We had a wonderful time at the  Fall TNNA show in Columbus OH, and found inspiration everywhere we looked.  From new colors, yarns, needles and notions, we came home with a knitting bag full of new fiber goodies to share with you.

We used the flying time to work on our knit along and crochet along projects and we are very happy to announce that significant progress was made with both projects.

And, although our return flight was delayed by several hours, we were able to spend time with one of our favorite designers Josh Bennett.  Josh is charming and delightful, and made our wait fun.

We sincerely hope that if we are ever stuck in another airport waiting for our flight to depart, Josh will be there with us!

TNNA – the Yarn

The collection of new yarns this year is decadent and delicious and I am worried about stash limitations in my house (I recently learned you can stash yarn in a bathtub).

Some of our favorite companies have come up with new lines, Skacel has a  marvelous new line called HiKoo, if you love a boucle (and I do) I highly recommend checking out the Woolie Bullie.  Speaking of boucle, Plymouth has added a new boucle version to their Baby Alpaca Grande, it has all of the heavenly softness of the original fiber, but now has a wonderful new texture as well.  We also met Francis with Cestari, his yarns are almost as interesting as he is.  Produced from sheep and a mill here in Virginia, his yarns have a tweedy look, in a variety of tempting colors.  Created from various blends of wool, cotton and silk, these yarns are sure to become a knitting staple, and if you are as intrigued by Francis and his yarns as we are, you can soon read his life story!

Many companies are producing “green fibers” and I am excited to try them all.  Kollage has a divine cotton yarn made from recycled Denim. Berroco has Remix a fantastic tweedy yarn made from recycling nylon, cotton, acrylic, silk and linen. But my favorite fiber has to be Delicato from Prism.  This yarn is made from Tencel and feels like silk.  What I found really exciting is that all of the chemicals used to create this soft and luscious fiber are captured and reused, as if the colors and texture were not enough enticement, it’s earth friendly as well!

More fibers and TNNA stories to come…..

TNNA – the food

I know that when you think of TNNA everyone thinks of fibery goodness, but first I wanted to tell you about the amazing food (edible fiber) we found in Columbus.

We were lucky enough to be invited to a designer dinner hosted by Marly Bird on our first night (Friday).  Held at Barrio Tapas, in the upstairs room, the location and atmosphere was fantastic and the wine and food  was delicious.  As if all of that was not enough we also received goody bags that I will detail in a separate blog because they deserve a note all their own) that were heavenly.  If you love tapas and wine do not miss Barrio Tapas.

Saturday night we dined at Martini’s and although I didn’t have one (martini) I was told they were worth the trip.  The food was also delectable, but the best part of the night was the manager.  He looks just like Ben Affleck and could not have been cuter.  I am still regretting that I failed to take a photo of him, but we did take pictures of our food.

Sunday night we stopped at Level Dining Lounge, and I had a burger and chips that rated in my top 10 list. I would highly recommend eating here, and if you can keep yourself from ordering dessert (always a struggle for me) head next door for Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.  The name is dead on and the line out the door and around the corner is a testament to how scrumptious it is.  Even though it was a cooler night we waited in line for 25 minutes, and then struggled with which amazing flavors we would choose. In the end I had Lemon Berry, Lemon Yogurt and Lime with rhubarb, I can’t even begin to describe how amazing and yummy this ice cream is, but if you go to Jeni’s wait in line you won’t be sorry!

Next up the real fibery goodness the YARN!

Exciting News

We were recently tossing around the idea of adding crochet patterns to the Love of Knitting site, and I think that my squeal of delight scared my co-workers.

I know that some people think there is a divide between knitters and crocheters, but I don’t believe that.  In my knit group we have several people that knit and crochet (myself included) and one member that only crochets.  We have tried to teach her how to knit, she did not enjoy it, and has stuck with her hook.  With all of the wonderful crochet patterns that are available, who can blame her?

There was a time when it seemed that we had an unspoken rule; crochet was only for blankets.  If you wanted a sweater or hat or socks, you had to learn to knit.  I am delighted that crochet designers decided this was a silly rule and set about breaking it.  Currently the crochet community has many fantastic patterns for socks and hats, and beautiful sweaters, and I suspect that we will find more knitters crossing the crochet line, as we see even more patterns published.

The only place that I have noticed a lack in crochet patterns is in men’s designs, but perhaps one day soon those same rule breaking designers will correct this shortage as well.

Selecting the crochet patterns for the Love of Knitting site has me itching to return to my crochet roots, and I suspect that soon my project queue for crochet will be as large as my knitting queue.

Perhaps for Knit in Public day on June 10th I will break out my crochet hook instead, and start a revolution….. Who’s with me?

Yarn Crawling

I am constantly surprised by the number of yarn shops I have within a 20 minute drive of my home, and I am a frequent visitor at many of them.  If you travel further out, to cities more than an hour away we are also blessed with a plethora of shops to choose from.  But because of the distance I have never made a trip to the shops in neighboring cities.  After discussing this with my knitting group we decided last month that we need to correct this oversight, and arrange a yarn crawl.  Travel from shop to shop to find what we love, and what we must bring home.

Unlike other retail stores, yarn shops are unique and completely individualized to the people that own them.  Some stores are cluttered and homey, while others are very chic and streamlined.  Adding to the atmosphere created by the owners are the yarns they stock (usually their personal favorites).  With the huge variety of yarns available it is possible to have five shops on the same street each stocked with a completely different inventory.  Anyone that has ever been in a shop knows the importance of finding the shop with the selection that you love.

The added bonus to the shop and selection of yarns are the knitters that come with the shop.  Generally, when you find a shop you love, you will also love the knitters that hang out there. This knitting circle is, for me, the best part of being a knitter.  Spending time with people talking and sharing their lives and their projects, giving you advice about a tricky pattern, or parenting problem.  If you have a knitting group I highly recommend taking your own yarn crawl soon, you might find that the store you love is on the other side of town (which will encourage you to take more group trips, and often).  If you don’t have a knitting group, go on your own, you will likely find more than just a new delicious fiber to love.  You might find your own knitting group as well.  Who wouldn’t enjoy a group of people that understand your love of sticks and string, and perhaps encourage you to purchase more wool?  As my group is always saying, you can never have enough fiber in your diet.

Plan your own crawl, where will you go?