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A Royal Wedding: Even the Embroidery is a Secret

Posted By TNNA Editor, Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Royal Wedding: Even the Embroidery is a Secret

By: Joy Macdonell


#wedding2018 #harryandmeghan #royalwedding #weddingideas #meghanmarkleveil#cathedralveil

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On May 19, 2018 Prince Harry will wed Ms. Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle. This is all we know. Like all royal weddings, the particulars of the event are a secret. Especially the dress!

The wedding will be televised around the world for an audience of adoring fans. Embroiderers should be particularly curious as The Royal School of Needlework secretly worked with designer Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen to hand embroider details on the bridal gown for HRH, Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. The embroiderers did not know they were working on a royal wedding gown, they were led to believe it was a costume for a television drama. 

The Royal School of Needlework
The early history of the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) is linked with the social, cultural and political history of Victorian and Edwardian Britain. The RSN began as the School of Art Needlework in 1872 founded by Lady Victoria Welby. The first President was Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, Queen Victoria's third daughter, known to the RSN as Princess Helena. 

The founding principles of the RSN were two-fold: to revive a beautiful art which had fallen into disuse and, through its revival, to provide employment for educated women who, without a suitable livelihood, would otherwise find themselves compelled to live in poverty.

Located in the Hampton Court Palace, offering a thriving education program for beginners through to advanced levels of hand embroidery certifications. They restore embroidered family heirlooms, home furnishings and items from places of worship. The RSN creates bespoke embroidery for special individual occasions, organizations, and corporations. 

Kate’s Embroidery
Of particular current interest is the question of Ms. Meghan Markle’s wedding gown, the designer, and the participation of the Royal School of Needlework. Will we see the work of the Royal Embroiderers on Meghan’s dress like we did on Kate’s? A tweet from @royalneedlework on May 1 announced that Ralph & Russo Haute Couture Atelier team was in the studio reviewing hand embroidery portfolios by RSN Degree students at Hampton Court Palace – is there a royal connection? … Only time will tell.

The attention to detail on Kate’s royal wedding gown was breathtaking – from the hand-cut Chantilly lace of the sleeves, to the lace applique on the bodice and the individual lace roses, thistles, daffodils and shamrocks hand-engineered on to the ivory silk tulle. Her veil was also crafted with hand embroidered flowers, and on the back of her dress were 58 buttons of gazar and organza, which fastened by means of Rouleau loops. 

Kate’s lace was “something old”, her “borrowed” was the tiara from the Queen, “something new” were her earrings from her parents, and a blue ribbon was sewn inside her dress for her “something blue”.

Will Meghan Have Embroidery?
Tradition is very important to the royals. Meghan is marrying in a deeply religious space of St. George’s Chapel, her dress will most likely be modest and probably have some form of sleeve – which leaves plenty of room for embroidery detail along with the veil and train. 

Meghan’s wedding day will be the first time her fans, friends, family, and adoring Prince get to see her dress. Look closely at the details, the Royal Embroiderers will (hopefully) have stitched embroidery into the fabric of this royal wedding.


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.

Tags:  embroidery  TNNANews  trends 

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Local Yarn Store Day Recap

Posted By TNNA Editor, Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Thank you to everyone who participated in first-ever Local Yarn Store Day last weekend. There were a whopping 412 stores that participated. Check out a round-up of photos from the event across the U.S.


Guys. We. Are. Blown. AWAY. Just coming up for air to say happy LYS Day! It has been a whirlwind of yarn and hugs and orders and laughs and chocolate—pretty much everything we love about our little shop. ✨❤️🐝 We promised we’d have something special for our customers who can’t make it in to see us today and here it is: we’re offering 15% off online orders today through 11:59 p.m. with coupon code ‘lyslove’ at checkout. We completely ran out of our free gifts, but we’ve got more on the way—we’ll make sure each and every one of today’s orders includes something special. This day is all about our customers—our shop would be nothing without you. (Thank you to @selecta_nesta_1620 for the amazing chalk art, as always! 🙏) #lysday #knittersofinstagram #woolandhoney #makersgonnamake

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Tags:  Local Yarn Store Day  TNNANews 

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The Power of Inspiration: 2017 CYC Research Results

Posted By TNNA Editor, Wednesday, April 25, 2018
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Stitch Away Stress

Posted By TNNA Editor, Thursday, April 12, 2018


April is National Stress Awareness Month and TNNA's Craft Yarn Council wants to share who you can stitch away stress with crochet and knitting. Check out some tips on how to get involved this month and hear from experts on stress and mental health.

Don't forget to share with us on Facebook and Instagram how you're de-stressing this month!


Tags:  Craft Yarn Council  Stitch Away Stress  TNNANews 

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Three Things We Discovered at Vogue Knitting LIVE! Chicago

Posted By TNNA Editor, Thursday, March 22, 2018

Earlier this month, we attended Vogue Knitting LIVE! in Chicago, and we learned what March Madness and knitting have in common, which books we should be reading and what it takes to create a beautiful Susan Crawford Vintage Shetland sweater.

March Madness Brackets (for Knitters!)

Even if you’re not a basketball fan you can participate in all the fun of March Madness with Mason Dixon’s Knitting Bracket. Challenge yourself to the four different categories: yokes, neck and shoulders, sweaters and min skeins. Find out more here. And see who’s already playing here.

Book Recommendations

We heard some great conversations about some of the hottest new books in knitting. Check out these books:

·        Slow Knitting by Hannah Thiessen

·        Knit a Square, Create a Cuddly Creature

Susan Crawford Vintage Shetland Sweater

During the “show-and-tell” portion of the Mason Dixon talk, one woman shared her beautiful Susan Crawford Vintage Shetland Sweater. See this video from Fruity Knitting for more about the piece (skip to 49:23).

See more coverage from our time at Vogue Knitting LIVE! Chicago on social media

Tags:  TNNANews  Vogue Knitting LIVE 

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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

Tags:  membership  TNNANews  volunteer 

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How To Host a Local Yarn Store Day Event

Posted By TNNA Editor, Monday, March 5, 2018

Local Yarn Story Day


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.

Tags:  Local Yarn Store Day  TNNANews 

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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.

Tags:  business  TNNANews  trends 

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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.


Tags:  business  business tips  TNNANews 

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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

Tags:  membership  TNNANews  Winter Market 

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