TNNA is more than just ice cream.

Technically, TNNA stands for The National Needlearts Association. Practically, it’s the abbreviation that stands in for the twice-a-year trade show for the business of knitting, crochet, embroidery and needlepoint. And a little spinning. And yes, ice cream. More on that later.

Every summer, the industry meets in Columbus, Ohio, for a long weekend of meetings, seeing what’s new, buying and selling. It’s all done on paper…no one walks out with shopping bags full of yarn. Orders are placed and goods are shipped after the show. For Jillian and I [and this year, Kate joined us], it’s about catching up with our industry partners and friends who make yarn, design patterns, write books, publish them.

What have they been doing since last summer? What’s new that our readers have to know about? What are the yarn trends for the coming year? It’s fun, but like all trade shows, it’s a crazy lot of work to stay focused and do and see all that needs to be done and seen in just 2.5 days.

So, what did we see this year? Take a look!

Amy Hendrix [right], the creator of Madelinetosh, shows off her full line of colors to a customer

Blue Sky Alpacas always has a stunning booth display. These are the boxes that hold the color cards for their new Metalico yarn.

And here it is…50% baby alpaca, 50% silk. Yum!

Also from Blue Sky Alpacas, their new line of Petite Knitting Patterns. Each goes with 1 skein of their Royal Alpaca yarn. Clever.

We were so glad to hear that Kristin Nicholas has brought her previously discontinued yarn line back to life, now called “Color by Kristin“, and available through Classic Elite. Here’s the color card. Fabulous for Kristin’s trademark colorwork designs!

That’s me on the left wearing my newly finished Lanesplitter, and on the right, Tina Whitmore, designer of the fabulous pattern!

Tina is the owner and mastermind behind Knitwhits. This is her very popular Freia yarn, which comes in a variety of weights.

One more photo of Freia by Knitwhits. Can’t get enough of Tina’s beautiful way with color.

not everything at the show is yarny — these are zpots, rustic pottery cups, needle, and spindle holders with heartwarming messages


We gave out little Ninja Rabbit project bags to celebrate our 10th Anniversary. Here, the awesome Debbie Bliss, her daughter Nell, Nell’s new design partner Teresa, and the lovely Josh Bennett.

The fabulous Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton shows off the other side of the Ninja Rabbit bag. We just love this logo!

No Sheep spotting: my Tuscany pattern, beautifully worn by Brigitte from Illinois.

Knittyspotting: Kimberly shows off her Coachella! (We love the cowboy hat, too.)

Knittyspotting: Pat from Alabama looks lovely and cool in her Gemini (the number 1 pattern spotted on the TNNA floor this year…)

See? Another pretty Gemini. Lovely, Suzan!

Speaking of sweaters, one of the fun things to do at the show is try on the sample sweaters…like these at the Berroco booth!

Here, my copilot for the trip, the fabulous Denny, gets giddy as she tries on every Norah Gaughan-designed sweater in the Berroco booth. Note the amused Miriam Felton (aka Mimknits) in the background.

Then Denny met Norah (her design hero) in person, and lost her mind. Norah was amused by the whole thing.

Speaking of Denny, one of her favorite things was the display by the Royal School of Needlework, the prestigious school from the UK. This beautiful piece was created by Lucy Barter, and features stumpwork (raised embroidery) and the little lanterns even light up!

Detail of Lucy Barter‘s handiwork. Exquisite.

What was I most impressed by? At many booths in the show, Schacht Spindle Company had set up a display like this one. It featured a finished scarf woven of that company’s yarn (here, we see the Berroco version) on their Cricket Loom and one still in progress. A great way to show off yarns we think of as meant for handknitting in woven form, and to show how useful a little loom can be.

At the Louet booth, friend of Knitty and owner of the Spinning Loft, Beth Smith, turns fiber into beautiful yarn and has a blast doing it!

No, not mushrooms. Yarn shop staff will recognize these as huge bundles of skeins of Manos del Uruguay yarns. This is how they’re shipped to each shop. So appealing!

New from Alchemy, they’ve beefed up their Silken Straw, and now also offer Silken Twine…same raw materials (100% silk), but much thicker. It shows off color so beautifully and now knits up much faster!

Here is the Knitty team! L to R, Amy (yes, that’s my tunic-ized version of Gemini!), Jillian, Kate and Denny

There was so much more, and we’ll be featuring more of our favorites in the Fresh from TNNA edition of Cool Stuff in the First Fall Surprise. For now, we leave you with the favorite break-time pasttime at TNNA…stopping in at Jeni’s Ice Cream at the North Market.

The milkiest chocolate in the world on top, roasted strawberry buttermilk on the bottom. Oh, my.

(Everyone featured, and the owners of all products shown, were asked and have granted permission for these images to be taken and featured here.)

*Spread the joy!*

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15 thoughts on “TNNA is more than just ice cream.

  1. Amanda McIntosh

    What’s up with the legs under the table in the first picture? They’re not facing the right way to belong to the women sitting at it!

    1. Tami

      I had to go back and look carefully at that photo, but they belong to the person not fully shown that is on the right side of the photo. They go with the hands that are there. No weird photoshop thing going on! 😉

  2. G.K. Green

    Denny, I’m fairly certain that Norah is getting used to this happening to her … and at TNNA, specifically. I have a photo of myself with her in Phoenix in January this year that is a close cousin to yours! If she weren’t so good at what she does, not to mention so nice about it … 8^) G.K. Green (of gkgreen designs)

  3. Karel Juhl

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this post and all the pictures. It was just the distraction I needed at a sad time. Thank you!

  4. Corrina

    It’s amazing to me that I was there the whole time and didn’t see half of what you featured! I need to pay better attention next year!

  5. Lara

    Im sorry I missed you at TNNA! I was working my Bigger on the Inside shawl at the Shalimar Yarns booth. Love the Knitty Patterns!!!

  6. Pingback: My first TNNA… and I didn’t take a single photo!

  7. Shannon

    Agree with the “where can we get that cute ninja bunny project bag?” question!
    Also- what is the gray sweater that Denny’s modeling in the first Berroco booth photo? I MUST knit that!

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