Just came back from 4 -or was it 5? – very busy days at the National Needle Arts Association‘s semi-annual trade show in Columbus, Ohio. Ellen and I both went to buy things and check out what’s new for K2Tog, which Ellen own and where I work and we both teach. Now I ask you – what could be funner than two wild and crazy yarn gals loose in a hot, happenin’, hip place like The Buckeye State’s capitol? TURNS OUT, NOT MUCH!
People, we had a freakin’ blast on this trip. TNNA is a yarn geek’s fantasy. The Greater Columbus Convention Center‘s floor is filled with vendors of yarn, notions, needle, knittin’ and stitchin’ tzchotchkies and needlepoint, crochet, cross stitch, counted thread. What wasn’t there? I dunno. And you just go from vendor to vendor and place orders for all the new things you want for the store. The best thing tho? I DIDN’T HAVE TO WRITE THE CHECKS! As owner of the store, Ellen had that honor! All I had to do was walk around and say, “I want this! And this! AND THIS AND THIS AND THIS!” This totally did not suck.
But what did suck was that all the technology I brought with me failed me in some way. The big downer was my computer would not work in Columbus. I kept getting the “blue screen of death” and I could only connect to the internet for a few seconds. Which is why all these blog entries about the show are coming to you after it has closed and we are back and I have my puppies in my lap again. So, here we go . . . .
We left at the ungodly hour of four a.m. last Thursday morning. That’s the time Ellen picked me up at my house. Oy. We decided to fly out of San Jose as the fares were better, and our flight was about 6 :30. It was brutal. We had a little adventure finding the off-airport parking lot, going around in a little triangle over and over again. Once, we passed a Frye’s electronics store and Ellen called out “Frye’s!” like the true geek she is. My equivalent is “puppy!” What does that tell you about us?
We arrived in Denver and had time for a little shopping. Whoever decided to put a Crocs store in the Denver Airport was a genius. At our gate for the Columbus leg of the flight I saw 5 women sitting there with Croc bags. Only 3 of them were knitters. Hmmm. What does THAT say about us? I’d rather see knitters in public wearing high heels. Crocs do nothing for our image, I am afraid. Needless to say, we did not buy any – me, because I think only children under 5 and the gardener should wear them, Ellen because they did not have her itty bitty size.
At the gate, we started noticing a lot of women knitting. Not a surprise, but by chance, we sat in the middle of group of some pretty interesting ones! First was Diane S., the designing mind behind Knitting Pure and Simple, a mainstay of K2Tog’s pattern line. Diane said she does not like to put herself out there, but prefers to put her patterns out there, so we won’t use her last name. It was really fun to tell her about some of the patterns I have made and wear to the store and sell. And here’s a cool tidbit – the handsome dude modeling her Henley Sweater pattern is her son. And he’s single. And he works in the Bay Area. At Whole Foods in Mill Valley. So you single
knitting girls, head on over and if you see him in the produce section, say, “I loved you on number 255.” Next to her were two women from Brown Sheep Yarn, another one of K2Tog’s staples and a favorite of mine for its wonderful line of Cotton Fleece. Also there was Laura, the owner of Jimmy Beans Wool in Reno, Nev.
On the flight to Columbus, the needles were clicking! Ellen was working on her Eva cardigan, a pattern from C2Knits, a new addition to K2Tog, she and I are both knitting, she in Manos del Uruguay‘s Serena, another new K2Tog addition, and me in Madeline Tosh Lace colorway Oak. I cast on a pair of socks from Cookie A’s first sock book
using a skein of Malabrigo’s sock yarn in colorway Indecieta. More on this project at a later date . . .
We arrived in Columbus in late afternoon, cabbed it to the hotel, set our stuff down and immediately
set out to hunt for the most important products we would buy here – Starbucks coffee for Ellen and Diet Coke in a bottle for me. We do not run without fuel. Columbus was hot and sticky when we got there and overcast. We found a great place for dinner, Buca di Beppo. A chain, yes, but I had never been there before and I loved the sense of humor of its over-the-top decor. My personal favorite – the pope room, decorated with all things Il Papa on the wall, and a painted bust of John Paul II set on a lazy susan in the center of the table. Take too much spaghetti and he looks you in the eye! The chicken parmesan was only so so, BUT THE CHEESECAKE. I am not kidding people, this cheesecake – plain with strawberry sauce on top – set the new high bar for cheesecake in my book. Ellen and I split it, but we still could not finish it. Oh – and as I am a continuing student of Italian classes, I had to find out what Buca di Beppo means – Joe’s Basement (really?).
Then we rolled back to the room and both basically collapsed on the bed. We watched mindless TV – I think it was “Deadliest Catch” and we both tried to knit. I tried, Ellen knit, and then I fell dead asleep. Getting up at 4 Cal time means I got up at 1 a.m. Columbus time. Gawd. Before conking out tho, we made a plan fo the next day – get up, grab out separate elixirs of life, go get out program books for the show, plot our shopping and buying strategy for the next 2 days and then go to classes in the afternoon. So more on that day later . . . .