Getting Drawn In

I am a sucker for a good sales pitch. This doesn't mean that our house is full of junk that I've bought that we'll never use, not yet at least. What I mean is that I am fully prepared to be drawn in to an idea if the right person is speaking to me. Call it charisma, sales patter, passion, whatever you want, but if something sparks an interest, I'm in.

Most recently, this happened to me twice in a single day. Ok, so I was at Unravel, so of course I was likely to find someone to convince me that this or that was what my life was lacking. As it turns out though, it wasn't material items that drew me in, but the opening of my eyes to possibilities.

The first of these was during a workshop hosted and taught by Veera Välimäki on shawl design. I was there to brush up on my understanding of shawl constructions in advance of working on the Book of Haps. Trying my hardest to take notes, pay attention and make a start on a shawl, I had to give up part way through the workshop because I thought Veera was straying from what she'd prepared. For maybe ten minutes, I stopped doing anything except to listen as she very eloquently laid out her inspirations for design and her beliefs about what makes a shawl something far more than something to wrap around your neck. Very quickly, I could see that what she said made complete sense: there is a complete freedom in making shawls where gauge isn't an issue, where you can really put something of your personality into an object and where mistakes don't matter as what you end up with is likely to be wearable.

Fired up, I charged off, adding short rows in a contrast colour to the beginnings of a circular shawl. At this point, everything went wrong, since I hadn't really thought ahead and planned what I was doing. I will not finish what I started (at least not in the immediate future), but that really doesn't matter: Veera had planted a seed.

The second thing that drew me in was a bit more of a surprise. I'm not the most devoted knitter in the world, so when Rachel Coopey showed me a book on crochet I was more than a bit Crochet Yeah!, a book of designs by Kat Goldin and Joanne Scrace of The Crochet Project in Rachel's Socks Yeah! yarn. 

Unravel 2015 round up


We had a day out on Saturday. I took eldest to a yarn show for the first time, and the great news is that it was a big hit! I've been to Unravel three times now, and it's been great every year.

I was pretty restrained in purchasing terms. My main splurge was at the Textile Garden stand. You've already seen the red rockets and the blue buttons I've used on my recent cardigans, but I also picked up a few more sets for the button tin.

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Birds! Octopuses! Elephants! Owls! You can click on the pictures above to get a larger version. And if you're feeling button inspired, then head over to Textile Garden for hours of candy store fun!

I limited myself to one skein of yarn, which was some pretty Skein Queen Blissful Plump in a denim-y shade of blue. This is going to be knitted up pretty quickly, as it's planned for another POP! cardigan, probably teamed with the blue owl buttons above. I also couldn't resist another tin of stitch markers from Fripperies and Bibelots. I think I've bought a tin each year I've been to Unravel. They are my preferred stitch markers, but I have a habit of gradually losing them.



As ever, I almost completely forgot to take pictures of the show itself. I always get too caught up in enjoying the moment (probably no bad thing)! But I did manage one picture of Rachel and her gorgeous CoopKnits stand, with the new Sock Book (more on that another time...).


Of course going to a yarn show isn't just about the purchases... It's mostly about catching up with friends! As well as the many lovely stall holders that we chatted to (far too many wonderful friends to list - just check out the vendor list online!!), I was delighted to finally meet Anna Maltz (aka SweaterSpotter) - keep your eyes peeled for her GORGEOUS new collection! And I was also lucky enough to kidnap the wonderful Bristol Ivy and talked the hind legs of a donkey off her over lunch. Then to top it all off, we had dinner with Rachel, Nez, Felix and my publishing comrade Nic! By the end of the day my inspiration levels were sky high, and I was itching to get my needles and my editing pen going again. Luckily we didn't leave too late and eldest slept all the way home. Hurrah! Now to plan the next show... Possibly Ally Pally if we have the stamina!