Needlework in Columbus

The spring/summer season in the Northwest has been less than pleasing, so you can just imagine my happy heart when we arrived in Columbus, Ohio, for the The National Needlework Association (TNNA)  trade show and the temps were w-a-r-m and s-u-n-n-y, except the days when we got a thunder and lightning show. Each year  in Columbus I am blown away by the beautiful flower pots  and displays.  I’m thinking heat and humidity have something to do with it. No wonder I can’t get ripe tomatoes up here!

I always look forward to this show. It’s the place to be for all that’s new in needlework! This time I packed my Takumi Combo Interchangeable Needles set  in case I had the opportunity to take possession of a hank of new yarn and  can start a new and exciting project. I also pinch myself a few times during the show when I realize I have 3 days where I am allowed to sit and knit while being paid. Can it get any better!?

The Columbus Convention Center entrance always features the most beautiful flowers!

The Elastic Yarn Thread packaging allows the thread to easily come off the spool as you work with it.

We were exited to introduce Elastic Yarn Thread at this show. You’re gonna love it! Knit or crochet with it along with your yarn and it will help your projects retain their shape! It’s perfect for socks, collars, waistbands, etc. — anything that stretches.

I don’t know where to start in sharing the new trends we noticed … it was color, color, color!! Bright, jewel tones along  with deeper, rich colors with more clear  colors  than the muddy colors of past seasons. The models we saw were simple but elegant and loose, flowing designs which fit this chunky body of mine! I am always surprised at the hand-dyed yarns and especially those that do the dying. I wanted to take each new color home to work with but the suitcase space (and bank account) is limited.

One of my favorite yarn companies is Pagewood Farm. Check out their website for creative yarns and their elegant silk scarves for needle felting. I was fortunate to return home with a few of their lace-weight yarns and am anxious to  get started on some lace patterns.

Another company to check out is Dreams in Color. (Their web site is under construction.)  These creative young women have a great color sense and it shows in their yarns. Anyone making socks with their beautiful hand-dyed yarns will have very happy feet. I sometimes hear my toes giggling when I wear my Dreams in Color socks!

If you haven’t seen the patterns by the awesome designer, Nora Bellows, for Noni, you MUST! This gifted young woman creates the kind of purse/bag designs that clearly say she holds the magic of childhood securely in her heart and spirit. All too often we lose that bit of magic – we forget to be awed by a perfect rainbow; the first crocus to pop through the snow in spring; a butterfly …  things as adults we take for granted.

Felted purse and flower by Noni designs.

White felted purse with red poppies by Noni Designs.

New tulip design felted purse by Noni Designs.

Another of Noni's great felted flowers - white chrysanthemum.

My photography skills don’t do justice to these awesome felted purses with breathtaking felted flowers!

I get so excited about the yarn portion of this show as knitting is my first love, but I don’t want to forget about the needlepoint section of the show. If you haven’t seen a hand-painted needlepoint canvas, take a trip to a needlepoint shop. The artistic abilities shown in these canvases take my breath away, but to see one canvas finished with all the fancy stitches and different fibers used in the process flat out knocks my socks off.

Long time friends and "acres" of needlepoint canvases

A display at TNNA featured the beautiful needlework pieces from times past. I like to imagine the women (who knows, maybe some men, too) that did these beautiful pieces, their life circumstances and the events the pieces were made for. There was one piece that caught my attention … every household should have one! The horse ear decoration!

Horse Ear Decoration, 1890-1910, macrame

Muslim Prayer Cap, 1970-1979

Child's Dress, 1875-1900

I believe all needlework projects are works of love of the recipient and of the art and should be treasured.

Many of you who attend trade and consumer shows see only the end of many hours of hard work preparing the booths and displaying the products being sold.  There are many hours of hard work where sweat is involved and one can become cranky. I thought you might like to see a before and after booth picture.

Carol Porter unpacking one of several cases.

"After" comes the "wow" factor.

Alicia Salazar, behind the table and facing the camera, is one of our talented demonstrators.

Till next time, happy stitching.

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