeans
Here's David's vest
It looks much too blue in the first picture. It's really more of the brown/gray in the close up.
I also got a big chunk of my Mr Green jeans in my yummy Rhinebeck
After sending a bunch of e-mails and checking my notes for the next day, I was sound asleep by 11:30 pm . . . and then wide awake at 2:00 am when the neighbor's TV started to blare . . . sound asleep by 2:30 am . . . and then wide awake at 4:00 am when the hotel alarm clock went off (set by the last unfortunate tenant
) . . . sound asleep by 4:15 am . . . and finally wide awake at 6:30 am when my wake up call came. An evening of waterboarding
would have been more restful. Ah well, on to the convention floor to register by 7:45 am, and then on to my retailer's meeting at 8:00 am. It was really interesting listening to retailers all over the country struggling with the same issues.
Next step, before hitting the sales floor, a stop at the wall of yarn & thread
(the only photo I can show you, as cameras are NOT allowed on the sales floor)
On the table were books listing all the yarn companies and the names of their yarn, rolls of tape, and samples of all the yarn. You could then make notes of what you like and tape in the samples. Can't tell you what I loved until we secure the vendors. Stay tuned . . . LOTS of cool new stuff out there for the spring. The name of the game for the new season is blends. . . bamboo blends, silk blends, alpaca blends . . . mmmm
. Companies are blending fibers in really interesting ways. There's a lot of new combinations coming out that have not been seen before. The other word I saw every two steps - organic.
I settled in with my $3.50 tiny muffin, and the worlds LARGEST map, to create game plan.
Check out this intimidating sales floor:
My plan was to cover the whole floor in one day, not talk to anyone, just take notes and keep moving. That translated to a little over 2000 booths in a little over 7 hours (when you take away the 160 booths that are just needlepoint, and 45 min for lunch). I was DEAD on my feet by the time I met up with my pal Zeena
The brought a backpack and tote bag to collect samples, but that became fairly backbreaking. I noticed everyone around me brought empty rolling bags. Genius! Live and learn.
The next day I slept in until 8:00 am, and spend the morning marking my map for the places I was going to return. The floor opened at 10:00 am, and by 5:30 pm I had gone to the 25 vendors I was the most interested in and made a few more passes to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything.
The show was over at 6:00 pm and my flight wasn't until 9:45 pm. Do you know how if you have time to kill before a flight you can always get something to eat, look around some shops, get a magazine, maybe check your e-mail with the wireless you can find. Yeah, not at Long Beach Airport. There is one magazine stand, and one stack bar with ham & cheese, hot dogs and muffins. . . and that's it. In addition, the gates are in one of those freezing cold temporary buildings. The airport may have sucked, but at least my flight was late!
One other thing I didn't really think through was how I was going to cram all the stuff I collected into my little carry on. There was all the color cards and yarn samples:
Then all the catalogs, price sheets, company info etc
And all the book, bag, needle etc. samples
I forgot to mention the chocolates. Every few feet people hand you chocolate.
Today I came home to my unfinished Pin up Queen. I HATE finishing. One more sleeve and I'm done