Monday, June 15, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

Hi Knitters,
I'm home. There is nothing better than coming home. Even a couple of quick days away is enough when I am alone on the road. Even though my kids are getting older I still miss them just as much as when they were little although I was never gone much when they were little. 

I had a fantastic time at TNNA. It was a whirlwind of fun and yarn and chit chat. What a worthwhile trip. I feel very lucky that I got to attend at all. It was all kind of cooked up at the last minute so my thanks to Blue Sky and Artisan Books for their continued support.
To give a quick recap of events, it all started on Saturday morning with taping an interview for the lovely Candi Jensen, the producer of the Emmy nominated PBS show, Knit and Crochet Today.

This was interesting and fun and different. I have done live t.v. shows for my books and that can be nerve wracking because you only have that few minutes and you don't know where the host is going to go exactly. My strategy is always to, in a nice way, lead the interview where I wanted it to go. I would try to move the discussion along to get my intended points in. I would come in with a plan in mind. Sometimes it would work great and a few times not. This time I had no idea what to expect but these points that were given ahead of time were helpful:
1. Wear a bright color, not all black or all white. I wore my cardigan with the tiny crochet flowers and a bright melon-colored tank underneath, very springy.

2. The interviewer (Candi) is off screen and will ask you questions. These questions are edited out so it appears that you are just talking when the show airs. This means you need to restate the question in your answer so people can understand what you are talking about. I think I did okay at this.

3. Arrive camera ready in your wardrobe and makeup. Everyday makeup was suggested. However, when the camera man looked at me onscreen apparently I didn't have quite enough makeup on. My everyday makeup is nothing or next to nothing so the camera man wrapped me up in a big piece of plastic, like a big sandwich, and gently smeared some powder on my forehead, nose and chin. He told me it was extra-important to blend due to HD. Yikes. That was funny to me. I can't imagine that it looked good but whatever. My kids got a kick out of that.

4. They would film about 15 minutes of you talking and then edit and splice in your book or projects or whatever you were talking about later. The final version will be about 6 minutes long or so.
It was fun, I talked a lot and I hope I sounded okay. I can't think of anything that went too wrong so I am pretty sure it will be fine. What a memorable experience. I am such a PBS fan. Growing up in my era there weren't all of the kids programs like there are now and I watched a ton of PBS as a kid and now I still check in all of the time to see what is showing even with all of the other channels we get nowadays. It is always good solid t.v. My dad was a huge PBS watcher and he would contribute every time they had a fundraising event on the channel. I found that admirable.

Anyway, I'm a bit off track so back to the show, the best part was the "green room." I first came in behind Louisa Harding. She's so elegant. In the room was Robyn Chachula, who is about the cutest thing you will ever see, and she is a regular expert on the show. Robyn is friendly, helpful and fun. I am glad I got to meet her. Sitting in the green room was Marlaina Bird, the fantastic host of the Yarn Thing podcast. I never miss an episode, be sure to check out her line up of interviews, it's awesome. She is an up and coming designer landing projects in all of the major knit and crochet magazines. She's in just about every issue. Marly is a good egg and a positive force in the yarn world. There is a lot in store for her in the future. It was good to meet her, too.

Sally Melville was in the room when I got there along with an ex-Workman publicist, Kim Small. It was great to see Kim again. Brett Bara, so sharp and nice to meet, is the host of the show and the editor of Crochet Today, and Vogue Knitting leaders Carla Scott and Trisha Malcolm were in the green room, too. It was fun to see and meet all of these great women.
I spent a little time in the Spud & Chloë booth and that was a treat. It was so busy in there, absolutely non-stop filled with people, which is a great sign. The booth was gorgeous just as you would expect it would be. The Blue Sky area was elegant and beautiful and the Spud & Chloë was camping. That sort of sums it up. I loved it all, just soaked it up and tried to burn it into my memory.

I had a great book signing with R & M book distributors. It is always fun and good to meet people and I got to hear a lot of terrific Itty-Bitty knitting stories. Thanks to everyone for coming. I got to meet Maureen, who works at Workman, she kindly checked in on me to make sure everything was going okay. I also had the chance to catch up with Amy Greeman, who is a fantastic and talented director of publicity for Storey publishing, which is a Workman company along with Artisan. I got to meet the illustrious Gwen Steege from Storey, which was a thrill for me. I have always seen her name on books throughout the years. You will recognize her books, look here. Now I look her up and see she has a couple of chocolate chip cookie books to boot. I knew I liked her. Gwen is truly lovely.

I got to chat with Kristin Nicholas for awhile which is always fun. I will post more about this later. She has some cool new stuff brewing I want to tell you about. I loved seeing her again.

On Saturday night I went to dinner with the Blue Sky Alpacas/Spud & Chloë people and the Purl/Purlbee people, Joelle, Jen and Page. It was fun to meet them. I was especially glad to get to meet the Blue Sky staff in person. They are a lovely, friendly and fun group plus they were all so welcoming to the new girl in town (me). Plus they are all loaded with tons and tons of talent no less. It is a fortunate group to be associated with. I had a great time with them all.

Okay, that little hat and sweater is one of the new Spud & Chloë patterns I designed and knitted for the launch. I called it Mon Petite Poire (in French) translated, My Little Pear. They changed the name to Baby Bartlett Set, which is cute, too. It is an easy, peasy knit made in Fine (sock weight yarn) on US size 3 needles. The sweater is a boatneck style with stretchy ribbing at the neckline and a generous opening for easy on and off. Starting off in the round and separating at the armholes makes for a simple body. The sleeves are knit in the round so there is minimal seaming. The applique is optional, it would be cute plain, too. The hat alone is a great sock yarn stash buster. It is the perfect sock yarn baby hat you can whip up in a jiffy. The pattern will be available in your local yarn shops and online very soon.

Look here to get all of the information about the Baby Bartlett Set!

I reformatted the free Cupcake Pincushion pattern with a better template with the help from my son last night. It got thrown up on the blog before I had double checked the pattern lay out. We are learning as we go along. It is much better now. Here is the new version if you are interested. Click on the link at the bottom of the post to get the downloadable pdf.

Enough already! The laundry is buzzing, the house is a mess, kids are swimming and in and out, groceries are needed, knitting work is know how all that goes, right?

Happy Monday, Knitters!
best, susie