Thursday, January 18, 2007

Code 4 and other tales from Market.

Narrowly escaping the Tulsa ice storm, five of us "Loops Troops" left last Friday for the annual TNNA market in San Diego. We cheered for Billie Anne as we took off, because this was her first commercial air flight ever (and pregnant to boot - now that's a commitment to fiber). Luckily the first flight was smooth - but when we landed, it was about 40 degrees colder in Kansas City - brrrr! And San Diego wasn't much better, averaging 40 degree highs during the four days we were there. One restaurant didn't even HAVE a heater. Life is really tough for those Californians. Sigh.

Still, the show was our best ever. We made a big impact right off the bat, all entering the show with our "loopalicious" t-shirts. Sally Melville remarked that we looked like a gang - I agreed that all we needed were a bunch of chains and some semi-automatics. ("Be quiet and hand over the cashmere!")

We bought so many great things for spring - over two dozen orders were placed with different reps - I really can't list them all. Highlights included a big order of Louet 100% linen, Karabella laceweight cashmere, Migrations new lower-priced silk blend from Alchemy, tons of new patterns and some beautiful beaded yarn. We can't wait for you to see it! I also bought almost every color of three new yarns from Debbie Bliss - a 100% merino (yes, for spring!), a pure cotton and a cotton blend. This was a bit larger buy than I planned, but I had a great reason. Because as I was sitting down with our rep to place the order, who should round the corner but three lovely ladies:

That's Debbie Bliss on the left, Cornelia Hamilton next to her, Louisa Harding on the right. And me in the middle, trying not to faint or say anything completely stupid. Next thing I know, Debbie is offering to show me the yarn, despite our rep's offer to do it himself. I spent nearly an hour with her - she was just as lovely and down-to-earth and brilliant as you would expect. I told her all three of my children grew up in her designs, and that I have two of her projects on the needles right now. "Only two?" she quipped. Oh that's right, there's also that Pure Silk shell that still sits on the needles from last summer...Make that three. She even said she would look into visiting us at Loops soon. Fingers crossed...

Here is the beginning of the cabled jacket I started on the trip, in Debbie's Cotton Cashmere - a cotton/cash blend with beautiful softness, drape and definition (this is the back - the front has lots more interesting cabling):

After our first day in San Diego, we went to Rockin' Baha for some real California vittles. We were all so exhausted we could barely drink our margaritas (somehow we perservered.) Then we headed back to our hotel by the bay, and Gina proceeded to give Dawn a makeover, complete with a facial. Unfortunately, I only have a "before" picture - but suffice to say that Dawn was completely gorgeous afterward.

Saturday was the first day for the show floor to be open, exhibiting all the yummy yummy yarn. Ellen focused primarily on standing in line for free book signings, earning her the nickname "Book Ho." The downside of this was when she had to lug all the books through the airport on the return trip, resulting in this picture, below left.

Saturday night, we all attended an invitation-only event sponsored by Unicorn Books at a bar called Gallileo. This was the yarn world's equivalent of the Oscar after-party. We chatted with Knitty Gritty's Vicki Howell, Suss Cousins, Sally Melville and lots of other yarn royalty. Then we headed back to the hotel to collapse. Sunday it was another day on the show floor, followed by some non-yarn shopping in La Jolla. (The three San Diego newbies among us were shocked to discover that it's not pronounced "la jolla" but "la hoya.") We went crazy at lucy (a sporty clothing store, not the felted bag) and at Gepetto's, we bought some toys for our little ones stuck at home with the ice and the daddies (I think more than one of us had visions of Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" while we were away.)

Monday it was one last day on the show floor:

From there, on to the airport. I started with my usual pre-plane glass of wine, and had an experience perhaps even greater than the Debbie Bliss encounter: I GOT CARDED at the airport bar. Those of you in your 30s and beyond know exactly how blissful this can be. Nevermind that the bartender was at least 90 and clearly vision-impaired. Here's me with Gina after getting carded:

Those who know me know I'm not really a big drinker, but that San Diego to Phoenix flight made me grateful for the airport wine. After taking off over the ocean, the captain warned that the flight attendants would have to hustle with the beverage service, because it looked like there were "a few bumps" ahead. Next thing we know, we're rockin' and rollin' and the bell is going off and the captain says, somewhat nervously, "Flight attendants, take your seats! Code 4!" Now I don't mind the rockin' and I don't mind not getting my beverage and I don't even mind the flight attendants sitting down, but what the heck is code 4? Does the captain want a snack, or did we just lose an engine? Our airplane virgin, Billie Anne, took this in stride, but Dawn looked like I was feeling inside:

Still, we survived and made it through Phoenix to Tulsa, where that pilot executed an A+ perfect landing, to cheers from the entire plane. Guess we had all been imagining how they would land on 4 solid inches of ice. Hooray for runway shovellers!

One more thing: I met our "computer guy" at the show. His name is Daren and we all agreed he is as nice as he is good-looking. (Funny aside: Daren thought I was Ingrid because her picture is in the blog so much!). Daren helped us change our blog so it is now much easier to comment - so click on the comments button and let yourself be heard!

Happy knitting and stay warm (wool helps!),



Anonymous Anonymous said...

woowee us loppy travelers are POOPED!!! Market takes the yarn and needles right out of us!!! We had fun in the sun while everyone was back here in the Snow and Ice....haha.....I heard Code 4 is when Shelley is put on the no fly list for having too much wine and knitting needles in her hands!!

Make oVer queen and Book Ho

January 18, 2007 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger Trishia Shaw said...

Great story! You gals all look fabulous!

January 19, 2007 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Hey- I love your new profile! When I am in the car my family knows that Flight 26 is what's on. Spooky- I wonder what's on your iPod?? Glad you guys are back!

January 19, 2007 at 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shelley, I sure loved your story and felt as if I was with you. What fun! I think I'd have find out what a code 4 is.

January 20, 2007 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger CrochetingCricket said...

Much to my surprise, airport security and commercial air travel isn't so bad. Mind you, private aircraft and C-130 pilots NEVER use "Code 4"....

Billie Anne

January 20, 2007 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger char in clmr said...

REALLY enjoyed hearing about your trip. I am green, talk about THE CANDY STORE!!!
I am so new to this blog thing, I hope this gets posted.
Can't wait to see all the beautiful new yarns. You make it all so much fun. THANKS, Loops Troops!!
char in clmr

January 20, 2007 at 11:56 PM  
Blogger loretta123 said...

Can't wait to see all the "goodies" you ordered. I've never heard of the Code 4 either--yikes!

January 21, 2007 at 6:18 AM  

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