I’m still sifting through my notes and pictures, but I do have a few observations from the CHA show (which actually is still going on; I believe today is the last day).
So first, it dawned on me that crafting is a honkin’ big industry. I’ve reported on the industry, but haven’t really had the chance to witness the industry at work. I know it’s been hard hit (CHA veterans told me this year still looked small than years past, but better than last year). I’m so happy that people want to make things and want to spend tons of money doing it. Yes, it creates waste. Yes, it’s another form of consumerism. But nonetheless, I love to see that drive to create in action.
Secondly—and this is what I’m most excited about—retro is huge. HUGE. I’d like to think that I invented this trend. It’s my blog, so I can say that I did. But regardless of who got the ball rolling, it is rolling and rolling fast! I saw countless retro-themed booths, from yarn to scrapbooking. My absolute favorite display was this Melissa Frances booth.
I want this pink stove for my house! And the apron too!
another Melissa Frances display
I also liked the retro goods at October Afternoon (somehow I forgot to take a picture, but luckily, they’ve got images on their blog, here). A sales rep told me they were in the process of doing fabric, so that’s something to keep an eye on!
There were great booths from yarn manufacturers too. Red Heart Yarns was celebrating its 75th anniversary, and had a lovely birthday tent, complete with great retro ephemera, and a dress made from a retro pattern. Their knitted cakes were luscious, too.
Inside the Red Heart birthday tent. I vaguely recall my sister having a look like this circa 1979. Love it!
seriously, can I eat this?
Lion Brand Yarn had an amazing display too, with beautiful graphic shapes wrapped in yarn, along with colorful furniture. I got the chance to talk to their creative director, and she talked about the new trend of yarn wrapping—using yarn as an art form. I’m pretty intrigued by this, even though I’m not much a knitter (though I did have a chance to brush up on my knitting skills, thanks to fellow Craftside author Elanor Lynn, who contributed to Modern Knits, Vintage Style, and was doing demos in the Craftside booth).The Caron booth provided some lovely fashionable eye candy as well. Ooh, and I loved the DMC sweet shop display! From fabric to yarn to felt to floss, companies have finally realized the awesome marketing potential of linking their product with something sweet. Even if we can’t actually eat the product, the visual is so strong that it draws us in. Pretty genius actually.
That’s all for now. I still want to write about my new-found love for cheap craft felt (yes, really) and my crush on keynote speaker Nick Bilton, and the many lightbulbs that went off in my head as he was speaking.