Summer has arrived and with it a host of yarn shows of all shapes and sizes. We think they can be a knitter’s paradise, so here are some reasons we love them:
- Spotting knitters on the way to the show. If you travel to a yarn festival by public transport you can play the game of working out which of your fellow passengers is on their way to the same event. The ones knitting on the train are probably an easy spot and then there are those in beautiful shawls and cardigans. But look out for people with large empty shopping bags as well – they may be off for some major stash enhancement. One word of warning, if you don’t know where the show is, ask rather than hopefully follow someone who you think looks like a knitter.
- Which brings us to our second reason – meeting new knitters and other yarnies. At a yarn show it is perfectly acceptable to walk up to a complete stranger, compliment them on something they are wearing and follow up with searching questions about the pattern and the yarn. It is also fine to admire the purchases of someone at an adjoining table in the café area – this can lead to an interesting show-and-tell session accompanied by much squishing of yarn.
- The amazing range of colours – on the stands and on the people. A yarn show is a feast of colour guaranteed to lift your spirits.
- The yarn. A yarn show is a great opportunity to check out and compare lots of yarn from companies of different sizes, to look at spectacular colours and feel different blends and fibres and fight the urge to buy everything. Plus there are often show offers and bargain bins to be explored.
- Chatting to the stallholders. The yarn community is very friendly and if you go to yarn events regularly you will get to know some of the stallholders. It is fascinating to chat about the new things they are doing and find more about how they work.
- Workshops. Yarn events also give you the opportunity to sign up for workshops on a wide range of techniques and subjects. You can learn from experts and have a go at your first lace project, sock or other challenge, or find about different cast-ons or the best way to sew up your jumper.
- There are others ways to learn alongside formal workshops. You are likely to find demos from various guilds or on stands – if you have always wanted a go at spinning on a wheel for example, a yarn show might well be your chance.
- Sheep and other livestock. At outdoor or more rural yarn festivals like Woolfest or Fibre East you may also be able to learn more about where your yarns come from, admire the animals and see shearing demonstrations.
- Discovering that must-have accessory you didn’t know you needed. This could be a small treat like a packet of pretty stitchmarkers in your birthstone, the perfect project bag, a quirky drop spindle made of resin with pressed flowers in or some lovely storage baskets. Or it could be something more technical like a new type of needle or hook.
- Feeling at home. If you are a knitter, crocheter or spinner, it is a lovely experience to look round a tea tent full of other people working on projects, petting skeins and comparing patterns and generally having a lovely yarnie time.
Some yarn events to try
Woolfest, Jun 26 – 27, 2015 Mitchell’s Lakeland Livestock Centre, Cockermouth, Cumbria CA13 0QQ.
Woolfest was founded to provide a showcase and a celebration of the best of wool and wool crafts and celebrated ten years in 2014.
Fibre East, July 25 – 26, 2015 Ampthill, Bedfordshire Marketplace
A two-day event celebrating the best of British wool with workshops, demonstrations and stalls – great for existing wool crafters or newcomers looking to learn.
British Wool Show, August 7 – 8, 2015 York Auction Mart, Merton York, YO19 5GF
The British Wool Show aims to raise the profile of British wool. Whatever your chosen craft there will be exciting treasures for you to discover.
Pop Up Wool Show Saturday 15th August, The Oval Leisure Centre, Old Chester Road, Bebbington, Cheshire, CH63 7LF
As a lover of yarn and all things woollen, you are invited to join us to see the showcases lovingly prepared to inspire and feed your creative side.
If you have a yarn event you would like us to mention and add to our calendar email the details to Bronagh@ukhandknitting.com