Every January I meet up with my long-time friend, Irene, who owns Cotton Clouds, a mail-order business based in Arizona, to go to the Winter Show of The National Needlearts Association. Since I’ve been going it’s been in San Diego (2016 and 2014) or Phoenix (2015 and 2012) or Long Beach (2013 and 2011). This year it was in San Jose, only an hour and a half from here (on a weekend without commute traffic), so Irene flew to Sacramento and spent a few days here before we both drove to the show.
TNNA wasn’t the only thing in town on Saturday.
There was plenty of pink visible.
Other colors too. Why does Irene always look more excited in these photos of us together?
Big fat yarns seem to be the new thing this year.
I managed to find a few sheep.
After spending a few hours at the show we checked into our hotel where we had a room on the 5th floor.
This is the view…
…and this is the art work on the wall.
We went back to the convention hall. We had been seeing groups of young (mostly) men (mostly) wearing black (mostly) who were attending something in the convention center but didn’t quite fit the demographics of the yarn buyers and sellers. Irene spoke to one group and we found out that they were competing in the Super Smash Brothers Tournament, a Nintendo gaming event (if I’m using the right terminology). It’s worth looking at this link for a view into an obsession a little different than the fiber one (maybe takes up less space?) A quote from the article: “For video games you don’t need depth perception at all,” he explains, sounding almost Baudrillardian, “there’s no depth: it’s just right there.” Put in perspective, that quote is from a gamer who is blind in on eye. We may bring out fiber swatches and knitting needles. They bring their own controllers.
Back to the Fiber Hall.
I love how this sign was made.
I like the look of this fabric…
…woven on this loom which I have in the shop and eventually on the website.
We talked with a lot of vendors. This is Francis Chester-Cestari who has sheep and a fiber mill in Virginia and promotes American grown fiber. Irene is looking at some of his U.S. grown cotton. Notice the book on his table. That’s his memoir.
I didn’t come away from this show with all the new products that I usually do, although I do have some lotion bars with sheep on them (see photo in one of the collections above). There weren’t as many vendors and I really don’t need more yarn. What I need is a better way to market what I already have before adding more. So my investment this year is a new modern website! You’ll be hearing more about that in a month or so.