Earlier this summer I took a trip to Cleveland, Ohio for the TNNA Summer Show and took my audio recorder to give podcast listeners a chance to find out more about the event. In these days of Instagram where you can follow knitting celebrities, you might wonder what TNNA is all about and if you can go as a non-industry professional. You can hear all about it on episode 103 of the VeryPink Knits podcast.
In short, no, the show is not open to non-industry professionals. You have to be a member of TNNA (The National Needlearts Association) and in order to join you have to be working in the industry as a yarn supplier, accessories provider, blogger, teacher, or yarn store owner. It's a very niche group! You can't buy yarn like at a yarn festival that is open to the public, products are only on display for shops to order their inventory for the year. You certainly can pet it though.
There is an event called "Sample It" where the exhibitors have the option of selling special packages made for the show. You'll see the photo below of people lined up for the event. There was excitement in the line and I may have picked up a few items...
I took a course with Kate Atherley on how to become a tech editor - someone who edits knitting patterns. If you ever get a chance to learn from her, do not hesitate. She's an energetic natural-born teacher who is obviously passionate about our craft.
By the end of the event, I made some great connections and learned some things about the business. Got to take a 2 Caseys photo with Casey from PortFiber who I interviewed about her work with Cashmere People Yarns.
I was surprised to find out many yarn shops are not members, but as they create more opportunities for yarn shops to participate in events like Local Yarn Store Day and Knit in Public day, I expect to they will see membership grow.