A Look Back at TNNA

national needle arts associationFor all the years (now more than five!) that I’ve been part of the knitting world I still haven’t made it to any of the major conferences or conventions in the world of knitting and needle arts. I really wanted to go to TNNA — The National Needlearts Association — summer meeting this year. It’s held annually in June in Columbus, Ohio, and it is the place to learn all about what’s new that’s going to be hitting the yarn shops for fall and winter knitting. For someone who knits and writes about knitting for a living, it’s also a place to meet up with other designers and make connections in the industry.

There were a few reasons I didn’t end up going (and it happened that my daughter’s first-ever performance in front of people, at her preschool’s end of the year party, was that weekend, so I’m glad I was home) but I really, really want to and intend to go to at least one of the shows next year (there’s a winter one in California, which sounds pretty nice).

But thanks to the Internet, all of us who weren’t there can get a little taste of what the convention was like. My go-to source for these sorts of things is Clara Parkes, who runs the excellent Knitter’s Review and just logged her 13th TNNA. I know she’s on the lookout for the best yarns because reviewing yarns is what she does, so I know if she mentions something in her roundup it’s going to be a big deal in the coming months.

She noted that novelty yarns are coming back, but they’re better this time because so many are made with a higher percentage of natural materials than those all-synthetic yarns we had the last time novelties came around. Color is also a big story, as it has been all year, with more indie dyers in attendance. One yarn she talked about that I’m excited to try: Koigu Bulky! It looks like a beauty.

Have you ever been to a big yarn show or industry event? Spill it!


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