Saturday, June 02, 2007

Cool TNNA Stuff

I saw some new stuff at TNNA this time - cool stuff - and here are two of them:

HUGE KNITTING NEEDLES from Bagsmith. Rachel John, the fiber artist who was working with them today at the Bagsmith Booth, was making really lovely pillows and totebags knit up on this supersized needles. I, myself, want to take them and work up some hammock-y type stuff - we'll see!

The second thing was some terrific yarn by a company called Chameleon Colorworks. I hadn't heard of them before (but I HAD used the AMAZING glass knitting needles from Sheila Ernst, who was sharing booth space with CC) The Chameleon Colorwork yarns were dyed in lovely hues and were exceptionally soft. There's a merino I really want to play with, and a superwash tencel that I can't wait to swatch up!

I'll write more tomorrow about new yarns from old favorites of mine tomorrow - I wanted to mention these two cool things right away, though!

Naked Soul & Pia Coladas
If drinking alone is sad, then drinking fruity blender drinks alone is downright pathetic. Welcome to the world of pathetic, where we carry not one, but TWO blender drinks up to our hotel room.

I just needed a respite from so many faces at one time. So many folks seem to know me, and it's confusing to the soul because I just don't know them. I'm not shy about saying, "Uh - help me out - who are you?" but after a while it sounds very rude. And I don't want to be rude.

The TNNA event is really great - overwhelming, exciting, awesome, inspiring - a great deal of attention must be focused and split all over the place. It's wearying. I'm enjoying myself quite a bit, but I'm exhausted - mentally, physically and emotionally - and I'm looking forward to a salad, a roast beef sandwich and an apple crisp this evening.

My Classes
The classes on Friday were great - I enjoyed them so much, and I think the students enjoyed them, too! I think that EVERYONE "got it" - everyone obtained some bit of knowledge - and we had a friggin' blast. Fun is such a gift in this life.

Starting with the Mutt Luks class at 8:00 I was very impressed by the caliber and enthusiasm of the students. It's great to see the same students signing up for more than one class - it makes things very easy for a teacher, because diagnosing the different needs of the students is a mentally exhausting thing. Seeing a familiar face makes all of it a bit easier.

The more I teach, the more comfortable I am saying, "I just don't know - I'll try to find out..." And that should be a good-enough answer for anyone. It usually is for my students, and I thank them for it.

The afternoon class was more of a blast for me - it's a more lighthearted class, because the techniques are a bit easier to grasp and since it's not project oriented everyone doesn't have to get it at the same time. I'm not a big fan of synchronized knitting. I love the cables and lace class, I love to teach how to cable without a cable needle, and love telling folks my secrets for remembering an easy way to figure how to do a left or right slanting decrease. When I'm in the thick of a class like that, I feel that I totally understand my reason for being a knitting teacher, and feel entirely in my element. A very good feeling.

Future Book Sales (?)
After my first class I had lunch with an acquisitions editor from Potter. I'd been toying with the idea of self-publishing two books in the next few months, but with the situation the way it is I doubt that I'd have the mental resources to do all that needs to be done. I discussed this with the potter editor, but she didn't seem very excited about either of my wacky ideas for a book. Oh, well...

I think I'm missing the part of my salesman's soul that makes it comfortable for me to sell an a idea to a publisher. I feel so - invested - in whether a book will sell well, whether it will be well reviewed - whether it will be a GOOD VALUE for the buyer.

All of that can get in the way when pitching a book proposal. I find myself playing devil's advocate more than I should - "On the one hand, this is an exciting idea... On the other hand, it may not appeal to a huge audience..."


Like I really need ME to tell the acquisitions editor this stuff. So this may not be the show where I sell a few book ideas. It's as though I have several personalities. Can I please talk to the book salesperson now?

The Show
I walked the show today - did a total of almost 2 hours of book signing (my handwriting is so bad at this point I could probably qualify for medical school) and met with a lot of yarn companies where I dropped off samples knit up for Romantic Hand Knits and copies of the book so they could put them up in their booths. I also picked up a magnet to replace the SSK one I lost in the carwash this spring. Thank you, Modern Yarn!

I ran into friends, did a lot of hugging and laughing, and a lot of keeping back tears and bad feelings. It's a lot like taking a long-distance drive. When you stop for a bathroom break, you're more likely to need another right away. In my drinking days in college, we called it, "Breaking the seal."

I'm afraid if I allow a tearful episode, I'll need to engage in more and more of them here at the show. Not the place. Odd, though, how some folks seem to want to see a tearful episode.

It's also so odd how folks who are good, good friends (but not blog readers) are unaware of the last few months of my life. But folks who barely know me - not personally at all - know so much about it. An unusual dynamic - not bad, just very odd.

Folks kept asking if we'd moved yet, and how we liked St. Paul. Answering was hard - do I just say, "Great!", or do I go into the song and dance about Gerry?

I ran in to
Bonne Marie Burns who said blogging was like living the life of a newspaper columnist - and I think she's right. Folks see into our world - what we allow them to see - and they have an unusually intimate feeling about how much they know.

Lily Chin had asked me a few months ago how I like blogging - how can I do it so regularly? In the past few weeks I've received my answer - the blog is my extended community, my connection to folks who share my passion. Thank you all so much for your input and for just reading (hey lurkers!) my errant ramblings.

Tears Before Beers
I had a stupid, useless crying episode late in the day - as I was on my way to the Vogue 25th Anniversary party - so, being red-faced and emotionally overwrought, I decided not to go.

As a red-head, I always look like I'm on the brink of tears, and when I DO cry I look absolutely drunk. Not that there's anything wrong with that... But I didn't want to show up at the Vogue party looking as though I needed an intervention.

So I returned to my room to settle down, but ran into my good friends from Main Street Yarns in Atlanta. So I took a rest stop and had a nice laugh with them - bless them!

Main Street Yarns
I love these people. I feel like they're cousins - family - and between dinner last night with Ruth and James (Happy Birthday!), and drinks this evening with (oh, god, now I can't remember names...) other folks from the shop, they've been in the right place at the right time for me this weekend, and I'm grateful.
If you live near Atlanta and you're looking for a yarn shop with an amazing amount of beautiful yarns AND tremendous heart, visit Main Street Yarns. What an wonderful staff & owner. I'm only sorry I couldn't see Darilee this time! And, I also have to give a shout out to Whole Nine Yarns, who I saw this weekend - love you guys, too! Sh*t I had a good time in Atlanta - for the most part...

Drew & Company

As always, it's a joy to see Drew! We had SUCH a great time signing books today - we really do have a nice energy together. And the bonus was seeing Marsha Polk on Thursday night for some drinks and dinner. She's a lovely person, and I had a great time catching up with her.

I totally humiliated myself today by not recognizing Sasha Kagan, but I DID tell her where the TNNA registration desk was, so that counts for something! Clueless but helpful, that's me!


Lufah said...

Hi, Annie! I lurk at your blog (this is my first time posting), but I was at TNNA today (my first time there, too) and saw you whilst you were book-signing. There was quite a line of people and you were really busy, but I just wanted to let you know you looked poised, calm, and collected. :) Wish I had been able to say hi, so I'll just say it here - Hi! Also, if you get a chance, check out Neighborhood Fiber Company's yarns at T16 (no connection to the company, just think Karida does some wonderful work).

June 02, 2007 10:30 PM  
Meredith said...

Woman, you are amazing! Bless you. And bless Gerry and the kids and the world. Hang in there, are loved and appreciated.

says a lurker who can never think of the right words...

June 02, 2007 11:20 PM  
Paula said...

Annie, You cracked me up with your "Can I please talk to the book salesperson now?". Funny how that inner editor hangs in there so tenaciously and wants to have her say no matter what it might be.

What fun TNNA sounds like!

I'm obsessively checking Amazon every day, just to see if Romantic Hand Knits has been released early. I can hardly wait!

June 02, 2007 11:24 PM  
TheKnittingTeen said...

The TNNA sounds like so much fun. I wish I could go. Its great your having a good time. If I could i would knite 20/7 I think I would need atleast four hours to my self. Anyways I couldn't read the whole thign because it is late but I will definitley get around to it. Your blogs is one of my favorite ever!!!

June 03, 2007 1:18 AM  
Wendy OC said...

Thanks for the link to Modern Yarn for the ssk magnet... just happened to need a skein or two of yarn while I was there.

Hang in there -- we're sending you all sorts of good karma!

June 03, 2007 5:02 PM  
kit said...

Ah, I'm another lurker too, and I just want to tell you I love you.

Your're funny, talented, a great writer, so creative and I would totally love hanging out with you. So many things you say I can really relate to.. (2 drinks going up to the room - hey I understand that!)

Feel the love and support from all of us anonymous readers, even if we just say it in a silent word when we read.

June 03, 2007 8:15 PM  
Gill said...

I second every word of the last comment.

The BBC here in UK did a feature on Multiple Myeloma this morning and I pricked up my ears and listened, because I "knew" someone affected by this condition - as I listened and learned more about it, I felt I understood more of what you and Gerry are going through and offered up a prayer that the wonder-drug which prompted the report is exactly that.

June 04, 2007 2:45 AM  
Lynne said...

hmm, you know given a choice of moving halfway around the world or what you are going through, I'll take moving halfway around the world anytime! Amongst the upsides for me is that sooner or later I hope to take one or two of your classes :-)
I hope the chat with the mayo clinic goes well. They are very good at what they do (their reputation is known here in Oz).

June 04, 2007 4:20 AM  
Auntly H said...

In case you missed it, Lime and Violet (and Alcariel) gave the flip books a rave review this (last?) week. No surprise to me, just wanted to you to be ready for some orders...

June 04, 2007 11:10 AM  
Tracy said...

Annie, I wish I were a trade editor so I could sign you up and publish your books! Sadly, I work in the (far less exciting) world of textbook publishing, and I think they'd look at me funny if I sneaked a lot of knitting into the history books....

June 04, 2007 12:23 PM  
Anonymous said...

Delurking to say it's ok to cry, It's not stupid or useless. It's an emotional release and given what you are going through at the moment you need that.
hang in there !
Rose in London

June 06, 2007 1:35 PM  
Spiff said...

Oh, Sweet Lord Above, if Annie has a hard time pitching to the aquisitions folks, maybe there is some hope for me yet!

My whole deal with going to TNNA this year was to meet with publishers and editors and I was doing the same thing in my pitches. I need to grow some cajones, I think. "Buy my idea! Grrr!! Pay me for my creative genius, for behold it is unlike anything you have ever witnessed! You are so lucky I'm bringing this to you and not some other publisher! I WANT MY ADVANCE DELIVERED TO MY HOTEL ROOM IN 4 HOURS IN CASH! YAR!"

I think I channeled a pirate a bit there at the end. I guess if that's what it takes, though...


June 13, 2007 12:05 AM  

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