Dena Lenham, aka KreinikGirl, is Creative Director at Kreinik Manufacturing…
The Kreinik crew just returned from The National Needlearts Association (TNNA) summer tradeshow in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is one event where businesses in the needlework industry retail shops, professional designers, teachers, manufacturers, publishers can see new products and place orders to be delivered to your creative hands.
TNNA’s summer show has a little bit of needlepoint and counted thread/cross stitch, but it is mostly a Big Yarn World. This is the main event for knitting, crochet, felting, spinning and weaving businesses. I happily fondled luxurious skeins of wool, alpaca, possum and yak at the show. It’s sort of an alternative petting zoo, and no animals were harmed in the making of the yarn for the threads we’ll be wearing this winter.
Industry tradeshows are open to businesses only, not the retail public. You are not allowed to photograph most things, but we got permission from several vendors to share a few goodies and good ideas with you. So here are my five take-aways from the May 2014 TNNA needlearts industry show:
1. Kreinik has new thread colors. Golden Cabernet, Olive, Chardonnay, and Pimento were on the menu for new colors in Kreinik 1/16â€³ Ribbon, Very Fine #4 Braid, Fine #8 Braid, Tapestry #12 Braid, and Medium #16 Braid. The cheery Lemon Grass and Blue Grass shades now come in those thread sizes plus Blending Filament.
2. Silk is the fiber of the year. In 17+ years of attending this show, I’ve never seen so much silk yarn, silk blends, and silk inquiries as I did at this show. People in all geographical areas like it because it can keep you warm or keep you cool. It feels great, plus it takes dyes on a deeper, richer level than other materials so the color options are amazing.
3. Possum yarn is better than what you think it is. There are few places in the world where you can meet someone excitedly saying, “You’ve got to feel this possum yarn.” We were skeptical, but reached for it anyway. Wow, nice. How can that be? It’s Australia and New Zealand’s possum, which is totally different from the opossums at my grandpa’s lake house (ew). We saw quite a few possum yarn blends at this show, so look for this fiber to make its way from down under to shawls and scarves near you.
4. Needlepoint is better than ever. In mere decades, stitchers have gone from wool-only cushions to making jewelry, belts, purses, pillows, toys, home decor and more with layers of metallic threads, silk ribbons, beads, feathers and so many other materials. Needlepoint painted canvases (tapestry) are paint-by-number for those who color outside of the lines. Don’t know how to fill in a canvas with all the fun? Just ask a needlepoint shop owner, or one of the many “stitch guide writers” creating the recipes for some of the most exciting embroidery around today.
5. Creativity thrives in the hands of indie designers. Our booth neighbors were Doodlin’ Around Design, a woodworking family with gorgeous embroidery frames and tools. Steven at StitchStudio is combining his cross stitch love and software know-how to create an app we all want right away. Susan at Red Gate Stitchery was recognized in the industry Innovation Awards for her cross stitch revival-ing. Renee Magee raised the money in one month to bring her insanely clever knit-themed totes and tees to the show. Don’t even get me started on Beth Gantz Designs‘ gorgeous, wearable, needlepoint jewelry… It’s a big creative world out there, and home-grown businesses are making it better.
Dena Lenham, aka KreinikGirl, is Creative Director at Kreinik Manufacturing Company, a family-owned, USA-based business that manufactures high-quality yarns and threads made of metallics, silks and real metals from their West Virginia factory. Dena’s monthly column, Kreinik Calling, sheds light on the fascinating fibres that we all use and love.