I Saw the Harlot, but I didn’t tell the Deputy

I will confess, the title is more catchy than the sighting. I went to TNNA to generally be in the booth of one of my distributors, Up North Fiber Art Supply, and to schmooze. That I saw the Harlot was anecdotal for my stepdaughter, Erin (Hi Sweetie!). She phoned me up and wanted to know if I had seen The Yarn Harlot. Erin is a fan, and devoted fans of the Harlot knew from her blog that she would be at TNNA. I caught sight of her at a book signing. The list of people waiting for her was immense.

If I could have taken a picture I would have, but they don’t allow cameras on the trade show floor.

Other sightings were friends from Stitches and Scones, in Indiana, Pat Kirtland of Kirtland’s Yarn Barn, and Knitting Today. There were others too, but my brain is still, well, feeling like I have had a lobotomy.

For those who wonder about the process of schmoozing, yarn acquisition as it relates to designing, and ethics related to such, some points are worth remembering.

1. This is a trade show meant to sell product to retailers, not court designers. What this means to the new designer is that we need to be conscious of customers coming into the booth we are visiting. This is the big show for vendor and retailer alike, and there are shop owners, reps, and others meeting up with representatives from companies, planning their product line often for the year. Schmooze discreetly and let them take care of their business.

2. If you are a hobby designer (which isn’t a bad thing or a slam), don’t solicit free yarn. Don’t get me wrong, many are very willing to give designers either yarn to swatch with or yarn at a discount. When approaching them, wait until they are free (unobtrusively), be upfront with who you are, where you are at, and simply ask what the process is for ordering yarn for designs. They will let you know what their policy is. If you DO accept yarn that they offer to give to you, you need to really try and do something with the yarn. I do not take yarn for swatching anymore without a specific purpose in mind. Remember, that yarn is ultimately not free. They cannot sell it if they gift it to you…and there are a lot of designers out there that may or may not be professional designers. Giving away yarn is an expense for yarn companies, an investment on their part that they hope yields a return.

3. Be friendly and courteous to people who come up to you and talk about your work. They have paid you the supreme compliment by sharing a hobby they love very much with you. Knitting your pattern takes time and effort, as well as an investment of money on their part. Don’t take them for granted, for without them you would have no one to design for.

I had a lot of fun at TNNA. I will be adding spring and summer garments to my line of pattern leaflets by next TNNA. I have a number of things I want to get done. I have as I mentioned before been pretty busy over the last several months with projects going in books. The last two books are with Interweave.

I will be doing some new patterns using SWTC as well as Naturally, and hope to also be doing some things with Rauma yarns, Claudia Handpaints, Interlacements Colorado, Black Water Abbey, and Dale of Norway. Hopefully the remodeling, the yard work, and everything in between allows enough time to get a good number of designs done by TNNA next June.

By the way, one of the funniest things I saw at the show was at the booth of Jade Sapphire. They had some cardboard cutouts of people, one of Elvis and one of romance cover model Fabio. The funny thing was about Fabio. There was a sign that said something like “Show Special”, or something like that. It was the placement that to me was absolutely hysterical and left me wondering if I was the only one with a dirty mind. Well, more accurately if I was the only one who noticed why it was so funny where it was placed in relation to what it said!

For those who love traditional knitting, as I do, it was good to see my friend Beth Brown-Reinsel on the floor again in a booth. Of course, I saw Lucy Neatby who is also carried by Up North Fiber Art Supply (they also carry Sivia Harding, Jeanne Abel, and Cat Bordhi). If any of you get to take a class with Lucy, it is well worth it. She is great fun and a good teacher.

On an unfortunate note, I was rear ended on my way home from Columbus. I had pulled off the highway to fill my tank and was waiting to turn left and then I was rear ended while sitting there. No real injuries, just some stiffness and burning. Alfred (the name of my Uplander) has a dent in the hatch, and the bumper is scratched up and gouged. The hitch for the camper is mangled too. My vehicle fared much better than the young lady who hit me. She was pretty shook up (her first accident), but the Deputy was very kind. I don’t remember the name of the county, which is a shame because I appreciated his kindness and professionalism.

On a happy note, I got to play Grandma for a couple days before the show. Andy was out of town for about a week, and I visited with Erin and Ian. Ian is growing so quickly and he is such a little cutie pie. He is fun to play with. That, in the end was my favorite part of the trip. The yarn was a very close second, however. There are some really neat yarns coming out.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace

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One Response to “I Saw the Harlot, but I didn’t tell the Deputy”

  1. lea-ann Says:

    Good to see you as well, Jolene and sorry if I seemed detached. . . . I really hate the quick one-day run through of shows like that and obviously missed some good stuff (fabio?). Thanks for your review. Lea-Ann

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