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Friday, 12 July 2013

TNNA Columbus 2013 - Part 2

After the mayhem of Sample It! and the majority of Friday spent setting up the stand, we were whisked off to dinner by some friends of Katarina and Helena who live in Columbus.They had taken us to The Japanese Steakhouse on Thursday evening which was a new and very entertaining experience, if a little odd to be eating at what still felt like 4am in the morning to us! So on Friday we found ourselves in the German Village area of Columbus at a lovely restaurant called Lindey's. The surroundings were cool and classy, the service excellent and the food truly delicious.

We ate incredibly well during the entirety of our stay in Columbus, taking a trip to Easton Mall for shopping and dinner at Northstar Cafe on Saturday night and to a modern Italian called Martini in central Columbus on Sunday evening with the team from Classic Elite Yarns.

And, whilst on the subject of food, I can't talk about eating in Columbus without paying my dutiful respects at the shrine of Jeni. If there was one thing that I heard mention of MORE than yarn - it was Jeni's Ice Cream. There are not words enough to accurately describe the taste sensation that is Jeni's ice cream - so I will not try. Suffice to say that, if you're ever in Columbus, don't leave town without having your very own Jeni's experience . . .

Helena having her Jeni's moment and my choice of Salted Caramel, Brown Butter Almond Brittle and The Milkiest Chocolate in The World

Saturday morning saw the Show begin with a Hollywood extravaganza of singing and dancing on the trade show floor, in keeping with the Summer 2013 general theme. 'Hooray for Needlearts!' rang out across the floor as singers and dancers put on a grand performance to welcome the eager visitors queuing at the doors.

Soon, the visitors began to filter through the aisles, stopping at vendors and chatting with folk they already knew or had planned to meet. We were excited to show the new products to our current US stockists and thrilled to talk to potential new stores too. Shush - don't tell anyone! you can see a tantalising taster of these fabulous new yarn colours, and the third book in our adult collection in the pics below!

High Society preview, the third book in our adult collection and new MillaMia colours - coming to your LYS very soon!

As the stream of people passing and stopping by the stand got steadily larger, I began to notice faces that I recognised from Ravelry and the many knitting magazines that I read - the aisles were alive with knitting celebrities!! There were well known designers from across the globe including these famous folk - Martin Storey, Ysolda Teague, Ruth Garcia Alcantud, Woolly Wormhead, JuJu (from JuJu's Loops fame), Carol Feller, Rachel Coopey, the very lovely Sue Stratford (who was there signing her books with Unicorn Books) as well as Stephen West, Veronik Avery, Michele Wang, Amy Detjen, Annie Modesitt, Mary-Jane Mucklestone, Josh Bennet, Kristin Omdahl and Olga Buraya-Kefelien. I shamelessly requested a couple of pictures with Michele Wang, who is amongst the gifted and talented design collective at Brooklyn Tweed (and whom I was more than a little starstruck to meet!), and Jess from Ravelry took this fabulous 'selfie' with Christina (also part of the Ravelry team) and me! I know there were many many more fabulous famous knitter/designers walking the aisles and I only wish I could have met them all!

All too soon, Monday arrived and at 2pm TNNA Columbus 2013 was officially at an end. Helena and I began the sad task of dismantling the stand and packing all of the samples and yarn into boxes, marveling at how quickly the stands around us were deconstructed. With a plane to catch out of Columbus at 5.30 that afternoon we packed down with fast efficiency and were ready to go in just over an hour.

We said our final goodbyes to the wonderful people at CEY, and, pulling our suitcases behind us, walked out of the hall with one last thing to do before we left Columbus - a final trip to the self-flushing toilet.

I won't bore you with the details of the hideous delays we ran into trying to fly out of Columbus that afternoon - now, looking back on this amazing foray into the world of TNNA, I don't want to sully it with those last frustrating hours when everything else about the trip was so incredible. I know that I promised to tell you in Part 1 of this blog piece about TNNA, what exactly it is that makes this the BEST trade show in the world - but I'm hoping that you may have guessed by now . . . ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!

(posted by Max)

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