Thursday, 21 July 2011

Knit Nation 2011

I know, I know, I promised a blog post after Knit Nation, and it's taken me ages to do it! Sorry! Work has got in the way, plus the fact that I have a million and one things to do before we set off for our holiday after work tomorrow.

Where to begin? Well, I set off last Friday after school to meet up with my dear friend snoopydog and we travelled down to London on the train. There was much chatting and knitting, and before we knew it, we were passing the Olympic stadium in Stratford and we'd arrived! Everything went smoothly, and before long, we'd arrived at our room in Imperial college (student accommodation has certainly improved since I was at university!) We headed to the student bar for a bite to eat, bumping into Minniemoll en route. Pizza was the order of the day, and after food, we headed back for an earlyish night. We knew we'd need all our energy for the marketplace the next day!!

And how right we were!! We headed straight to the registration desk before breakfast, where I had a quick chat with Alice, picked up our student passes and Knit Nation bags,

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and fortified ourselves with breakfast! I usually have a bowl of porridge at home, but managed to polish off a plate of sausage, bacon, scrambled egg, beans and mushrooms, as well as a bowl of fruit!! Oink Oink! We kept spotting familiar faces from Ravelry ravatars which was a lot of fun! The canteen was full of knitters, all sporting their 'best' handknits. We had decided against it, remembering the heat of the marketplace last year!
A crowd was gathering around the entrance to the marketplace just before 10 o'clock, so we went to join them. I spotted Lily and her Mum, Amanda, so went to say a quick hello. Then the doors opened and the shopping began!!

Although many of the traders were the same as last year, both Snoops and I had a different focus to our yarn buying. Last year, bright multi-colours were in, whereas this year, we were both looking for semi-solids!! Isn't it strange how your tastes change? I went for shades of purple while Snoops went for shades of blue. Wanna see what I bought?!

Yarn from Old Maiden Aunt, Nimu Yarns, The Natural Dye Studio, Madeline Tosh and Socktopus! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!! (It's not all for me, some is for swaps!!) Mostly fingering weight, with a couple of skeins of laceweight thrown in for good measure!

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Fibre from Juno Fibre Arts. Two braids of alpaca and merino, one braid of angora and tussah in the colourway 'kitten' (so, so soft!) and two braids of silk.

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Stitch markers, highlighter tape and dyes! I have some skeins of undyed yarn in the depths of my stash, and have been wanting to have a dabble with dyeing for ages!

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The market place was busy and trading was brisk! There were so many lovely yarns that I could have bought, but I had to (try to) be sensible! You may think that I failed abysmally, looking at my purchases! We broke up the shopping with a lunch break in the knit tea salon, where Ysolda had her photo booth. You could also try on various of her designs from Little Red in the City. Everywhere you looked, there were people knitting! I thought that there were more young people there this year, which was great to see. Anything to rid knitting of its 'granny' image. Here's a little taster of the marketplace. There are loads more photos on my Flickr page here!

Knit Nation 2011 montage

On Saturday evening, we met up with the Norfolk contingent of the Fall in Full Color club run by Anne Hanson. It was great to put faces to our Ravelry friends Janet and Gina, and we were delighted when Anne Hanson herself asked if she could join us for the evening!

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The event was all in aid of Refuge, and there were some amazing yarny prizes. The vendors, designers and Ravellers had all been exceedlingly generous. Sadly none of the prizes came our way, but it was lovely to see Lily winning a shawl handknit by Anne. Here they are together.

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The next day, Snoops and I were up at the crack of dawn to get packed and ready for an all day sock design class with Cookie A. She went through the basics of top down sock design, giving us lots of things to think about as we chose our stitch patterns. I had a seed of an idea in my head, but couldn't find the exact pattern I was looking for. Mia had a stich-a-day calendar, and found this pattern for me.

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It wasn't quite what I had in mind, but I used it as a starting point. It hadn't been charted, and as Cookie is a great advocate of charts, we had to chart out the design first. I showed my complete ineptitude with charts by forgetting that I'd be knitting it in the round, so my chart had alternate knit and purl rows! Duh! But I did a little swatch of the pattern.

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The speed that some people knitted at was amazing. Mia knit continental, and it was like watching a machine. She had the cuff done in no time at all! At the end of the class, Cookie talked about each sock, and problems we were likely to face when dividing for the heel.

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I shall play around with my pattern once the school holidays start, and then show you how it's coming along! It was such a fantastic weekend. We came home exhausted but happy! There isn't going to be a Knit Nation in 2012 because of the London Olympics, but fingers crossed it will be back in 2013. At least it'll give me a couple of years to knit up this year's (and last year's) purchases!!!!

I am off on my holidays after work tomorrow. Mr JK and I shall be spending just over a week travelling around Germany (I have plenty of plain socks to knit!), and on our return, we'll be fetching Elsie and Florence! I can't wait!! See you in a week! Have a good one! xxx


snoopydog said...

Loved every minute! What a fab time we had. have a great holiday and see you when you get back. xRos

Ozzy Blackbeard said...

Your yarn purchases are gorgeous! I really love all the purples. I do like the green pattern square and your swatch. I can see how that would look lovely on a sock.

Northern Monkey said...

Oooh so pretty, really wish I could have gone, maybe in 2013! I do love Old Maiden Aunt. You made some lovely purchases :-) not sure I'd want to give any of it away!

Have a great holiday x

coop said...

You got some lovely skeins of yarn and it looks like you were much better at taking photos than me - I kept forgetting!

pinkundine said...

Great pictures (I was a bit rubbish at getting marketplace photos!)

Wish I'd known how hot it was going to be, I wore my Clapotis and was melting ;)

Love the colours of the yarn you bought.

Teje said...

Hello! Thank you for taking us with you for this amazing yarn trip! Just too much adorable goodies!

Madeleine said...

Oh wow FABULOUS! I wish I'd been there too :O)

Kat Jorgensen said...

Wow! It's almost like being there. Wonderful pictures. I've visited over and over just to drool over them.

Jenny said...

Oh my all that yarn related fun, then you get to go on holiday and when you come back the girls arrive. Too much excitement, have a fabulous holiday, great purchases by the way.

Anonymous said...

oh it looks like a wonderful wonderful time!!
i'm glad you shared so many pictures!! everything is so so gorgeous!

Jo said...

I recently discovered your blog whilst blog hopping and have spent an enjoyable time reading through your past posts. It looks like you had a wonderful time at Knit Nation and brought back some wonderful purchases. Hope you're having a fantastic holiday. Last year, we'd decided to get a puppy on our return home from holiday and although we had a lovely time whilst we were away, I was itching to get back, I bet you're the same now you know that Elsie and Florence are waiting for you.