CHA Winter 2012 Photo Recap + Yarn-y Facts

The Tree
Well, we pulled it off.  Two-and-a-half weeks before the show, Spinrite (the new owner of Caron) marketing exec Sara Arblaster and I decided that I should yarn bomb a 10 ft’ fake tree, live from the show floor. Normally, plans like these take months of planning. We however, like to live on the edge.
Thanks to the powers that be for approving it, the design wizardry of artist (and art director on Knitty Gritty) Dave Lowe who built us a tree, and to the knitting machine that helped me whip out the pieces to cover it lickety-split–our zany idea came to yarn-y life!
“Yarn Bombing” (aka knit tagging, knit graffiti) is a phenomena that saw a rise 5-7 years ago in the indie scene and has since gained popularity in the mainstream. Its purpose can be anything from making a statement against the stereotypical purpose of knitting/crochet, to challenge the modern perception of art, to offering a fun way to make a bright (but harmless) mark on an otherwise ordinary object.
Sheep(ish) tree, yarn bombed on the CHA floor.
My creation
I made most of the tree pieces on the Ultimate Sweater Machine
Here they are, finished and ready to be packed for the trip!

Screenshot of live streaming from the show floor.
 Now that I know how to do it, maybe I’ll do more live events (only that aren’t 4 hours long!)
Be-cozying in progress.
Final touch: fabric tree “carving”.
Fabric hanging: hand embroidered and machine sewn.

CHA Floor
Much like every convention in any industry, the CHA convention is wall to wall carpeting and booths. What makes this one different though, is an unusual amount of glitter, paint and yarn. Oh, and these guys.
Random CHA launch show.
Every year before the show doors open, a bag pipe procession plays through the aisles. Random.
Whipped up a Sheep(ish) cast cozy for Andrea from A.C. Moore
Andrea from A.C. Moore, kindly let me cover her cast in Sheep(ish).
Quick chat with my friend Deborah Norville at the booth. #CHAshow
Quick chat with pal, Deborah Norville.
Hope live body painting.
My friend Hope Perkins, painting a live model from the I Love to Create booth.
Last Minute Knitted Shade
Last minute lampshade cover, made on the USM the night before the show to fill space. Most of our stuff didn’t make it, so we had to do a wee bit of scrambling.
CYC Reception
White at CHA,  I attended the annual Craft Yarn Council reception. This is the meeting where the council presents to industry types, the data obtained through researching customer’s yarn habits for the previous year.  I always walk away with some interesting facts so this time, I thought I’d share a few. All information is based on the results of surveying 5,175 knitters and crocheters found via the web.

Out of the stitchers surveyed:

  • 63% both knit and crochet (This was a happy surprise to me! I’m so glad to see that the majority are bi-craftual. That keeps things interesting for us in the the design world.)
  • In 2011, 87% of knitters/crocheters said that they’ve taught at least one other person to stitch. (Recruiters!)
  • Hats and scarves are the most made projects (70-77% respectively)
  • Knitters and crocheters each averaged 33.4 projects in 2011. (This number blew me away! I suppose this speaks to the popularity of small projects. I’d also wager that many of these are charity projects.)
  • 98% of the stitchers surveyed, said they plan to make at least as many projects in 2012 as they did in 2011. (This is great news for local yarn stores, big box retailers, independent designers, publishers, and anyone else who’s in the industry or simply, loves the craft!)
For more information, check out the CYC website.

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