Monday, 3 March 2014

Yarn and Laughter: Unravel 2014

This year at Unravel Knitting Festival, held at Farnham Maltings in Hamsphire, I simply had a blast.

Not only was it the dependable feast for the eyes and fingers(!), but also I met up with some incredibly lovely ladies who were only known to me via the world of cyberspace until this event. Plus the added bonus of meeting even more super-lovely and talented people from the world of yarn crafts.

Anyway, I arrived fairly early in the day to find that I managed to grab probably the last remaining car park space the Maltings had to offer.

Still bleary-eyed, I made my way to the coffee shop and promptly bought an Americano.

Hanging about in the foyer area, I decided I would drink my coffee and get my camera equipment out ready for the peramble, when I heard ... 'TANYA'. I spun around to see Sarah from Crafts From The Cwtch moving towards me with a whole host of other brilliant fiber folk including (from right to left) Ruth from Rock and Purl, Marinke from A Creative Being, Tink from Master of a Thousand Things, and Kate Heppell (editor of Knit Now magazine). Yes, that's me squatting down in the front because there wasn't room for me at either end ... amid hoots of laughter later on because I look like I've been photoshopped in afterwards!!!

Anyway not pictured here, but certainly not to be left out of the story, I was fortunate enough throughout the day to have met Ruby of Moley Makes, Gillian of Everything's Tickety Boo, Jacqui of Happy Making Designs, Sarah of Shabby Chic Sarah and Ashley of Country Rose Crafts ... all super-lovely in person (and extreme apologies if I've missed anyone out).

One of the highlights of the day was having Sarah's mum, the lovely Lynda, from TV's Great British Sewing Bee fame join us for a little while. This resulted in us having to stop our exploration of the Unravel event every couple of minutes whilst people had their photos taken with Lynda, or just generally hugged and congratulated her on her presence on the show. Being such a warm-hearted and bubbly lady, everyone was queued up for a photo opportunity like the one below, which was taken by Marinke (Wink for short) ...

Walking around the Maltings building was much the same as last year and I knew my way around much better, but it was still an interesting and eclectic mix of large and small rooms scattered about in higgledy-piggledgy fashion.

Early on in the day, I became a little obsessed with one vintage supplies stall, and spent an embarrassingly long time picking out buttons from a large tin.

I quite wanted to fall madly and deeply in love with some yarn, of which there was every imaginable type and colour known to man, but there was almost too much choice and I couldn't pick just one. Here's just one example of the (very) many displays of stunning yarn to choose from. This particular one is Sweet Georgia.

I was especially impressed with the stall and display from The Natural Dye Company, who were showing off their yarns using stunning geometric crochet afghans.

After lunch, we went along to the Best In Show room, where there was an array of handcrafted projects done by a range of ages and abilities. I especially liked the Harry Potter Illusion Knit Shawl.

Needing a break by the afternoon, we ventured outside the building to be greeted by glorious sunshine. So we had a little sit down, a drink and a nibble on some snacks. Much more laughter ensued.

Then it was back to it. There was more shopping time to be had.

At a stall called Tilly Flop I fell in love with a little knitting inspired temporary tattoo, in my favourite colour green ... so of course, I had to buy it.

And last but not least I knew that I must seek out the John Arbon Textiles stall that I loved last year, where I knew I would be able to buy some gorgeous fiber.

This is the rather large tub of bargain price fiber, where I had a good delve for potential purchases.

And to my joy, I found two 200g bags of matching greens and whites Broken Merino Tops, which I first of all cuddled, and then bought from the lovely John himself.

You couldn't move for people for a good few hours after arriving, so photos were a bit sparse, but by the end of the day, you could get a better feel for the place as the crowds abated.

At the end of the day, tired and weary, we had said our goodbyes to some of the others and it was just Tink and I left. I waited whilst she purchased an Unravel themed bag and then we exited the building, said our goodbyes and pootled off home.

All in all, a fabulous day out. I didn't spend much money at Unravel this year. Most of the wealth was spent in forming firm friendships with lovely crafty folks I've only ever befriended online until now.

I'm already looking forward to more fun and fibery-frolics next year :D

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