Unravel 2017

I’m starting to really love my annual trip to Unravel at Farnham Maltings with my lovely friend, and this year was no exception.

I enjoyed a good squish of many different yarns, and delighted as usual in the vast array of colours and patterns available for purchase, and those being worn by all the yarn-addicts wandering the rooms and manning the stalls.

I largely failed to get any photos, mostly everywhere was too packed with people to get close enough to squish, let alone snap the gorgeousness.

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My split needle was very kindly replaced free-of-charge by Knitproneedles.co.uk. I was less successful on the quest for extra yarn. The lady at Debonnaire Yarns was as helpful as she could possibly be, but unfortunately (and unsurprisingly) she didn’t have any more yarn that matched my original grey. She has actually completely changed her yarn ranges and didn’t even have anything that came close to that same colour. She suggested using a contrast colour for the edgings, but I’m not quite convinced that will look right. She said she’d have a rummage back at base for anything that might do, but I think I may have to do something a bit different with the sleeves. I have just about enough yardage between the two colours to complete the cardigan, but the sleeves may need to be more predominantly done in the contrast colour, rather than striped as per the patten. Frustrating, but not entirely unexpected. I knew I should have bought 3 skeins of the grey in the first place.

As for everything else, it seems I was very drawn to grads this year. I particularly loved the Sweet Georgia yarns, and their Party of Five grad mini skeins, which I realised afterwards were the ones Cassy at Knitthehellout recently used for her daughters latest tunic. But I was very good and resisted the temptation to stash without plan. I need to finish my Crazy Stripes first, which was my Unravel 2015 yarn purchase, and then I need to use the grad I purchased at Unravel 2016 for the shawl I’ve been planning for years. After that I can start a new project and buy some more pretties.

Even my friend was very restrained. She was rather taken with a pair of socks she spotted at Hand Dyed by Kate, but since she also has projects on the go from the last two years of Unravel, she also resisted.

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So, instead of indulging any further, once we’d thoroughly explored the festival, we headed for home, and spent a rather enjoyable afternoon sitting on the sofa working on our respective WIPs, feeling very virtuous for having resisted the call of the yarn! We’re off to the Knitting and Stitching show in a couple of weeks, so we can always indulge then if we feel we’re missing out on something!

 

 

Snags

My lovely Knitpro symfonie needles have started to split along the grain, so they’re snagging every stitch as I try to slide it down the needle. Disaster! I’ve had to stop knitting mid-row as it was just impossible.

Fortunately, it’s happened at just the right time (if there can be a right time for such a thing!), as tomorrow I am off to Unravel 2017. Unravel is the annual yarn festival hosted at Farnham Maltings. I believe this is the 9th year it has run and it will be my third visit.

Since I am currently working through my yarn purchase from unravel two years ago, and haven’t touched last year’s purchase yet, my shopping list will be short and sweet. New needle tips and an extra skein for my cardigan. Anything else will be strictly squish and leave only!

Anyone else heading to Unravel this weekend?

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Crazy times

Life has been rather stressful recently. They do say that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do in life, and I’m inclined to believe them. We’re finally making some progress, so just hoping for no more major spanners-in-the-works.

In the meantime, I’ve finished all my shows and am taking a break from rehearsals. I read two Game of Thrones books back to back and needed a break from that too (partly also to let the hubby catch up with me a bit), and so at long last, I’ve picked up my knitting needles again after too long away from them.

I dug out all my projects and potential projects to decide what to work on.

  • There’s the Clanger which is waiting (in many many pieces) to be stitched together.
  • I have a Leaflines shawl which was nearing the final stages before it stalled, mostly because I decided it was in the wrong colour. I bought a beautiful grad in autumn colours at Unravel this year, which I don’t think I ever got round to photographing, ready for a second attempt at this pattern.
  • I’m sure I have a couple of balls of Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace kicking aorund somewhere, that I’ve had thoughts of turning into some kind of top-down jumper, probably Electricity, but could I find them!?
  • And then there’s Stripes Gone Crazy, which I have loved the look of since I first saw it. I bought the yarn for it at Unravel 2015, but haven’t had the time or courage to go ahead with it before now.

I finally took the plunge and swatched for Stripes Gone Crazy. I was more than a little terrified, since my last cardigan is such a terrible fit, and I’ve never really properly worn it. I knitted a guage swatch, which I’ve never done before, and then spent about a week agonising over the maths. I knitted another swatch, did more maths, realised I probably don’t have quite enough yarn, especially given my tight guage and the fact that I therefore need to knit a larger size than I thought, and took the plunge anyway.

The pattern is really detailed and well written with plenty of explanation and diagrams where needed, and I feel like I’m in good hands. I’m on page 6 already, and here’s how far I’ve got!

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Unravel 2015

unravel, a festival of knitting, at Farnham Maltings Click for website

unravel, a festival of knitting, at Farnham Maltings
Click for website

Today I went to Unravel at Farnham Maltings with my new-to-crochet friend (we shall henceforth call her ‘Klutz’, to keep things simple!)

I have never been to a yarn festival before and, oh my! what a feast for the eyes! So much gorgeous yarn, and so many stallholders positively inviting us to come in and squish it all. Beautiful patterns, hooks, needles and notions galore, and oooh! buttons! We both felt rather traitorous that neither of us was wearing a handknit anything!

We were tempted by many things.

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Gorgeous grads

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What do you even do with linen yarn?

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Beautiful fibre – no, I am not even looking down the spinning road…

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Rows of rich earthy colours

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Ooooh I want the whole rainbow!

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But we were very restrained. I went armed with a shopping list, and Klutz formed her shopping list over a coffee after we’d had a good look round at all the stalls and consulted Ravelry.

Klutz, though tempted to branch off into knitting territory, very sensibly stuck to her guns and took a crochet only approach, settling on a gorgeously simple scarf pattern from Baa Ram Ewe and some pretty sparkly sock yarn to make it with.

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I forgot to mention to her that skeins have to be wound into balls, but a hand-winding lesson over lunch in a nearby pub sorted that out sharpish.

And here’s my little pile of goodies

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Two skeins of BFL/Nylon Sock in Charcoal, and two of 100% Merino in Teal from Debonnaire for my next project Stripes Gone Crazy, along with a couple of longer cables for my Knitpro interchangeables, and a free hat pattern for good measure.

Now I have a real incentive to get my cardigan finished. I’m not even winding these babies until I’m done with that one.

How do you fare at yarn festivals? Do you exercise restraint and stick to a shopping list, or do you succumb to the delights of aaaalllll the pretties?

Unravel and Sharing the Love

Last week my friend asked me to teach her to crochet. Completely out of the blue. She’s known I crochet and knit for a long time, but I never really thought she was interested in trying it herself. But how lovely to be asked!

So off we went on Friday evening and found a cosy corner in a pub, and got to work. I love being able to teach things that I love doing, to people who are genuinely interested. We started with chains and a bit of single crochet and double crochet, and then moved on to Granny Squares. It just seemed right, since that was what my Granny first taught me when I learnt to crochet around 20 years ago!

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Taking a break from teaching crochet with a spot of knitting while the drinks were replenished.

My friend seems to have taken to it like a duck to water, and by the end of the evening she had a granny square with three very neat rounds. She’s since added several more rounds to that original square and has started work on squares for a blanket. I’ll have to start planning another lesson!

unravel, a festival of knitting, at Farnham Maltings Click for website

Image from: unravel, a festival of knitting, at Farnham Maltings
Click for website

After our lesson, my friend found out about Unravel, a festival of knitting, held in Farnham, which is not far from where we live. I’d heard of it before, but have never been and didn’t realise it was coming up so soon, but we’re hoping to go along together at the end of February.

Are you heading to Unravel? What would you pick as a first project to teach a beginner?