Richard and I arrived home last week from the 2010 American Specialty Toy Retail Association Convention and Marketplace, a four-day whirlwind held this year in Providence, Rhode Island. We drove there and back — an eight-hour trip each way — and I’m proud to say that I whined only once about the duration of the car trip (Richard didn’t complain at all, and he did the lion’s share of the driving, too.)
We saw lots of great new products, many of which we’ll be ordering in over the next while. I was really impressed by the Potholder Loom from Harrisville Designs, which produces beautiful results on the simplest possible set-up. The loom is a 7″ by 7″ square, with pegs around the perimeter onto which the weaver places the vertical loops of 100% cotton fiber. The horizontal loops are then threaded through using a metal weaving hook. The smallest kit sells for around CAD$20 or so, and produces two potholders in vibrant colours. Larger, party-sized kits and refill loops are available, too.
Harrisville also produces other fiber arts kits: one I really liked was the Felted Hat Kit, which provides enough fleece, wool rovings, and instructions to produce two felted hats for children or adults. This kit is described by Harrisville as “intermediate level”, and is recommended for children ages 12 and up. The approximate retail price is CAD$29.99.
The other kit that caught my eye was the Traditional Rug Hooking Kit, which produced a really cute wall hanging of three fluffy sheep in a green meadow.
This would be a super gift for a crafty child who is ready to explore more traditional yarn crafts, as the quality of the materials and instructions is very nice and the finished product is truly something that anyone would be proud to hand on the wall. This one will sell for about CAD$29.99 or so, and is recommended for ages 8+.
We’ll be placing our order over the next week or so.