...from the trade show! This was my second trade show, so I actually had some idea of what I was doing this time out. I was considerably less overwhelmed, too. Unfortunately for the vendors, the night before the exhibit floor opened there was a HUGE thunderstorm, which closed the airport, which meant that lots of displays didn't make it and lots of potential customers didn't make it, either. It rained so hard for so long we literally could not see the buildings across the street from our hotel, even with their lights on, for almost an hour.
However - I found some outrageous new stuff. I ordered a bunch of exquisite patterns from Chic Knits and Chris Bylsma Designs, and 24 tins of Lavishea, a lotion bar designed for knitters by a knitter. It leaves no greasy residue on your hands and comes in wonderful scents, or unscented.
Friday night there was a program called "Sample It!" and I got some neat samples. Indian Lakes Artisans makes hexagonal wood needles out of cherry, walnut, and birch with lovely copper sculptures on the ends, such as turtles, fish, cabins, arrowheads, acorns, and more. I have a pair of size 10 cherry wood needles at the shop with some stitches on them so you can test drive these needles. The hex shape makes a small gap on the underside of the stitch that the needle tip fits into nicely, perfect for those of us who knit very tightly.
Other samples include two skeins of yarn from Alisha Goes Around, an independent yarn dyer in south Texas who makes luscious colors and fiber combinations, and two skeins from Done Roving, a company whose color saturation is probably three times the legal limit.
Yarns I did not get samples of, but which I plan to bring into the shop, include Hand Painted Knitting Yarns (HPKY). HPKY puts together several skeins of different yarns and then dyes them as a lot, resulting in perfectly matched combinations for sweaters, throws, or anything else you can imagine. A really nice feature of their yarns is that all colorways come in an intense shade and a pastel shade, creating endless options in color selection. But what drew me into their booth to begin with is how they put up their skeins - huge braids, 3 to 5 feet long, depending on yardage. HPKY also has excellent pattern support.
Another cool sample that I intend to get into the shop is Gift Enclosures - cards that let you list fiber content, care instructions, and your own personal message when you give a hand-created gift. An excellent idea.
Spinners rejoice - I have found an incredible source of dyed roving! Frabjous Fibers has marvelous colorways in their roving (put up as wool tops).
New at the shop while I was out of town: leather mitten palms in large and medium sizes; small are available if requested. Hold onto your steering wheel while your hands are warm. Also - the summer issue of Knitters' Magazine is in!
It is never too late to start knitting for Christmas - there are only 192 knitting days left.
Purls of wisdom: In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.