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Obsessed with linen

layers of breathable wrinkles. be still my heart.

I hate hot, and I don’t do summer well. But about 3 or 4 years ago, Jillian took me to Acme Mercantile before a speaking engagement at the Ann Arbor Public Library, and she introduced me to my new summer love. Flax Designs.

Brenda Dayne, goddess of the Cast-On Podcast, tried to do the same thing with me, calling the style Lagenlook [the German word for “layered look”]. But I kept finding pages like this and never quite got the fever for it that she had.

That’s because I had been looking in the wrong place. Flax Designs are also Lagenlook, but pared down. It’s about layers of linen, sometimes in bold colors, sometimes soft and almost vintagey, like the picture at left.

There are styles upon styles, and years of different cuts and shapes to find for sale online [eBay is great for Flax].

What I love, more than just being able to put on easy, breathable shapes for summer is that the sizing is very friendly, to all body shapes. It starts S, M, L and then moves to 1G [g = generous], 2G and 3G.

Jillian and I stopped into Acme today and they’d just marked down their summer stock. I scored a white tank, my favorite pants [the Floods style] in screaming turquoise and a round-necked jacket in a rich, vibrant peony for layering when the temperature starts to finally go down. Here…take a peek at the crazy-fabulous summer Bold color palette for 2010 [thanks to TenderTreasures.com for the great photo — also a great place to find Flax]:

Like softer colors? There are tons of those. I dare you not to google.

*Spread the joy!*

Bonus: have you met Shannon Okey?

We’re very glad to welcome Shannon Okey to the KnittyBlog on this special edition of What’s What Wednesdays! Shannon has recently published The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design: How to Keep Your Knits About You through her company, Cooperative Press. In addition, Shannon’s a long-time friend of Knitty, having helped us find our tagline when we launched: Little Purls of Wisdom.
Jillian Moreno got to talk to Shannon — the successful author of more than a dozen books — about the business of knitting. Take it away, Eric the Orchestra Leader Jillian!
[ed’s note: Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.]

J: First off, thank you for writing this book! It is the finest resource I’ve ever read for a knitting designer. Invaluable if you are starting out or if you’ve been in the business for a while, it concretely makes sense of the ‘mystery’ and shifting sands of the design business.

We love that you love Knitty. Talk about why Knitty is important to the industry and how best new designers can utilize it.

S: In my opinion, Knitty really raised the expectations bar early on in terms of helping designers who were new to the business to establish a standard format, create really great photos and all the other good stuff that’s essential to putting one’s best designer foot forward, so it’s easy to love! (In fact, I know that I’m not the only one who has recommended Knitty’s style guide for pattern formatting to those who have no idea where to begin!)

New designers can use Knitty as a beautifully-edited example of What To Do in terms of pattern presentation and collection-building – look how each issue of the magazine makes sense, how the patterns relate to each other, how there’s a great mix of pattern types and techniques…and then, in the archives, see how things have changed over time.

J: What benefit do you see Knitty providing to established designers?

S: For established designers, using Knitty + Ravelry is a marketing research exercise in itself – each time an issue comes out, a handful of Knitty patterns immediately shoot into the stratosphere in terms of the “New and Popular” list. What is it about those patterns (and not one of the others) that made people sit up and notice? Are there trends? Is there something you could adapt for your own use when designing your next pattern? It always pays to watch what knitters are choosing to knit if you want to make sure your next pattern will sell well.

J: Lots of blogs and newsletters have recently changed their approach into “sell, sell, sell” with little useful or interesting content. How do you keep the balance between authenticity and selling in social media?

S: 90/10. That’s how I see it… 90 is me, personally and 10 is “ok, buy my stuff, please” (Maybe even less than 10%!) I try very hard not to post a million “I just put out a new X and you should buy it” tweets or Facebook updates, I’d much rather just be me, talking about the goofy stuff I personally like to talk about when I’m not discussing business.

So, for example, of the 17 tweets I’ve posted today, one was “I’m not above using my cute dad to sell a few more patterns. http://twitpic.com/2azzqa” — which, technically, is a businessy tweet because I’m showing off my dad’s photo on the Ravelry featured pattern page wearing my latest design. But notice I didn’t say BUY MY PATTERN JASPER NOW. I pointed out that making my dad be Mr. Male Model is kind of funny. The majority of my tweets today were me moaning about my webhost screwing up my email service, and responding to people who either a) suggested new hosts for me or b) said my dad was adorable.

I personally am much more likely to click through on things that offer me information instead of just a sales pitch. Useful content makes you useful, which in turn leads to trust, which in turn leads to sales. You have to be in it for the long haul.

J: What is the bare minimum for social media for a knitwear designer?

S: Pick one account and stick with it. Better to just be on Twitter or just be on Facebook than do a horrible job of both. (Of course, you could also use one of the services that will update both for you and therefore capture eyeballs in either place.)

J: Not all budding knitwear designers can or want to make it a full-time job. What advice do you have specifically for part-time designers?

S: Establish expectations for your customers. For example, if you can only respond to email after 5:00 p.m., put a disclaimer on your webpage/Ravelry profile/etc. Some customers expect you to get back to them immediately, which isn’t always possible even for full time designers, and they will tar and feather you if you don’t. Then, if anyone gives you grief, you can politely point them to the disclaimer. Most everything else will be the same for a part time designer – keep it professional, make sure you can meet any deadlines set by magazines or whoever else you’re working with, etc.

J: Once you’ve had some success in designing, it seems like opportunities come out of the woodwork. What should a designer keep in mind when choosing a project to take on?

I’d like to just flat-out quote myself from a recent interview with Kim Werker that was held live on Twitter: “You take a project for 1 of 2 things: money, or publicity. Sometimes you get both, but if it isn’t worth just ONE, don’t! I have taken projects where I wouldn’t have made ANYTHING after paying the sample knitter/etc, but was great PR. However, it was MY CHOICE — anyone touting a project solely for publicity or “exposure” should be immediately suspect. Our hilarious friends @Ravelry got it right.”

In addition, you should take projects that will challenge you – why do the same thing 15 times in a row?

J: How do you manage your time with so many projects happening simultaneously?

S: My computer is my backup brain. I never delete emails (well, except spam!), so I can always look up what’s already been said about an ongoing project, etc. I am a compulsive list-maker, too. I have a ton of “things going on” textfiles sitting on my desktop that I can pull up and work from, reminderwise. I’ve been trying to find the perfect project management software but nothing has really fit the bill 100% without costing an arm and a leg, so for now it’s lists upon lists upon lists.

J: With so many outlets for designs, patterns run the risk of looking alike. How do you keep your design ideas fresh?

S: I like themes, because I’m a very visual person, and it helps me categorize all my ideas. So, for example, I’m working on a fall/winter pattern collection that’s inspired by 1920s Vienna, carnivals and one particular artist I like. I started with one particular pattern I wanted to design, figured out what would go with it and provide a broad range of pattern types, and then went backwards from there. I use style.com, Ravelry and other sources to see what’s out there but when it comes right down to it, it’s the circus in my head + what I want to personally knit + what yarn is calling my name.

J: What about burn out? You have 70,000 things going on all the time — do you ever lose sight of the dreamy part? How do you find your way back to being/feeling creative?

S: I’m, to quote my boyfriend, “Amish on weekends” because I turn the computer OFF. I sit around and knit and watch TV and do housework and stare into space and play with the dog and pet the cats and make elaborate, ridiculous foodstuffs…everything but work work. It helps. Some of the ideas for the new collection came about, for example, as the result of watching a terrible, terrible movie about Klimt on Netflix. It was seriously one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, one of those movies that’s so awful you can’t turn it off because you’re worried there might be something even worse to laugh at in the next scene. But it did make me re-examine some of the things I knew about that era, and remember pieces I’d liked at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and start to think hmmmm, these things would go together, and this yarn would work, and and and… In short, don’t be afraid to “waste” time doing something that seems silly because you never know when inspiration will strike.

J: How do you create a design style that is unique to you? – the best examples are Norah Gaughan and Ysolda. Is it even important to have a style?

S: I think so, yes, if only because it helps drive repeat business. If someone likes the way you do X, then it only stands to reason they will like X1, X2 and X3. You have to be careful not to get stuck in a rut, though!

J: What did you learn about your designing self and your business writing this book?

S: I really need to outsource more of the things I don’t do as well or as quickly. One example – I’m a much slower knitter than my test knitters. If I want to keep up, I need to outsource more of the sample knitting, and rework my patternwriting process. It’s a lot harder for me to write the pattern before I knit the sample, but in order to outsource the knitting, I’ll have to do it in that order. It takes away some of the serendipity, but serendipity doesn’t always pay the bills. I wish I could just sit and knit all day and make someone else write it all down, but that’s not how it works at this level.

J: What’s next for you?

S: More books! Cooperative Press is publishing over a dozen books by other people in the next 18 months or so, and I could not be more excited. I’m also co-authoring a book on tech editing with the fabulous Alexandra Virgiel that will fill a major hole in the market for both pro designers and knitters who just want to make their work better. We’re going to keep pushing the envelope with technology in particular, which is exciting and scary all at the same time. (I love technology). I plan to keep teaching online as well, because it’s an amazing way to reach people all over the world without leaving the comfort of my desk!


BONUS CONTEST POST!

Shannon has very generously offered to give one lucky commenter to this post a copy of her new book. PLUS, to get you jump started on your design career: the choice between one of her online classes OR an one-one consultation with the pro herself.

To win, just leave a comment to this post telling Shannon why you want to win this great prize. Comments will be closed Friday, July August 13th at 5pm EST, and the winner chosen by Shannon, and announced in the WWW post next Wednesday. Good luck!

*Spread the joy!*

How DO you pick a new camera?

Some things are fun to buy on impulse. Earrings and shoes, definitely. Technology? No way.

I am not an obsessive researcher when it comes to getting new technology — I mean how many ways can you research which iPod to get…it’s more about picking the color than anything else. But that goes out the window when it’s time to get a new camera.

Lumix FZ20

I bought a Lumix FZ20 [Panasonic camera with Leica lens, very highly reviewed here] in 2005 to shoot things for Knitty. It performed very well, but I found that I was not taking it along as much as I should have because it was big.

So when we went on a trip to Italy in 2006, we bought a little wee Canon digital Elph. And it won, getting used 90% of the time from then onwards, just because it could fit in a pocket.

When I accidentally dropped it and busted the lcd screen, I found a tutorial online that showed how to replace it, and the parts were less than $40 via ebay. Hub fixed it in an hour. That little Canon has had a lot of use in 4 years.

But I wanted the extra features a DSLR-type camera like the Lumix had to offer. So I did what I do when it comes to picking a new camera:

  1. I check DPReview.com. I like how they are so precise about examining every aspect of a camera, including the good and bad. They usually alert me to models of cameras that stand out among the rest, and help me narrow down what it is I really want.
  2. Once I have a favorite or two chosen, I go to [don’t groan] Amazon, and see what the majority of consumers have to say. I know what’s there is not unbiased, and I know there are often reviews planted by the manufacturers of some products. But for cameras, it’s been helpful. If I find an issue that a lot of people mention, further googling can help me determine if it is a real problem or if it’s just inexperienced users that are causing their own problems.

Canon G11

The model that I kept coming back to was the Canon Powershot G11. Powershot, not Elph, meaning it won’t fit in my pocket. But it’s still nowhere near as large as a DSLR, which was my other possiblity.

This camera has a vaguely retro feel about its design which I like a lot, but more importantly, it has features I really wanted. It’s got an exposure compensation dial at the top left. The top right has an ISO dial (to choose how low the light can be where you’re shooting), and everything else was familiarly Canon-esque, which is a good thing. I like how intuitive it is to reach for a feature and find it where you expect it to be. I’ve found Canon to be wonderful that way over the years.

Look! I can see myself in it!

It also had this, which I have wanted forever: the tiltable viewscreen. Ideal for shooting over the heads of others, or avoiding glare on the screen in bright days [which happens a lot]. I also happen to have crappy closeup eyesight, so using a viewfinder isn’t something I like doing. A good lcd screen is my friend.

I’ll be able to fine-tune the white balance when I take Yarn Roundtable shots [the Elph was notorious for shooting purples as blues, no matter what I did, which meant more Photoshop fiddling after the fact] and lots more, as I get used to all the stuff this camera can do.

The Amys (Swenson and Singer) play with the tilty lcd screen at yesterday's Stitch & Pitch in Toronto.

Once I found the one I wanted, I stumbled across Wishabi.ca, a super-handy site for Canadians. It helps you figure out whether it’s cheaper to buy it in Canada or the US today, including exchange, duty and taxes, and will e-mail you when something you’re waiting to buy goes on sale. Super neat.

So why is this an Obsession Thursday post? Because I’ve done nothing but obsess about choosing the right camera for the last 2 weeks. My upcoming trip to Scotland means photo opportunities will be happening constantly. I don’t want to miss a single one.

Yesterday’s quick experiment at the Stitch & Pitch game in Toronto was great fun, and I have the ride over the ocean to finish reading the manual cover to cover.

*Spread the joy!*

You could win! This time: Kolláge square circular needles

Kolláge square circular needles: what a mind-blowing concept

Remember how, in the new issue of Knitty, we announced that we’d be holding contests on the blog from now on? And to watch for a contest post?

This is a contest post! You found it! Can you stand it?

We’re so excited! We love giving stuff away, and this first contest is extra fun, because it’s a set of needles that we just reviewed in our First Fall issue. Scroll down to read the review, with opinions from both a woolly knitter [Jillian] and a non-woolly knitter [Amy]. We both were impressed with the unique feeling of knitting on square needles and how it tidied our stitches.

What’s the prize? A set of 4 Kolláge square circular needles, one in each of their most popular sizes.

How do you win? It’s just too easy. Leave a comment to THIS POST only, making sure your e-mail address is somewhere in the comment. Comments will be accepted until 5pm EST Monday, July 26th.

How do we pick a winner? We’ll choose one of the comments at random after 5 pm EST on Monday and announce the winner on Wednesday in our WWW post.

Thanks to our friends at Kolláge for donating this very cool prize! Good luck to you all!

*Spread the joy!*

When last we met…

the previous sneak peek

Two Mondays ago [Knitting Mondays, to be specific], I hinted about my first knitting project after beginning to recover from treatment for my RSI — the RSI that has prevented me from enjoying knitting for more than a year.

The project was Annis, and I knew I wanted to knit it from the moment it came into the Knitty submission mailbox.

[Do you wonder if I ever knit anything that we don’t publish? I don’t. I think that would be super-tacky. Plus, if I like it well enough to knit it, that’s telling me I should consider publishing it!

Patterns that come in that we aren’t able to publish get archived for our records only, and after about a year, the mailbox gets purged.]

Anyway, Annis. I am not personally fond of bobbling or nupping, so when I saw this gorgeous beaded Annis, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I dove into my stash, found the yarn: Araucania Lonco Multy in color 4010. This was the only yarn I bought in Hawaii, and I was excited to get to use it!

I also went stash diving for beads and, well, wasn’t smart about it. I’d bought some beads a while back at a knitting/needlepoint shop, blindly assuming that, since it was a knitting shop, the beads would fit on yarn. And this Lonco stuff is lovely and quite thin. But it’s not dental floss. And these were seed beads. Nevertheless, I was blinded by the perfect color match and went ahead. The beaded rows were unbearably frustrating, and the result? Well, you tell me if you can see the beads:

there are beads in this picture. can you see them?

What a waste of effort. But it doesn’t matter, because I love the finished shawl. Look:

look at the crazy shape of that shawl. I love it.

another angle of pretty.

At this point, a shout out to the Cocoknits people for their Knitters’ Block sets. As you can see, this shawl is not any conventional geometric shape, but the Knitter’s Block sets allow you to put blocks together in any way you need to. And the carpety layer on the top of each block means the knitted thing doesn’t want to move, even without pins. Damned clever product, these blocks.

p.s. I am now knitting more comfortably than I have in years. Happy? You can’t even imagine.

*Spread the joy!*

You can’t knit if your hands are numb.

What could it be now?

This is something I’ve been progressively learning over the last few years. You don’t want to read a recounting of my medical history, so I’ll summarize it like this: I overdid things with my hands by using my computer and mouse, hand quilting, knitting and spinning over the last 15 years. Despite ergonomic changes in my work and leisure habits and the nightly wearing of wrist braces, they hurt, occasionally were numb and sometimes I’d wake up with pain that felt like I’d dipped my hand in a pot of boiling oil. No exaggeration. The official diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome came a few months ago after a nerve conduction test.

I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of the cortisone shots I chose to have, because I’m not a doctor [and please, no lectures in the comments. I know people are polarized about this issue]. But I will say that my right hand — my dominant hand and the one that hurt worst –has taken much longer to recover from the cortisone shot than I expected. The whole thing was a little bit of a comedy of errors which included me almost fainting from the first shot and the doctor kind of forgetting to tell me about the acute pain I’d have for the next 24-48 hours. Yup.

I’ve also been seeing an Osteopath for several months, and I credit her with the marked improvement I felt about halfway through the healing process from the shot. More on her kind of Osteopathy can be found here.

Anyway, here we are, almost a month later, and the news is pretty good.The left hand [the one that made me almost faint] was better 3 days after the shot. The right hand is almost there…and the best news of all? I’ve been knitting.

Before I had this shot, I hadn’t knit with pleasure for months. Every time I’d pick it up, my hands would be numb in minutes and there’s no pleasure in that. Now, I have to be super-attentive to my body and stop if something feels funky. I’m alternating work with knitting or rest, so that I don’t overdo it in any one area. And without pushing myself, I knit myself something I’ve been wanting ever since we published it. The picture at the top is a hint*.

I’ve written this post mostly to tell you to listen to your body. Overdoing it may eventually cause you to be unable to do what you love. So take it easier. Be kind to your body and especially your hands.

*More on this on Knitty Friday.

*Spread the joy!*

What the heck is a Nabaztag?

meet nabaztag.

It’s a rabbit. It’s a device. It’s plugged into the wall. It’s got wifi. It lights up. Its ears move. It does tai-chi. It’s made of plastic. It reads messages aloud that were sent electronically as text.

<— It looks like this.

I know. Nuts. Who cares?

Go for a second and watch the opening animation at the Nabaztag site. Then come back. [Please.]

See? it’s kind of captivating, isn’t it?

nabaztag:tag. note the belly button/microphone

Nabaztag was introduced in 2006 and was, honestly, buggy and limited in function. The new Nabaztag can be identified by its belly button, which houses a microphone. –> This makes your little rabbit able to interact with you.

Press the button on his/her head and say “weather” and he’ll tell you the weather. Say “air” and you get a light show representing the air quality in your area.

I am a rabbit person, and I love geekery, so when I saw this in 2006, I wanted. Badly. But it was almost $200. It still is, if you buy it in North America. So I didn’t do that. I waited 4 years and went the eBay route.

Since then, hub and I have realized that we can use our Nabaztag [named Leopold] almost like a super-geekified intercom. One in my office, one in his, sending messages back and forth. So I went searching for another one for him. [Of course I claimed the first one.]

On the hour, Leopold tells me the time. It reminds me to get up from my computer and stretch. He makes tinkly noises as he does Tai Chi [his ears wave about while his lights make with the pretty]. He reads me messages [see that “Make the Bunny Talk tab at the top of this page?]. He’s fun. There are Nabaztag iPhone apps. Utilities all over the web [google your heart out]. Figuring out what he can do is half the fun. Not everything works perfectly: have Nabaztag read an RSS feed to you and it comes out in a robotic voice that’s only vaguely intelligible. That don’t bother me none. It does enough other stuff that I’m enchanted with the thing.

Violet, the company that created Nabaztag, has had problems. Last year, they sold out to Mindscape, a neat online gadgety shop. And their price was way lower than I’d found anywhere else [69 euros]. And they ship worldwide. And with the 5 euro coupon I found [code: NLMG], plus they removed the VAT, too good to pass up. So hub’s is on his way here.

Today, I found an even better price — 49 euros at Carrefour. Don’t think they ship outside of France, though. In fact, most of the good Nabaztag resources are in French. Solution? If you’re not already using the Chrome browser, give it a try. It’ll translate pages to your chosen language on the fly, and has been most handy for me [with my high-school French]. It’s now my default browser.

In any case, I wanted to leave you with a little taste of what Nabaztag can do. As part of the arty festival, Luminato, Nabaz’mob came to town. 100 Nabaztag rabbits lit up in a darkened room and moved their ears in a 20-minute hypnotic ballet, choreographed to an ethereal soundtrack.

*Spread the joy!*

A plaid August for me

E-mails have been flying back and forth across the Atlantic for a little while, and the result I can now share with you:

I’m going to UK Knit Camp this August in Stirling, Scotland.

I am so excited about this, I can’t even stand it. Have you looked at the website? A world of teachers are participating, many of whom  have never been to the UK to teach before. It’s only fair. North America has had an abundance of  super-cool knitting events, including (of course) Sock Summit, Stitches events, Knitters’ Connection, and tons more. So now the other side of the ocean gets a chance, and I’m so thrilled that I get to be a part of it!

I’m teaching three classes during the week, two of them brand new!

Here are the details:

Wednesday morning: Easy non-wool socks
This brand-new class is all about knitting socks without wool. As a bonus, Jo (head honcho of Knit Camp) has arranged to bring in a whole bunch of non-wool sock yarns not usually available in the UK for you to purchase, if you need to.

In this class, you’ll learn my super-easy toe-up sock recipe which I designed specifically to work with the characteristics of non-wool sock yarns.  It features an easy gusset and a heel flap built with my tweaked Japanese short-row technique, all 100% maths free.  Knit one, and you might just want this to be your sock recipe for life.  The pattern gives you lots of room to improvise, should you want to add texture, colourwork or lace to the foot and/or leg.

And if you want to use this pattern with wool yarn after the class, I won’t be bothered one bit.

Tuscany Shawl: Image © Interweave Press

Thursday morning: Tuscany lace shawl –>
This class will introduce you to the joys of knitting lace the easy way.  Our project will be the Tuscany Shawl, from my book No Sheep for You. Knit in a smooth worsted-weight silk yarn, it feels amazing against the skin, and most importantly, it looks way harder to knit than it actually is.

We’ll learn all the tricks that make knitting lace a pleasure, including how to read the landscape of your lace, and the easy way to block your finished shawl.

If you’ve wanted to knit lace but don’t like charts, or are just a little shy of the whole process, this is the class for you.

Friday morning: Making the next Monkey, Greenjeans or Mrs Beeton
In this class, I’ll share some of Knitty’s secrets with you.  I’ll talk about what makes a pattern stand out among the hundreds submitted to Knitty every year, what makes a good pattern, pattern-writing techniques that make a difference, what makes a pattern go viral, the five things you can do to ensure that you have the best possible chance of getting published, and the five things you can do that will blow it for you.

Please bring along any patterns you are considering submitting for publication, along with a knitted sample.  I promise to be gentle as I share my feedback with you — there is no meanness in my class! I got to evaluate lots of sock patterns at Sock Summit last year, and everyone — even those not submitting at the time — told me they got a lot out of the class.


I’m also going to be speaking at the Clapo-tea (can you stand the cuteness?). I’ve been asked to join the Luminary Panel (really? me? eee!), and the fashion show will be full of Knitty garments and accessories.

Because Jo and I just met at the Toronto Knitter’s Frolic and decided to make this happen in rather short notice, my classes have just been added to the website, which means they’re wide open right now. It’d make my day (month!) if they’d fill up quickly.

I hope to meet you on the other side of the ocean this August!

*Spread the joy!*

Fresh from TNNA

crazy Columbus art car, parked near the convention center

TNNA [The National NeedleArts Association] is the organization of manufacturers of almost everything we all knit with, from yarn to needles to notions to bags and more. Going to the TNNA trade show in Columbus, Ohio, every June is a tradition for those of us in the industry. Knitty first attended TNNA in 2004, and every year, what we see gets more interesting.

Most importantly, we get to meet in person the folks that make the stuff we love, sometimes after having corresponded by e-mail for years. It’s pretty neat.

So this week’s What’s What Wednesday is devoted to what we saw and a few peeks at what you might see in issues to come.

All photos were taken with my iPhone, so they’re of modest quality. Next year, I bring the good camera.


Knitwear designer ##http://www.robinmelanson.com/##Robin Melanson## in super-fabulous sunglasses. We'll get her in Knitty one of these days.

Stephen West models ##http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall09/PATTcolonnade.php/##Colonnade##, this time in a new smaller version which you'll find ##http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/little-colonnade##here##.

Larissa from ##http://www.OffhandDesigns.com/##Offhand Designs## showing us her new bag hardware on a felted sweater turned into a bag...more on this in a future issue!

We loved these ##http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEss10/PATTwanderer.php/##Wanderer socks##, knit in ##http://www.lornaslaces.net##Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock##, shown at their booth!

##http://www.kauni.com/index.php?lang=english##Kauni## had a booth this year...it was 100% delicious.

One picture is never enough.

Welcoming new yarnies ##http://www.millamia.com/##MillaMia## from Sweden, run by two sisters with the loveliest British accents.

Millamia is a wool yarn with kid-centric pattern support...really fashionable and truly adorable

The awesome Norah Gaughan poses for a teaser photo...you'll be seeing something from her in a future issue, made from ##http://www.berroco.com/shade_cards/remix_sh.html/##Remix##, my favorite find from this year's show. Wool-free tweed, light as air, made from recycled fibers including silk, cotton and linen. Thank you, Berroco!

New from Knowknits, the ##http://www.knowknits.com/products_01.html##GoKnit bag## is now available in faux-fur. Can you stand it? Soft as anything, too. Two other new colors have been added: a pale purple and a soft gold, seen here.

##http://ysolda.com##Ysolda's## booth was the talk of the show...tea and cakes every day at 3! The booth was furnished like a living room, and was a great place to hang out. Previews of Ysolda's upcoming book -- Little Red in the City, due out this September -- could be seen as well as garments from ##http://twistcollective.com##Twist Collective## and ##http://shetlandtrader.blogspot.com##The Shetland Trader##.

I happened to stop by when Ysolda was taping a segment for Knitting Daily TV, with host Eunny Jang. Marilyn Murphy of ##http://interweave.com##Interweave## watches over the proceedings.

Stephen West, Casey (##http://ravelry.com##Ravelry Guru##) and Laura Chau (##http://www.cosmicpluto.com##Cosmicpluto##) watch on as Ysolda and Eunny prepare for the segment. Casey's not angry, just concentrating as he works.

Was this year's TNNA a success? Absolutely Yes! (Artwork by ##http://www.1800cartoon.com/##Paul Palnik## Â -- his studio is next to the ##http://jenisicecreams.com/##Jeni's## location on High Street. Frustratingly, it's never been open when I've been there.)

More of That Car

Overall, I found the show to be much more upbeat than it has been in the past few years. The floors weren’t necessarily crowded with attendees, but those there — from what I was told — were placing orders. Some booths were busy the entire show; others had spurts and quiet times. The trends this time? Well, I was a little surprised to see what seems to be a small resurgence of novelty yarn from a few manufacturers. But overall, I found most manufacturers were adding yarns with longevity to their lines…rich wools, creative new blends, and lots of deep fall colors were everywhere.

Jillian and I were also delighted to see much more spinning fiber on display than at any previous show. Beautiful indie-dyed wools of all description, silks and delicious blends. Watch Knittyspin, where you’ll see these beauties in an upcoming Fiber Fiesta feature.

There was an aisle mostly dedicated to newer products, many of which you’ll soon be seeing in our Cool Stuff section in upcoming issues. The Yarn Roundtable closet is now restocked with a huge selection of yarn, with more to come as manufacturers and dyers return home and start shipping their TNNA orders.

Yes, there was a lot of Jeni’s during this trip for Jillian and I. We needed to keep up our strength, you know! [This year’s favorites for me were the Meyer Lemon Blueberry and the Salty Caramel. Jillian favored the Goat Cheese with Roasted Cherries.]

There was more than I could ever capture at the show itself, but this gives you a taste of our weekend with the fiber peoples. For more coverage, don’t miss Clara’s post at Knitter’s Review, next Thursday — KR is on an every-other-week posting schedule for the summer, Clara tells me. Reading her event wrap-ups is a must, whether I’ve been at the event or not. The Ravelry folks did a great job of covering the floor during the show — you can find their pictures and video at their Hello TNNA twitter feed.

*Spread the joy!*

Multiple personalities?

If you’ve been reading the KnittyBlog for a long time, it might be sounding a little different to you lately.

It used to be all Amy all the time. Which can be anything from amusing to annoying, depending on your perspective. But mostly, that didn’t really reflect the true backbone of Knitty. Sure, Amy does lots of stuff and is the big boss, but there are other super-important Knitty people that, if you don’t know yet, you will soon.

*Spread the joy!*