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Updates from TNNA's Board of Directors

Posted By TNNA Editor, Wednesday, March 7, 2018

March 7, 2018
Greetings -

In an ongoing effort to increase communications and transparency, we want to highlight outcomes from our Board meetings.  Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact either of us.
A few highlights from the board meeting include:

A review of our 2018 priorities:

Goal 1 – Create a cohesive membership that cultivates the entire industry ecosystem in support of dynamic business structures.

  • Create membership that is singular and all inclusive.
  • Increase membership to include industry professionals as well as consumers.
  • Expand our membership beyond the current industry segments.

Goal 2 – Define and strengthen TNNA’s value proposition.

  • Create a value proposition.
  • Nurture collaborations to efficiently bring additional membership value while maintaining our independent identity.
  • Embrace technology to create, engage and inspire a vibrant community with resources that allow for exchange of industry knowledge and ideas.
  • Strengthen member businesses by driving year round commerce at the national and local levels.
  • Develop and implement a three-year advocacy strategic plan.

Goal 3 – Create a stronger consumer base for TNNA members.

  • Establish a model consumer engagement that works for the craft industry and the TNNA organization.
  • Enable members to participate in community development initiatives.
  • Develop the consumers of tomorrow through TNNA foundation activities.

2018 Winter Market
During the Winter Market, the board members were assigned to the booths and room suites to speak to the wholesalers to gather feedback. This feedback was shared with the group. The board then broke out into three groups to discuss the value of trade shows and agreed that the 2019 Winter Market should be held in a hybrid model of meeting space and hotel suites. The TNNA staff team is currently reviewing potential meeting sites and the membership will be informed once the date and location have been confirmed.

What attendees had to say: 

"Great networking and seeing shops and designers." – Lisa Crespo, Owner, Accoutrement Designs President, American Needlepoint Guild, Inc.
"I really loved the intimacy of the hotel room/booth setting. It provided the opportunity to sit and chat with vendors, get to know them, and their products. I ended up finding vendors and products I previously walked right past at previous shows!" – Nancy Queen, President, NobleKnits
"I found opportunities I didn't know existed, had face time with people I'm already working with, and generally left feeling much better than when I arrived." – Jill Wolcott Owner/Creative Director Jill Wolcott Knits
"You have to be here in person to grow your business."Susan Wilcox pres Oregon Knitting Co

2018 Summer Show
The 2018 Summer Trade Show is up and running. Space selection begins March 13-14. Registration is on track to open the week of March 12. All information is available on the TNNA web site.
Other board discussions covered more tactical items:

  • Review of the election process.
  • Discussion on implementing a membership campaign. 

We look forward to seeing many of you at the 2018 TNNA Summer NeedleArts Trade Show in Cleveland, OH.  It’s going to be a great event!
Thank you for your participation and service to TNNA.
Our best -

Don Lynch, President of TNNA

Susan Lane, Executive Director of TNNA

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How To Host a Local Yarn Store Day Event

Posted By TNNA Editor, Monday, March 5, 2018

The inaugural Local Yarn Store day is approaching and we want to make sure all retailers in our membership are armed with the tools you need to host the best event possible for your community and customers.


“We’re very excited about Local Yarn Store day [because …] we know that the local store is the place to see and feel new products and to experience the community that comes with fellow fiber fans,” said Oz Barron, owner of Ball & Skein & More and TNNA Yarn Group volunteer. “In addition to the unique items produced by some of our vendors, we’re planning on making a fun and fiber-filled event centered around the local yarn store. We say, jump in and show your community the value of the brick and mortar yarn store!”


How can you join Barron and others to drive awareness and celebrate local yarn shops? We’ll tell you!


Plan an Event

Create a special event just for your customers and vendors on April 21. The list of participating stores continues to grow and we want YOU to be part of it. A special event is your chance to reel in and encourage your community to support small businesses, all while showing the value a local craft store can bring.


Promote Local Yarn Store Day

We’ve built a toolkit with resources to help you maximize your participation and spread the word about Local Yarn Store Day! Download it here.


And that’s not all: We’ve created a fun flyer just for you! Click here to download and in just one click you can print and add it to your spring window display to encourage customers to visit on April 21.


Share! Share! Share!

Already have something planned or looking for ideas and inspiration? Share what your store is doing as part of the Discussion in the national Facebook event! And don’t forget to use the hashtag #LYSDay on Twitter and Instagram.

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The Latest Trends in Needlearts

Posted By TNNA Editor, Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Updated: Monday, February 19, 2018

The Latest Trends in Needlearts

Yoke Sweaters

Yoke Sweaters knit from top-down or bottom-up! Colorwork, Fair Isle and cable or laddering details and right on trend!

Jennifer Steingass
Ravelry: Lovewool-knits

Timeless yet modern hand-knitting patterns inspired by nature.  Jennifer’s stranded colorwork, yoke sweaters have recently arrived in Ravelry and have been well received with an active KAL on Instagram #knitlovewooolkal.

By Jennifer Steingass
Published in Lookbook #2: Portland and Mid-Coast Maine

Tin Can Knits 
@Tin Can Knits
Ravelry: Tin Can Knits


Strange Brew
By Tin Can Knits
Published on Ravelry

This is a recipe pattern for designing your own yoke sweater!  Simply follow the instructions and they have done all the math for you!  The pattern includes 25 sizes.  You can pick your own motifs and colors to design a sweater that is as unique as you are.

The recipe includes:

·         Instructions for sweater body and sleeves.

·         An overview of round yoke design.

·         A ‘plug and play’ round yoke guideline pattern (just follow the pattern - no math!).

·         A hat and cowl pattern so you can make ‘useful swatches’ to choose yarn, color, and patterns before you begin your sweater.

·         Nearly 100 stitch patterns to get you started, and knitters graph paper so you can draw your own.

·         A ‘wedge design’ strategy for the more adventurous knitter.


Caitlin Hunter 
Ravelry: Boylandknitworks

By: Cailtin Hunter
Published on Ravelry under Boyland Knitworks

 Zweig is a fingering weight yoke sweater worked from the top down featuring lace, colorwork and texture on the body. I love the relaxed beauty of a yoke sweater, and the way the drape of fingering weight yarn is flattering and comfortable at the same time. As a mom of three extremely busy boys, clothing that allows me to stay stylish without sacrificing comfort is worth its weight in gold- I hope you like it too!


Socks! A vanilla sock, cabled sock, striped sock … any sock!  There are tons of variety in the heel: short row, fish-lips-kiss heel, after-thought heel — any and all are welcomed. Adding an embellishment to socks of a tassel or pompoms will be a big trend for this fall.  You can even turn your socks inside out and not weave in the ends — this is now a fashion statement! Not lazy yarn work!

Erica Lueder 
Ravelry: Dreamsinfiber

Hermione’s Everyday Socks
By Erica Lueder
Published on Dreams in Fiber website

This is a free Ravelry download pattern that has sky-rocketed to one of the most popular patterns on Ravelry.  It is translated into 5 languages and is named after Hermione as she is described in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series.  

Susan B Anderson 
Ravelry: susanbanderson
Instagram: susanbanderson


Smooth Operator Socks
By: Susan B Anderson
Published in Susan B Anderson’s Ravelry Shop

Pattern information: 
Sizes included in the pattern: 
Extra-small (will fit a large child) 
Medium (this is the size I make for myself!) 
Large (will fit men or a woman’s larger size foot)

 I love knitting top-down socks and I love self-striping and patterning sock yarn. I also love it when the patterning in the yarn doesn’t get broken up or rearranged on the front of the sock. This often happens when you are knitting the heel section of the sock. To avoid this problem I started exploring the afterthought heel, where the heel stitches are placed on waste yarn and saved for later. With a little variation of my own, I’ve found that this heel is a clever and perfect solution for your striping sock yarn woes.

What’s different about the Smooth Operator Socks you might ask? The pattern is written for four different sizes and includes instructions for both double-pointed needles and Magic Loop. The tutorial pattern is written in conversational style with tips and tricks along the way. The pattern includes step-by-step tutorials with photos but also has a quick read version at the end for those who don’t need the tutorial or want to have a printed version. The quick version is 3-pages long without photos. 

I have a modified twist for placing the heel waste yarn that makes it much easier to remove later. Also, I’ve never loved the look of the bars of stitches in between the decreases that run along both sides of the heel and toe. I’ve found a sleeker decrease sequence to eliminate those bars so the sock looks almost completely seamless and so smooth. I like to complete the afterthought heel before the foot of the sock is finished so taking accurate measurements for the foot length is much easier. 

I hope you enjoy knitting the Smooth Operator Socks as much as I do. This is now my go-to sock for self-striping or patterning yarn although it will work for variegated, solid or tonal yarns just as well. Best of all, the fit is perfect!


A poncho, cape, or wrap is perfect for changing temperatures and you need a simple layer that goes from fall to spring.  Volume is an overarching theme in these garments, highlighting the importance of laid-back comfort.  Choose a luxurious yarn and make a statement piece that will enhance your wardrobe.

Caitlin Hunter 
Ravelry: Boylandknitworks

Ninilchik Swoncho
By: Caitlin Hunter
Published on Ravelry under Boyland Knitworks

Inspired by a desire to design a modern, unexpected take on a classic Lopapeysa, the Ninilchik Swoncho is my personal dream come true of style meets cozy comfort…

The shift between seasons can bring some unexpected weather, and layers are an essential part of staying comfortable as the temperature dips and lifts. This swoncho is as comfy as being wrapped in a blanket, but is more functional thanks to its clever construction and sleeves. This cozy piece will surely be a go-to knit in your closet - you may find yourself reaching for it year-round! Coming in just 2 sizes that fit a wide range of bodies, you may even have to make a few to compensate for the family members who swipe one from under your nose!

Embroidery To Go

Embroidery is not just on hoops.  It has a prominent place on denim jackets and jeans. Handmade make-up pouches, pencil cases, and knitting bags are also commonly personalized and adorned.


Woolly Tattoos

Tif (aka Dottie Angel) @dottieangel

Embroidery Art

Sheena Liam
Embroidery art with handmade hair in mixed media



About Joy Macdonell

Joy Macdonell ( is a Creative Blogger and Fiber Consultant. Her job has provided her with lots of great opportunities to teach, including as the host of a television show on the DIY network (Greetings, from DIY) and one on PBS (Crafting at The Spotted Canary). She has also been the guest representative for Martha Stewart Crafts on the Home Shopping Network and has been the education director for the Martha Stewart Crafts brand since it launched in 2007. Prior to starting her career with EK Success Brands in 2001, she and her sister owned the very popular scrapbook store in Fairfax, VA, My Scrapbook Store.

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Selling on Instagram: New Year, New Options

Posted By TNNA Editor, Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Updated: Monday, February 19, 2018

Selling on Instagram: New Year, New Options

With more than 500 million active daily users, Instagram has become the social platform of choice for many of your customers. Crafters of all kinds look to Instagram for inspiration and information. And Instagram users are the audience you want to reach – 90 percent of users are younger than 35, and 68 percent of users are women.

You’re probably already using Instagram as part of your overall social media strategy. But can you leverage your Instagram account to produce more sales? Can you make it easier for customers to move from inspiration to pressing the buy button?

In 2016, we gave you a rundown on various third-party tools available to make your Instagram posts shoppable. Not surprisingly, the landscape has changed in the past 2 years. In this post, we’ll update the currently available options. We’ll also peer into the future to see what’s in the works.

Third Party Update

Remember, Instagram was designed to keep users in Instagram. Your bio page allows for a single clickable link. Captions on individual posts do not accommodate links.

Third party tools were developed to work around these limitations. Soldsie let’s your customer trigger a purchase by commenting “Sold” on your post. Spreesy requires customers to comment with their email address. Have2HaveIt and Like2Buy use the link in your bio to direct customers to a shoppable gallery of products that looks like your Instagram feed. Linktree uses the link in your bio to send customers to a separate web page, which displays any number of clickable links to your website or blog.

These tools are less than perfect. Each adds friction to the buying process. They require that the customer leave Instagram to get additional product information, as well as to make the purchase. And we all know that the farther the journey from impulse to purchase, the less likely we are to buy.

Shoppable Instagram Tags

Shoppable tags are the solution for a truly native Instagram shopping experience. Shoppable tags pull product information from the product catalog in your Facebook Shop. Tapping a tag opens a new window which contains product details, along with a “shop now” link. This link leads to your website. To see how it works, take a look at this video.

Instagram began testing shoppable tags in 2016, starting with just a few brands. During 2017, the test was expanded to fashion and beauty brands. Shopify and BigCommerce worked with Instagram to ensure integration with their e-commerce platforms. As of this writing, the ability to use shoppable tags in Instagram is available for all companies who use BigCommerce. For Shopify users, Instagram product tagging is still in testing. Participants for the test were selected by Instagram last Fall.

There is no word from Instagram or Shopify on when this feature will be available to all, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a wide roll-out before the end of 2018.

Getting Ready

What can you do now to position yourself to take full advantage of shoppable tags?
Set up a Shop page on your Facebook account. You can use Shopify to create this page.
Be sure you have an Instagram business account.

If You Build it, Will They Come?

Now, more than ever, increasing your engagement on Instagram needs to be a key component of your social marketing plan. If customers are already accustomed to interacting with you on Instagram, they’ll be primed to take advantage of making a purchase through shoppable tags.

Stitchcraft Marketing can help you develop and implement a plan to gain followers and drive traffic from Instagram to your website. From our 30-day Instagram Power-Up to a comprehensive social media strategy, we’re here to support your success.

Contact to learn how we can help you grow your craft business.


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TNNA...We Conquered Vegas!

Posted By TNNA Editor, Monday, February 19, 2018
Dear Friends,

We just finished our three days in Las Vegas for the TNNA Winter Tradeshow. As with many of you, I questioned how the show was going to work. For months we all talked about exhibiting in a show room, would customers come and how would our members react to a new system of selling? After a fun-filled few days, I can honestly say that we had a great time. 

During the show we had a members meeting and each group segment had a meeting. Through each of the meetings, our members were asked the following questions.

Was the show the same? Was attendance fantastic? Was it difficult setting up? Did we give our members the show we want to? Is this the kind of show we want to continue to do? Do we even want a winter show?

In some cases the answers to the questions were positive and in other cases the answers negative. We received different answers depending on the segments that were asked. In all cases, the message from both wholesale and retail were exactly the same: ”This mostly hotel style show is not ideal and will work better for some than others but no matter what style of show is done, TNNA must continue to have a show.” The message was clear and loud.

As a board member, I attended our two-day meeting where all of us listed the things that we would like to see at a show and what our members really missed from our normal convention-style shows to this new hotel style show. In the end, after we listed three pages of ideas, we narrowed things down and the TNNA staff is working on heading us towards a new future. We may stay in Vegas and we may move on. The new style of show will be a hybrid show where most of the booths will be pipe/drape and there will also be hotel rooms available for those who choose a more relaxed style. They will look for a facility that allows us to have things like 'New Product', 'Sample It', a fashion show and a stronger education program. Our goal is to put on a show that will inspire creativity and get our members to come and play with us. 

One retailer stood up at the Yarn Group meeting and made the most important statement of all.

”I’ve told the vendors that I come to the show to buy. If you choose not to be there so I can see your products and buy from you then I’ll make new friends and disappoint you as much as you disappoint me by not being at the show.” 

While we all face increased show costs, travel costs and membership costs, we need to clearly understand that the history of TNNA is to wait five to 10 years without increases and then try and make up for lost time. The hit is big and it’s hard to understand. If TNNA worked like everything else in our world, we’d have small manageable increases every year or so in order to make things more manageable. This will be how things work from this point forward.

We need to remember this is our TNNA. United we stand in order to bring the creative arts to the world. We hope you’ll take the ride with us.

-Barry Klein
TNNA Board Member

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Knitting Trends in 2018

Posted By TNNA Editor, Thursday, February 8, 2018

By Stephanie Shiman

A friend of mine always tells me I have an uncanny knack for predicting trends. I don’t mean the over-the-top runway trends—those never cease to amaze and confound me—but the basic “this is going to be fun” type trends. So, with that in mind, let’s see what fun 2018 has in store…and if I’m way off, you can let me know at the end of the year. ;)

Much of what I think we’ll see in 2018 will come from seeds planted last year, growing and changing as the year goes on. In no particular order, here we go:

The wabi-sabi: This is a hot trend in home décor right now. Wabi-sabi is a traditional Japanese aesthetic, based on seeing the beauty in things that are imperfect and accepting the natural aging process—like patina on aged bronze. I think we’ll see this in our knitting through drop-stitches and asymmetry. Another theme of wabi-sabi is the idea of “obvious pretty” vs. “unique beauty.” I think we’re already seeing this with some rather unusual color selections, particularly in many of the “fade” garments that are popping up.  Colors we would have considered mismatched a few years ago are instead working together in a kind of opposites-attract harmony. So, embrace wabi-sabi and accept that one twisted stitch in a panel of stockinette as an element of your piece, and appreciate your garments knowing they are special or perfect because you created them.

The fade: The “Find Your Fade” shawl by Andrea Mowry has begun a huge movement in mixing and matching colors and assembling them together in ways that are entirely unique. 6369 projects have been knit as I write this article, and all so varied. In the description she says this is “YOUR shawl,” channeling Elizabeth Zimmerman’s attitude of making everything one’s own. I think the “make-it-your-own” aspect of this garment is part of what makes it so appealing. Who doesn’t love shopping for yarn and planning colors? In fact, for me, dreaming of what I will knit is almost as enjoyable as knitting it. I think we’ll be seeing many more projects like this—giant shawls (“shlankets”: shawl+blanket) with singular color combinations melding one into the other using various “fade” techniques to truly make it a one-of-a-kind piece.

The neutrals and texture: On the flip side of the color mash-ups, I’m expecting much in the way of neutrals this year. Lots of grays, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up with a pale, pale pink in the neutrals palette. These won’t be boring knits. Rather the neutral yarns will allow highly-textured stitch patterns to step into the foreground. I think we’ll see a lot of knit-purl textures, lesser-used ribbings, and asymmetrical cables. I predict interesting hems and edgings as well. This will be the year to break out all your Barbara Walker books and try new things with your needles.

The big cozy:  Another popular trend in home and fashion is moving towards comfortable and cozy—hygge and more recently, cosagach. These trends, which appreciate feelings of well-being, translate perfectly into knitting. Over-sized ponchos, enveloping shawls, loose-fitting open-front cardigans, worsted weight shrugs…these garments are less about the details and more about comfort. Conveniently enough they’re mostly one-size-fits-all garments, making it less important to get the perfect gauge and perfect fit. That fact alone makes big, cozy knits much more accessible to the beginning knitter. These garments will help shop owners and teachers promote larger, more involved projects with confidence that the knitter will succeed.

So, the take-away:

     Asymmetry, dropped stitches

     Mismatched colors and even bases (gasp!)

     Cozy, one-size-fits-all shrugs and ponchos

     Giant, enveloping shawls (not for the short attention span!)

     Heathered and tonal neutrals for highlighting stitch patterns

     Speckles continue in hand-dyed yarns, but I predict more muted and universally appealing (it seems you either love them, or hate them)

     Gradients and ombre yarns will stay popular—particularly when used for colorwork, such as fair isle knitting

     Tassels, tassels, and pom-poms on top of tassels !!

     And, as Pantone says, ultra-violet…who doesn’t love purple?!

Tags:  trends 

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Talking Business with Gale Zucker and Beverly Army Williams

Posted By TNNA Editor, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

TNNANews recently sat down 2018 Winter Market Teachers Gale Zucker and Beverly Army Williams for an in-depth Q&A about their courses, which were a big hit among attendees. One attendee even raved, “Fantastic class! [I] learned both practical tools and theory. [...] This is the best class I have taken at TNNA to date.” Read on for what these two awesome ladies had to say!

TNNA: At the 2018 Winter Market, you really cemented yourselves as the go-to teachers for business acumen. What drives you to teach courses together?

Gale and Beverly (G&B): We both believe in the partnership of beautiful words and dynamic images to create a compelling online presence. We’ve learned over the last five years of teaching workshops together that our styles and knowledge complement each other, so when we co-teach, we can offer workshops that are more rich than one of us teaching alone. Plus, we have fun together!

TNNA: For members who were unable to attend Winter Market, what are a few key takeaways from each of your courses – “Simplify the Newsletter” (Thursday, 1/25) and “Become #Insta-Savvy: Instagram as Community Builder” (Friday, 1/26)?

G&B: In a word: consistency. Here’s how we’d break it down for the two classes more specifically…

For “Simplify the Newsletter,” a newsletter doesn’t have to be long; it doesn’t have to be a burden; but it must be consistent with the aesthetic of your business. It’s important to create content that you enjoy creating. We demonstrated and covered ideas for different types of stories and how to use images to grab your audience. Students left ready to put into place the plans they created in class.

With “Become #Insta-Savvy,” students left with a strong understanding of how to use Instagram for business and how to create a consistent presence. We reviewed the channels of Instagram (feed, stories and live), and examined what kind of content to put into each. We also dove deep into hashtags and how to create community using them. Participants were excited to explore creating strong, cohesive images.

TNNA: Can you share some of your favorite digital tools or resources for business owners who are active in social media or email marketing?

G&B: Our favorite digital tool to recommend is simple: your iPhone! (Or any smartphone, really.) There is an amazing level of work you can do just using apps alongside consistent planning and effort. The best tool isn’t digital it’s your curiosity and willingness to experiment.

TNNA: Aside from the education and working with peers during your classes, what was your favorite thing about this year’s Winter Market?

G&B: Meeting Elvis at the cocktail hour was a blast! We really loved when the Market was open and the whole hotel turned into a village of vendors. It was so friendly and laid back. The classes felt more relaxed without the frenzy of a large convention center. Las Vegas is all about fantasy, and the Winter Market was a fantasy for stitchers!

TNNA: In 280 characters or less, share your best advice for someone starting a new business or venturing into a new digital marketing space with an existing business.

G&B: Consistency. You don’t have to use every social media platform available. Experiment and find out where your audience is. Use the platforms you enjoy using at a frequency that you can be comfortable with. Be true to your aesthetic! And don’t you step on my blue suede shoes! (Tweet This)


Beverly Army Williams is a writer and writing teacher, teaching at Westfield State University. Her writing appears in, Interweave Crochet, and Project 333 among other places. She co-edits She has been co-teaching with Gale Zucker about the partnership of beautiful words and dynamic images since 2013.

Gale Zucker is an award-winning commercial & editorial photographer. She also happens to be a lifelong knitter and maker. Gale mashes these passions to create lifestyle fashion photography in the knitwear and handmade world. Gale brings her love of the storytelling style of photography.  Her clients include yarn companies, book publishers, designers, magazines, and ready-to-wear clothing manufacturers and shops. Gale is the co-author/photographer of the books Drop Dead Easy Knits, Craft Activism and Shear Spirit, all from Clarkson-Potter. She also teaches workshops on photography for social media, and marketing, for indie businesses and makers.

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Business Corner: Capitalize on Pantone's Color of the Year!

Posted By TNNA Editor, Thursday, January 25, 2018

Business Corner: Capitalize on Pantone's Color of the Year!

According to Pantone, it is officially the year of Ultra Violet. Incorporate this bold purple into your business plan this year to catch the eyes of customers. Click through for a roundup of inspiring articles!

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Vogue Knitting LIVE NYC 2018

Posted By TNNA Editor, Thursday, January 25, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Vogue Knitting LIVE NYC 2018

By Joy Macdonell

Vogue Knitting LIVE, brings together thousands of knitting enthusiasts for a weekend filled with fashion, fiber, and education. Everything knitters love about the magazine is experienced at a show. Vogue Knitting LIVE features master-level hand-knitting classes, a high-end shopping experience, knit-couture fashion shows, and interactive art installations that engage and inspire knitters of every level.

On January 12-14, 2018 knitters gathered at the 7th Vogue Knitting Live show at the New York Marriott Marquis right near Time Square. Knitters filled the hotel with 2 full floors dedicated to shopping, demonstrations, and fashion shows. Classes began on Friday, January 11th and ran throughout the weekend on a third floor.

This wintery, east-coast, fiber event is filled with fashion! A Special Event Stage is featured in the marketplace where leading yarn companies show their newest patterns down the center aisle runway to the “ohhs” and “ahhs” of the crowd. Full knitted samples can be found in almost every booth with opportunities to try on knitted garments and even get fitted!

Shopping in the marketplace is an experience like no other. Everywhere you look, there is something to see! Favorite YouTubers and Instagram fiber friends fill the aisles. Attendees wear new patterns in color combinations that inspire Ravelry ques! Everyone is quick to give compliments and Finished Objects (FO) are examined for construction tips and tricks. There were over 160 amazing booths at VKL 2018 along with the familiar yarn tasting stations, ball winding stations, and beginner stations.

Book signings and demonstrations are great places to gather and chat with fiber folks who fit into your tribe. Authors and Instructors are thrilled to meet everyone. Autographs, hugs, and cheer fill the marketplace with laughter and good spirits. The absolute must-have for your knitting library was completely revised and updated VOGUE KNITTING: THE ULTIMATE KNITTING BOOK by Vogue Knitting and released the opening day of the show!

Artist installations are found all over the hotel. Visitors are encouraged to meet the artists and interact and engage with fiber in a new and novel way. There are plenty of chairs and tables for relaxing, catching up on class homework, or gathering with a knitting group.

This year Kristy Glass of Kristy Glass Knits on, led a group of knitters to an impromptu subway storm to take-over a full car on the subway! Stephen Be joined the ride where they sang, laughed, knitted, and made new friends.

2018 fiber shows are off to a good start! This year should be a good one for those of us on a fiber journey. Indie dyers, designers, bloggers, and podcasters are taking center stage at fiber shows and engaging knitters in fun and exciting activities that make attending a show a real event!

More East Coast Shows to put on the calendar:

March 22-25, 2018 – Stitches United Connecticut Convention Center

April 6,7,8 2018 – Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival

May 5 & 6, 2018 – Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

May 31 – June 4, 2018 – Camp Stitches Destination Vermont

September 8 & 9, 2018 – Endless Mountains Fiber Festival

October 20 & 21, 2018 – 2018 New York Sheep & Wool Festival

Knitter’s Review has a comprehensive 2018 Knitting & Fiber Events resource on their website

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What Shops Should Tell Customers During Dye Disasters

Posted By TNNA Editor, Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Updated: Friday, January 5, 2018

What Shops Should Tell Customers During Dye Disasters

By Shannon Herrick, dyer and social media maven for Frabjous Fibers 

You’ve spent the last 11 weeks knitting your masterpiece of color work, and painstakingly woven in all the ends. It’s time to plop it in a warm sink full of water and your favorite wool wash, which smells of deep woods and sunshine, so you can block it out into the perfect size and shape. To your horror, the water is quickly stained turquoise and the white, negative space which used to make all the other colors pop, is now dulled with dye re-adhering to the knitted fabric. This process, usually irreversible, is wildly frustrating, especially when, moments ago, your shawl was perfect.

Why did this happen? What could have been done? What can you do now?

Many factors can affect colorfastness after the manufacturer has set dye. In certain cases, it may not have been colorfast to begin with, whether commercially dyed by a large manufacturer, or hand dyed by a small, indie dye house, mistakes can happen with dye lots. For the purposes of this article, let us assume that the dyer did everything right, and when the yarn left the dye facility, it had been dyed and processed perfectly well. Maybe you’ve even used the same dyer’s yarn many times with no problem. But, your 10-color shawl is now a mess. So, what gives?

One hidden potential culprit is the fact that certain fragrances have the ability and tendency to pull dye from fabric or yarn. This means that your favorite eucalyptus scented wool soak might actually be a threat to the richly and/or multi-colored knits you’ve poured your heart and skill into. It may only affect certain colors, usually saturated hues and especially reds and turquoises, so it may be perfectly safe for the colorways of some knits and not others. The pH of your water could also be a factor that may compromise the integrity of the dye’s adherence. Temperature of the water, hardness or softness and added chemicals in treated city water…all these factors may be different from the water used when the yarn was dyed and could affect the chemistry.

So, what could you have done differently to prevent an unwelcome bleeding and blending of colors in your finished piece? Firstly, everyone’s favorite friend, the Gauge Swatch, can serve two purposes, especially with colorwork. Soak your swatch before you soak your actual piece of knitwear. Soak it in plain, hand-warm water first, and if the colors stay put, try soaking it again with that lavender garden wool wash and see if the color still holds. If you’re good, you’re good. If it bleeds only with the latter, than you know you need to use unscented wool wash or plain water for this particular item whenever you block or wash. If you don’t have a gauge swatch, you can either make one with your leftovers (recommended), or find the most obscure corner of your piece to do a test soak.

Now that you know to do a test next time, what can you do about the piece that’s ruined? There are a few products on the market, like color run removers and dye stain removers, but most people say they don’t work very well or at all with wool knits. Your best bet is to follow the steps above to prevent further bleeding in subsequent washings. For single-color bleeders, you could try to set the dye yourself with common household vinegar, but in order for that to work, you must also introduce heat. Vinegar alone in your blocking bath will not set dye, a commonly perpetuated myth and misunderstanding of the chemistry involved in using vinegar as a mordant.

In order to try dye-setting at home, you want to use a pot you can sacrifice from culinary use. Cover your yarn or knitted piece with water and add a generous glug of white vinegar. Bring slowly to a simmer over low heat and hold it there for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the item to cool in the water (to prevent felting in non-super wash items, and for safety’s sake…I mean, why bother handling simmering-hot fabric or yarn?), and then squeeze the excess water out and block/hang as normal.

Even the most well-dyed yarns from practiced and skilled dyers may bleed on occasion, due to either the saturation and richness of particular color families, or because of external factors affecting the chemistry of the dye process after the fact. Take care with the treasures you create, and always test before you wash. In this way, you should be able to enjoy your knits for years to come!


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