Saturday, 27 February 2016

Unravel 2016

Last Saturday I met a group of 8 friends from Loop to make our way out to Farnham, Surrey, for Unravel a knitting show.  It was a 50 minute train ride through the commuter belt surrounding London, in a carriage with plenty of other knitters, so lots of exclamations of ‘I love your jumper’!

Unravel, Farnham Maltings, Unravel Sheep, London
Emma and I enjoying the photo ops
While on the train we plotted and planned and 2 clear groups emerged – the group that wasn’t planning on buying much but was there to enjoy the day out and the group that had serious purchases in mind – sweater quantities were contemplated. I fell into the minimal purchasing group – which I stuck to, more on that later.

We arrived at the Farnham Maltings just in time for the doors to open, and we joined the decent size queue.  It moved relatively quickly, particularly as I had won a pair of tickets from the Yarn in the City podcast (thanks Rachel, Allison) and then we were off.  As with any largish group, we fragmented, heading off to the different rooms.  I think there were 5 or 6 separate rooms, including 1 large hall area, with vendors spread through out.  Mostly yarn companies, there were a few designers/magazines with stalls as well as a stall for the Brinkley Looms.  Brinkley Looms are weaving looms that operate unlike any other loom that I have seen – to warp on you turn the frame and then you insert the reed, which looks like a square rolling pin.  Tempting because the warping is my least favourite aspect of Geoff’s weaving (it’s also the only aspect that requires my participation). 

Yarn bomb, Unravel, Farnham Maltings, London
Some welcoming yarn bombing
Pre-lunch was wandering, touching, planning.  There was a little yarn purchasing – but come lunch time most people had limited hauls, but big plans for the post lunch burst of shopping.  Lunch was at Loch Fyne, which is a chain restaurant in the UK (but a good one).  We enjoyed a very good value set lunch with wine and lots of chatting, as our original London group was bolstered by further friends we ran into during the morning.

As well as shopping, I enjoyed opportunities to try on sample garments, chat to designers whose patterns I was knitting and find out about upcoming releases like John Arbon’s Knit by Numbers in 4ply (to complement the existing 8ply offering). Another treat at Unravel was that Jules (aka Woollenflower) was a stall holder, so I spent most of the afternoon chatting and catching up. 

Yarn, Unravel, Farnham Maltings, London
 Some amazing handspun available at Unravel

A smaller group for the train ride home – a couple of the minimal purchasers had left directly after our long lunch; a couple of those purchasing more were keen to stay until the close of play.  My purchases were 2 balls of self patterning sock yarn (yes, I can buy that anywhere, but for a reasonably price and no postage it was a good deal) and the Tiny Tails from Easy Knits with a complementary solid skein of their Deeply Wicked yarn.  A colourwork shawl is in the works.  Some spinning fibre from John Arbon Textiles and a couple of spinning tools. 

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