Last week I had the privilege to attend the American International Toy Fair as one of the most sought after guests -- the buyer for a successful toy store. My coworker and I spent five days searching for gold among thousands of vendors, most selling a really great products. In many ways it was hard to weed through everything to find what we were looking for, but we tried, getting cozier with some items than with others.
I admit that when we left I did not anticipate having as much fun as I did or being as well received. We are both fairly young for our field, without kids, and then there is of course my pink hair. But we learned quickly that in fact we were not as unusual as I had worried. In fact the young families to whom we market, more environmentally conscious and determined to move past gendered stereotyping, now have a lot of purchasing power and thus made us extremely relevant. It was an exciting position in which to find ourselves.
It was really exciting to see all of the fibery goodness coming out this season. Including pom pom kits!
I wish this photo had turned out, but I was trying to snap it around people who were running over to touch it. And believe me, the it was just as cozy as one would imagine a pom pom ottoman to be. There were also weaving kits, knitting kits, and "here's yarn, what do you want to do with it" kits. Nothing with 100% American wool just yet, but based on the quality of the acrylic I tested out, I'd say that is on the horizon.
But lest you think our trip was all work, let me assure you. We made sure to take time to have fun, including heading out to Brooklyn where it seems no one knits in bars. Honestly, I doubt it is that unusual. I do it here all the time with hardly a second look, and Brooklyn is way more hip than we are. But that did not stop one of the more entertaining encounters of my knitting life. We were sitting at a table drinking a beer and I pulled out my knitting, as I am wont to do. The Olympics were going and I was woefully behind on my entry for the Short Track Shawls. I was knitting happily away when we attracted the attention of a fellow "artist." Now I don't doubt this guy is an artist of some sort, but I found it very hard to figure out what he does outside of yell drunkenly at people in noisy bars. What I did gather was that he was personally offended that I do not offer my knitting up for sale. I told him it's something I do for the love of the craft, which he seemed to understand, but continued to insist that I should get "one of those Etsy sites." Seriously, why didn't I think of that? But then again he's the guy who has a traveling museum of Michael Jordan memorabilia but does not know that Jordan was from and played for Carolina. In any case, somewhere on Instagram, in an account I could not spell, is a photo of me and my knitting with these guys. Let me know if you find it?