I have been running straight out the last few weeks, but I still managed to take a day out for YARN! I went to Yarnporium in London on Saturday. Some time ago, I had bought a VIP ticket for the day, which let me attend three panel discussions and the marketplace. I took the train into London very early so I could avoid the crowds and shop in the marketplace early.
I think that I shopped with remarkable restraint. This is my haul:
The two skeins of pretty red yarn I purchased in the Indie Market – it is a Masham/Bluefaced Leicester blend, naturally dyed in Berlin/Brandenburg by Tulliver in the shade Scarlet. It is destined to become a hat: I am planning on knitting Hyggelig. They had a sample of this hat knit up in the yarn and it was so cuddly and warm I couldn’t resist. Plus, it really is the perfect shade of red.
Issue 6 of Laine and Kate Davies’ Handywoman were on my list, but Kate Atherley’s book magically found its way into my “buy” pile after I heard her speak in one of the panel talks. I must report, however, that one of the things she said has stuck with me: you should never, ever release a pattern that hasn’t been tech-edited. This made me cringe a bit at my three very definitely not tech-edited patterns available here on the blog. At some point, I will try to get that remedied. In the meantime, I suppose they will remain “wonky freebies” (bonus points for anyone avidly following the knitting world’s current hot topic).
I love the black-on-black Yarnivore T-shirt; and who couldn’t use a nice black tee? The project bag is shaped just right for stashing in your suitcase. (There may, or may not, have been a number of small knitterly accessories which fell into my bag and which will magically appear in my Christmas stocking.)
I felt very proud of myself for resisting the lure of all of that lovely yarn in one place, but I am starting to regret not buying some Walcot Yarns Opus – a new yarn developed and marketed by A Yarn Story, an LYS in Bath. This yarn was absolutely luscious; it is one that needs to be felt to appreciate. Since it was a new product, I was unsure about whether or not it would pill: I have been steadily moving away from soft yarns towards more “sheepy” hard-wearing yarns. Nonetheless, I can’t get this yarn out of my head.
They had it knit up into a lovely shawl, the Vila Wrap, and I went back to their stand three or four times to consider it:
I am thinking that I will likely give in and order it by post.
Two things that were reinforced for me at this event: (1) I hate “speckles”, and (2) “speckles” are everywhere. I’ve never seen so much speckled yarn in one place. Even when the base is lovely and the colours are gorgeous, this yarn holds no appeal for me. In one of the panel discussions (about small yarn producers) the panellists were asked: “We’ve had speckles, we’ve had breed-specific yarn, what do you think will be the next trend?” The first response (from Kelbourne Woolens) was: back-to-basics. I definitely feel myself headed in that direction.
I ended the day by meeting up with three knitters who I know from Ravelry but had never met before: Anne, Jane, and Maylin. We went out for coffee and it was lovely to meet them, and also to have some knitters to talk yarn with. I’ve been reading Maylin’s blog, Julia Hedge’s Laces, for some time now, and it is funny how well you feel you know someone from reading their blog.
It felt very indulgent to spend the day surrounded by knitting folk! I hope you’ve had a bit of indulgence too this week.
I’m not a speckle person either. I think it looks sloppy. Having dyed yarn for a few years, it always makes me think of dye that has broken.
Well, that makes at least two of us! I imagine the trend is about to make way for a new one.
What fun that you were able to meet up with friends! That is even better than yarn!!!
It was certainly fun. I don’t get to talk knitting that often in real life (though my family might refute that).
I always look forward to reading your blog. I’m amazed by your knitting skill and love your writing style. I don’t know how you find the time to do everything you do. Thank you for this blog!
Hi Cheri! How nice to hear this; thank you for letting me know!
Hi Kelly, Sounds like a wonderful day! This past weekend was the annual New England Fiber Fest. I had gone once before and went on Sunday. So nice to wander the aisles and see all the beautiful colors and fibers and lots of touching the yarn.
Hey Jossie! We both had a knitting indulgence last weekend! Hooray!
oh, what fun! I love ravelry meet ups and blog meet ups. You are right, you feel like you already know a person.
You got some lovely things and showed remarkable self restraint! That red yarn looks heavenly -the right red is very hard to find!
Hmmmm, speckles. I struggle with them. I want to love them. I love all the colors and the pretty skein. But I do find that getting just the right project can be tough. I do best when there is a solid color that is the main work, and the speckles are the little accent. Like beads on a silk gown. Just add a bit of shimmer.
I know just what you mean, Sarah. I think the speckled yarn often looks pretty in the skein, but I really don’t like the way the fabric looks. I am happy with my purchases, though – it was a successful day.
It certainly was a successful day! I am glad you had such fun
Laura from https://thecornerofknitandtea.com/ is a tech editor if you aren’t sure where to find one when you are ready. I thought Loch Ness Knit Fest would be overwhelmed with speckled yarn, but actually only one vendor had any and only a small selection. I have never used specked yarn before so bought one skein to see what all the fuss is about. It’s grey with pops of deep pink…absolutely no idea what I will make with it! Either socks or gloves maybe.
I hope you find something nice to make with it. I am a big fan of grey and pink. I think it will look better in small things, like gloves. And thanks for the tip!
I love your blog – it’s like talking to a fellow knitter. I struggle to buy wool these days as circumstances mean I do it all on-line. Those I knit for generally want light-weight, non-scratchy (my daughter is super-sensitive and finds felted tweed and Shetland wool scratchy) and really not too warm with the central heating they all live with. Any suggestions welcome!
Hi Deborah, thank you so much. I tend to be a bit wool sensitive, and my daughter Leah is more sensitive. I find Felted Tweed and Shetland wools to be a bit scratchy, at least for next to the skin. I also buy much of my yarn on-line. Quince & Co makes very nice non-scratchy yarn, and not too expensive either. I also think that Kate Davies’ Buchaille is nice – soft and warm without being overly scratchy. I knit a sweater with Nua earlier this year. It is a blend of wool and yak and linen, and I find it to be incredibly soft on the skin – I wear that sweater all the time. It is like a comfy sweatshirt (but possibly too warm). The Opus that I mention in the post was amazingly soft. I recently bought some beautiful yarn from Loop called Rosy Green Merino D’Arles. I haven’t used it yet, but it is lovely and soft. It would make great shawls. Wool and silk blends tend to be softer on the skin (and cooler, too). The problem with softer yarns is that they are more likely to pill, however. I wish you luck. If I find some more good non-itchy yarns I will try to mention them in future posts. Good luck!
I feel the same way about speckles.
It’s nice to know I’m not alone. Sometimes I worry that I am becoming quite curmudgeonly.
Haha! Well, to me speckles look like dying mistakes. I’m so glad we’re getting back to basics.
Indeed, you have shown admirable restraint, surrounded by gorgeous yarn. A nice choice of books and accessories, and this red yarn looks divine.
Ah, speckles! It seems like whenever a trend hits mainstream, it is slowly winding down. There was ombre, and fades, and now speckles. I’m ok with them on socks, or a fine stripes on a shawl maybe, but I wouldn’t knit an entire speckled sweater. To me, these just look old-fashioned.
I wonder what shape the back to basics trend will take? I think there is already a very strong basics trend in the knitting world, with more focus on local sourcing, eco-conscious yarn and natural dyes. It will be interesting to see how it further develops.
What a nice day! I agree that you showed admirable restraint in your shopping 🙂
Sounds a nice treat of a day and well done restraining yourself – so tempting when you find all the yarny yummy stuff all under one root!