Showtime! Unravel 2014.

It’s officially the start of Yarn Show Season here in the UK, and for the first time in several years I can have actual ‘holidays’ to go to them, which is really exciting!

My first one was Unravel at The Maltings, Farnham – it’s now in its sixth year, but it is the first time I’ve been and I really enjoyed it. The venue is a lovely Arts Centre and lots of attention has been paid to detail.

The entry was guarded by a Sentry Pigeon…

and there was Crowd Control at the ready too!
The inside was decorated with pom poms and lots of lace shawls hanging on the walls.

The first stand that caught my eye was Jennie Atkinson, who had stunning samples and these beaded scarf kits in gorgeous boxes…

Jennie Atkinson Knit Kits

Ideal for gifts – or just to spoil yourself!
I was sooo tempted, but it was the first stall and I had to pace myself.

It was so unbelievably crowded on the Saturday morning that it was very difficult to move. Great for the exhibitors, although they must have felt as if they were being mobbed!

I managed to fight my way through, although my Game Plan for visiting stalls went out of the window and I just went with the flow. I found my way to John Arbon Textiles, where I fell in love with the colours of the Exmoor Sock Yarn – they glistened and shone. I couldn’t get back to pick any up, but I hope to make it to his Spring Clean at the end of March.

It was a bit of a blur for a while after that. I was trapped with the tide of people and had a whistle stop tour of the ground floor, taking in Susan Crawford, Purl Alpaca (where I was delighted to see my Crochet Necklace pattern for sale!), The Natural Dye Studiopom pom quarterly and many more.

After a quick cup of coffee (plenty of tables, good coffee, normal prices!) I was ready to go again.

It seemed to have calmed down a little, so I had time to mooch. I met the lovely ladies on the Alafoss stand, fell head over heels (excuse the pun!) for Coopknits Socks, a sock pattern book by Rachel Coopey, drooled over the old favourites and new additions to the Fyberspates Family and chatted with the gals over at The Little Grey Sheep. I hadn’t heard of them before but was told that they go to a lot of the smaller Indie shows, whereas I was usually only able to go to the big commercial events. I love bright colours in muted tones, so their entire colour palette appealed to me, and I liked that they offered smaller skeins at £4 a pop – ideal for colour work, and I think I might be visiting them soon so I can play!

All this, and I hadn’t yet finished ONE ROOM!!

So, after another coffee, a deep breath and some fresh air, I went back in.

I had to go visit some old favourites – the amazing colour ways at Easyknits (who had fab colours this year, but my camera wouldn’t play ball!), the simple shades and squishy yarns at Belinda Harris-Reid (who burst into impromptu song for me later in the day – I still have ‘Dream the Impossible Dream’ running through my head even now, thanks B!), rainbows at Skein Queen (sorry for interrupting your lunch there, Debbie!) and so much more.

There were some lovely designs on show too. Alison Ellen is a genius at construction and I will definitely be looking into her work.

It was also a treat to meet Fiona Morris  – I spotted her Tumbling Lace Cardi sample before I spotted her, and it was lovely to meet a designer I had worked with but never *seen* before! Sorry I didn’t get a photo. You can catch up with her latest news and designs on Facebook or Ravelry. All of the rooms were buzzing and it was lovely to hear so many crafty people being passionate about their art. Or should that be arty people being passionate about their craft? (Delete as applicable!)

The other rooms were filled with still more loveliness…Sparkleduck, Purlescence, Toft Alpaca, Hilltop Cloud (oh, if only I could spin) – well, my head was spinning from colour overload and…

I wanted ALL THE THINGS!!

Unfortunately, I knew my Bank Manager would not approve, so I limited myself.

I didn’t have any socks on my needles as a portable project that day (and blankets are So. Not. Portable!) so it had to be CoopKnits Socks.

And sock yarn.

Oh, and Knitting Without Tears because I don’t have that one yet…so…

My Unravel Haul!

Ta-Da!

I was a very, very good girl.

Luckily, I have a little record here of all the lovely-things so I can visit them when I have learnt how to make money grow on trees. Until then, I will content myself with warm feet.

Which won’t be long now*…

Dawlish Socks by CoopKnits

Until next time,

With love,

*although that yarn is from Bat’at, and has been patiently waiting for The Perfect Sock Pattern for several years now. I think we found it!

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