Friday, June 13, 2008

In Recovery

We survived TNNA! It was a whirlwind week (and I'm still trying to mentally recover while getting everything wrapped up from the show). We showed off our new patterns and picked up a bunch of new customers. I'll be adding them to the Gardiner Yarn Works retailers page very soon - I've got about a gazillion little piddly things to do and they've been keeping me very busy all week. Who knew that I'd have to teach myself web development, publishing and graphic design to do this job? Let me tell you, my Adobe Creative Suite skillz are getting better by the second! Just this week I figured out how to get graphics from Adobe Illustrator into InDesign without them getting all pixelated. It was the stupidest, easiest fix ever, but without combing through the help I didn't get it right the first time! Live and learn.

Since I haven't got any new pictures to show you, I'm going to sprinkle in little photos of the new stuff. If you've seen it over and over already, I apologize.

So, TNNA - as usual, we had too little time and too many great people to see. I met lots of folks who I'd only known via e-mail which was really fun. We got to hang out with Anne Hanson of Knitspot and Jessica of Rose-Kim Knits (she had her Auburn Camp Shirt-in-progress which she passed around the table at the bar one night to much acclaim). I met Bonne Marie Burns of Chicknits, Sharon of She-Knits and Kim of Knitting Matters. We got to chat briefly with Jess, Casey and Mary-Heather of Ravelry, and Amy Singer and Jillian Moreno brought me my designer's copy of Big Girl Knits 2 along with lots of nice compliments on my designs (they are such sweethearts). Amy had bronchitis and completely lost her voice, poor thing! I ran into her a few times and am sure she got really sick of me saying that same thing over and over - "Oh, you poor thing!" It's the mom in me, really. I also got to hang briefly with my KFO peeps Carol and Kristen who are both hilarious and wicked smart.

Annie Modesitt was kind enough to give me a signed review copy of her new book, Knit With Courage, Live With Hope which I started reading on the plane and finished up this morning. I want to give it its own post, but I will say here that I highly recommend it for anyone who is a fan of Annie's work OR who finds themselves turning to knitting as relief from life's many curveballs. It was also fun to read about my old neighborhood in St Paul (Annie's new house is about two blocks from where I used to live), although I wish that their arrival in MN hadn't coincided with her husband's sad diagnosis. But again, I'm going to save my full commentary for another post.

Back to TNNA. I can't possibly list everyone that I met and reconnected with - it is so nice to get together with people that I only see a couple times a year at most. I just wish that exhibiting wasn't so hard. We had to leave our dinner early on Sunday night because I was so exhausted and about to have a complete and total meltdown. I got to the point where I just couldn't talk to anyone anymore.

I was also a little bit bummed out by our sales, which I was expecting to be stronger than in January. We went back to our room and I looked over the numbers, which settled me back down. Our wholesale business has actually been doing quite well and although we didn't do a huge amount of business at TNNA, we picked up a bunch of fabulous new shops and hope to have orders for the new designs from our existing customers trickling in. Speaking of which, our new patterns should be arriving in shops in the next couple of weeks. I've also managed to whip up a hat/fingerless mitt combo since arriving home and am halfway through another scarf, so there should be no shortage of new designs to release in the fall for quick holiday projects.

Now that the big show is over, I should have time to focus on my next round of designs, including that pesky project that I was going to blog about. I'm so unreliable, I know, but I WILL get around to it one of these days! First I need to print, sleeve and mail a giant stack of patterns. Then I need to format some new Ravelry ads and send in a few submissions (I've been so overworked lately I haven't been submitting anything, so my stranglehold on the Interweave Knits sock patterns will be ending as of the Fall issue...). Have you seen Twist Collective? It's a new online magazine spearheaded by Kate Gilbert and it looks amazing. It's a new business model and the patterns are not offered for free, which allows the designers to get paid decently for their work. I got to meet Kate at TNNA, too - lucky me!

Donna got a few pictures of the booth and other stuff, but of course I didn't remember to bring the camera. Until she blogs about it (or e-mails me pics so I can post them), you're out of luck. She's off enjoying herself with the family so it might be a little while.

In the meantime, Franklin Habit also attended TNNA and while I spotted him (and the Yarn Harlot, who was also there but, even though I walked right by her, didn't get any stalker-like attention from me, as hard as it was) from afar, I didn't actually talk to him. However, he gets the prize for the best TNNA write-up I've seen including all those "hey, is that Pam Allen?" moments that I remember from my first (and second, and third...) time attending. And now I'm off to daydream about the distant future, when somebody will whisper "hey, is that Chrissy Gardiner?" when I walk by...


Blogger Connie said...

Hi Chrissy, nice report! I'm glad that sales are steady even in these rocky economic times. I've heard from other people who attended TNNA that they were disappointed in their sales.

The Twist Collective is exciting. I'm in the first issue, so I am anxiously awaiting its release on August 1.

And if I saw you walk by, I would definitely do a double take and whisper, hey, that's Chrissy Gardiner! :)

7:37 AM  
Blogger Brittney said...

Hey, that's the kid version of the sweater from hell! It looks great! I want to buy that pattern from you eventually so I can make Elliot a matching sweater out of my (abundant) leftover yarn...

3:04 PM  
Blogger Barbara from Nova Scotia said...

Love that sock and the last sweater. Are those some of the patterns coming up?

4:39 AM  

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