The Sweatshop of Love Blog

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June, 2013

TNNA SWAG

I scored a ton of stuff at TNNA last weekend! You know, besides the crazy inspiration and lasting friendships. I mean real stuff!

Marly Bird Designer Dinner

Marly Bird Designer Dinner

Friday night I went to the designer dinner hosted by designer and podcast host Marly Bird. It was a lot of fun, and a great way to start the weekend – eating, drinking, and chatting with designers and yarn store owners from all over the country. The dinner had tons of sponsors, like Lion Brand and Red Heart, who gave us a lot of yarn to play with, like the new Ann Geddes baby yarnLion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in colors with metallic thread throughout, and Red Heart Filigree, a woven ribbon yarn.

More Yarn!

More Yarn!

There was a ton of neon yarn everywhere, which was really exciting because I’ve got a lot of plans for neon yarn for fall! I snagged a couple skeins of Schachenmayr Boston in neon yellow and pink!

Chic-a Knitting Bag Set

Chic-a Knitting Bag Set

Impossible to photograph but seriously awesome is the new Chic-a bag set I snagged! I got a Clear View Tote, Clear Front Zipper Pouch, and a Double Yarn Keeper, all matching! It’s super fun.

Chic a Ort Keeper

Chic a Ort Keeper

And I got a Chic a Ort Keeper! Bright yellow polka dots and blue floral print? It’s like they know me!

Eucalan Wash

Eucalan Wrapture Wash

I got a really nice Eucalan Wrapture no rinse delicate wash sample pack, perfect for blocking all my finished sweaters! I’m excited to finish my next project so I can us it! The jasmine smell is really nice and not too intense.

Red Barn Yarn and Namaste

Red Barn Yarn and Namaste

I also found a tiny Namaste Jemma pouch for my notions! Though I immediately put my change in there and have been using it as a much needed change purse. It’s so tiny! I’ve had my eye on a Namaste bag for myself for a long time and this little guy is only making me more anxious for one! Also pictured there is a little sample of some pretty Red Barn Yarn Powner River.

So clearly I’m going to be busy for a while! I’m so excited to dig in. First thing is first – organizing everything in all my yarn bags into my new Chic-a knitting bag set!

And of course a huge thank you to all of the TNNA sponsors. I’ve been introduced to so many fun new products that I can’t wait to try out!

My Meeting Point Body is FINISHED!

Front and Back! Front and Back!

Front and Back! Front and Back!

Looking good, right?! My Meeting Point is coming along, and so are a bunch of other knitter’s sweaters! Check out all the great projects, in all the different colors, over at the HK blog.

Tiny Body!

Tiny Body!

This week we were tasked (or, I guess I tasked myself!) to finish the front chart for the body of the sweater. It’s a few rows shorter than the back chart, so before I even got into the knitting I was finished. And now I’m so close to finishing this sucker I can taste it!

SUCH Fun Texture

SUCH Fun Texture

I’m pretty in love with how graphic this stitch pattern is looking. And yeah, it still looks tiny! But I’m still very positive it will block larger. And I’ll have a fun sweater in no time!

TNNA Recap!

I’m back in Chicago after attending TNNA for the first time this weekend. It was a crazy whirlwind of talking knitting and design with a ton of designers I admire, talking yarn with dyers I love, taking classes about the industry, and drinking. Yeah, it was a lot of all of that.

Me Rocking Nachtflater!

Me Rocking Nachtflater!

Outfits were one of the hardest parts of preparing for the trip obviously! Friday night I attended a Designer’s Dinner rocking a Holla Knits design – Nachtfalter by Stefanie Pollmeier, in Masi|Knits Bottoms Up. It was a big hit! The design is fantastic AND the color is amazing and eye catching! I was convinced I couldn’t wear that color with my pink skin, but kept being told that it looked great, so I got over it.

Cute Girl Squares!

Cute Girl Squares!

The second day I chilled and didn’t wear anything I made, which is what a lot of the designers were doing, so I’m kind of glad I took a day off from pimping to blend into the crowd a little bit! But the third day I was back at it with a new design that hasn’t even come out yet! Here I am rocking my new pattern for the soon to be released Holla Knits Crochet Collection! But more on that soon.

Me and Hilary!

Me and Hilary!

Monday I left the show at 10:30, so I spent the morning running around saying goodbye to everyone! Wearing my 3 color WORK+SHELTER Lace Striped Summer Sweater, of course. Here I am with The Yarniad designer Hilary Smith Callis! We talked a lot of baseball all weekend, with Stacey Winklepleck at Knit Picks. Our baseball talk cleared the bar every time!

Rohn Stron, Teresa Gregorio, and Alison Green

Rohn Stron, Teresa Gregorio, and Alison Green

One of the most important things to do in Columbus is eat as much Jeni’s Ice Cream as you can. And there were 2 within walking distance of the convention center, so eat ice cream we did! Designer Rohn Strong, and designers and my roommates for the weekend Teresa Gregorio and Alison Green, and I made it through the Columbus Pride Parade on Saturday to get some ice cream for lunch.

Me and Teresa!

Me and Teresa!

And Teresa and I got one more pic before leaving Monday morning.

TNNA was basically awesome. We all kept referring to it as knitting summer camp for adults, because we just knit and talked knitting, and were hanging out with our modern pen-pals! The majority of the people I was hanging out with this weekend I had never met in person before, but considered them friends because of the magic of the internet, so it was so fun meeting people in real life and seeing their 3D faces.

We talked about boys and food and TV of course, but also about designing, and the challenges of being your own boss, and working alone all day. About wholesaling our patterns, and being your own marketing and social media manager. About getting screwed over by publications and yarn companies, and about which ones we’d love to work for forever. We learned about new products and new companies doing amazing things.

More than anything? We talked about COLLABORATION. That magical, beautiful word that is scary and awesome. I’m SO excited about the potential collaborations I’ve now got down the pipeline, both for me and The Sweatshop of Love, and my baby Holla Knits.

It might just be true! Nothing is as good for your business as talking about it to people in person, and talking about people doing what you are doing to bring your industry forward.

More soon! Much, MUCH MUCH MUCH much more soon. I’ve got enough in my brain now to last me a nice long while, even though I’ll be trying to get it out of there as quickly as possible.

Book Review: Knitted Letters by Catherine Hirst and Erssie Major

Knitted Letters by Catherine Hirst and Erssie Major

Knitted Letters by Catherine Hirst and Erssie Major

I was so happy to find a copy of Knitted Letters: Make Personalized Gifts and Accents with Creative Typography-Based Projects by Catherine Hirst and Erssie Major on my doorstep the other day. I had never heard of this book – probably because most of the projects inside of it haven’t made their way to ravelry yet – but flipping through it really made me start to think about how to work words and letters into my knitting.

"CAFE" French Press Cozy

“CAFE” French Press Cozy

So this book includes patterns for 30 projects somehow involving words and letters. Anything from ‘CAFE’, the french press cozy above that immediately went in my queue, to a variety of fun pillows, household items, and warm weather accessories and garments.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

I love working knitting into home decor, and I thought this Latin play on Home Sweet Home was a nicely snobby way of putting some simple St st on your walls.

L O V E Pillows

L O V E Pillows

It’s no wonder these textured L O V E pillows made it on the cover (though naturally I’d knit them as a stash busting project in COLOR) – they are really fun and I know a million women who would have these displayed on their bed or couch. I was hoping each letter would be charted out in a similar fashion so you could spell any word or name with these fun textured letters, but the L O V E are the only letters included.

Intarsia Charted Letters

Intarsia Charted Letters

But you will not be hard up for letter options with this book! There are color work charts for eight different fonts, upper and lower case letters. These circus letters are my favorite!

So if you are into words and letters, pick up a copy of Knitted Letters. I’d love to link to a product page so you can see every project, but a quick search came up empty. I know I’ve favorited the book on ravelry here, so hopefully each fun project will make it’s way there soon! Otherwise make a note to look it up the next time you are in your favorite bookstore and give it a flip through.

A huge thank you again to Chronicle Books for sending me a copy! It’s certainly going to find a happy place among my most used knitting books.

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More Meeting Point Progress, and TNNA!

Meeting Point Back

Meeting Point Back

My Meeting Point is chugging along! This week is Week 3 of our KAL and I’ve already finished this week’s goal of finishing the back chart.

The Meeting Point!

The Meeting Point!

I’m loving the fabric of this sweater! It’s such a fun textured juxtaposition between the netting stitch and the garter stitch. I’m itching to finish!

I’m hoping I can blow through the rest of this sweater in order to wear it to TNNA this weekend! TNNA is The National NeedleArts Association, and they are holding a trade show this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, and I’m going! I’m jumping on the MegaBus, of course, and heading down Friday. I’m staying with designer Teresa Gregorio of Canary Knits, who I’ve never met in person but who I consider a friend. TNNA is where I plan on meeting a lot of designers and dyers I consider friends but have never met!

I’m super excited to hang out with a bunch of knitters and designers and talk yarn all weekend, but am also pretty nervous and anxious. My goal for the weekend is to make more connections with yarn companies and dyers to line up more yarn support and promotion for Holla Knits. It’s not that I’m bad at talking about myself, but it’s hard for me to stop asking questions about other people in order to shift conversation to me and what I do! But I’m going to try.

I’ll have pics and let you know how it goes next week! I’m sure I’ll be tweeting and instagraming the experience, so follow me there for updates. Wish me luck!