Finding Inspiration, Tips for Knitting Events & Some Yarn

One of the things I've loved about An Inspired 2015 has been the sense of ease that it has afforded me. Giving myself permission to explore creativity has meant that this weekend I viewed the knitting show Unravel with different eyes. When it comes to knitting shows, I've noticed a growing sense of franticness, almost like we have to attend, we have to buy, we have to be the first, we have to be in-the-moment-with-the-thing-that'- happening-that-everyone-MUST-be-part-of.... it can get a bit overwhelming. 

This weekend though I wandered happily and took in the stands as a whole. For their part, the Unravel team had done a wonderful job of creating the space and time to browse meaning healthy foot fall for vendors without any frustration to us as visitors. I saw the amazing efforts vendors had taken to make their stands enticing and I breathed in all that colour and texture with delight.

Mostly, I TALKED. I think it took me an entire morning to get upstairs! There were so many people wanting to chat about their latest projects, their favourite things and share tales and I loved hearing it all. Rest assured, there is some seriously juicy content on its' way over the coming year, starting this weekend with a podcast interview with one of the Unravel's teachers, Bristol Ivy, about her knitting inspirations. 

(In case you missed it, I shared just a few of my highlights on Instagram)

Kettle Yarn Co Waltham Aran

I came home with just a little treat- 2 skeins of the Kettle Yarn Co's Waltham Aran (100% BlueFaced Leicester) in the 'Peaky Blinder' colourway. I've been wanting to try some of Linda's hand dyed beauties for quite a while now so I was thrilled to find just the right shade of grey for a slouchy warm hat next Winter. 

There are a lot of events in the UK calendar and each with their own unique feel. Unravel always marks the start of event season for the year and I often feel that it is a real litmus test of things to come. If Unravel is any indication of the shows 2015 holds, it's going to be a really exciting year for vendors and visitors alike- the vibe was great! 

If you're thinking about attending a yarn show this year, here's my top tips to make sure you enjoy it!

  1. Research- Travel, tickets, purchases, workshops... it soon adds up. Take your time to look at what you will be getting from each show and plan accordingly. It's easy to get sucked into 'but every is going!' but buyer's remorse is yuck so just take a breath and think about what you want from your making this year. You'll enjoy the show a lot more if you do. 
  2. Nourish- Most events have some on site catering but it's wise to pack water and some nibbles. I'm always that person nibbling squashed flapjacks or an equally mangled satsuma as I just know that I'll get a case of the grumpsies otherwise!
  3. Be prepared- I usually update my Ravelry queue just before I go to a knitting show, adding in stash I already have patterns in mind for, projects I wish to have yarn for and the yardages and fibre types I might need. This helps me plan if there's something particularly special I want to get first. You can see my queue notes here. (always check for wifi and take a charger for your smart phone if you use this method!)
  4. Take it all in- Vendors work hard to impress you and showcase their best side- it's extremely inspiring and if you don't have a particular purchase in mind why not take a circuit and see what speaks to you? Chat to vendors, enjoy their knowledge and see what takes your fancy.  
  5. Keep it together- Events are as much about the people as about the products so take time to meet, chat about your day and share ideas. I get most of my blog and podcast content for the next 3-6 months from attending just one show and it recharges my good feeling about the making community every time. 

So what shows will you be attending this year? What do you enjoy most about them?