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Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Knit Nation 2010

If you are not intimately familiar with knitting (or indeed knitters) you might be forgiven for considering the craft still somewhat niche and, despite a resurgence over the past several years, with a rather limited following. I believe that Knit Nation goes some way to dispelling this belief.

Knit Nation was arranged by Cookie A, sock designer extraordinaire and Alice Yu of Socktopus. Hats off to them for making everything run so well with only some minor technical glitches. Taking place at Imperial College in South Kensington, it offered knitters of various degrees of obsession a chance to shop amongst the yarn stalls, take courses to extend and learn new skills, and also just to revel in the knowledge that it's not just you that has a borderline fetish for squooshy yarn.

Thursday saw the opening of the yarn market for a 'preview' of the mouth-watering wares. I was not there at the initial opening, but I hear that it was quite well-attended. No pushing and shoving, but perhaps some dainty trotting over to the Wollmeise stall in order to grab some prettiness. Fibbertygibbet and Craft Actually will tell you more about the (controlled) dash! I had to make do with excited emails and texts from my ladies on the ground keeping me up to date with what was going on until I could leave the office :)

By the time I was on the scene, it was rather calmer. Check out that Wollmeise stall!

The vibrancy and colour range was just stunning!

Mind you, apparently they did bring one metric ton of yarn with them from Germany, so there should have been plenty to go around.

Cute detailing!

Having signed up for the all-day course in knitting two toe-up socks at a time, I had to peel myself out of bed at the ungodly hour of about 7am on Saturday. It was worth it though. Our lovely teacher was Chrissy Gardener, rather a big cheese in the sock-knitting world! Her endless patience with us was admirable, and by lunchtime I had managed to churn out these:

After (another) quick visit to the yarn market and lunch with friends, it was back to it and time to turn the heels. After that it was pretty much plain sailing and I ended up with these beauties:

I would say that this class was a good level for me and I learned a brand new useful cast-on for socks as well as a great stretchy bind-off. In addition it was good to revise the heel technique so I was happy!

With our courses now done, we toddled off for an early dinner at easily the best Polish restaurant I've even been to. Daquise offered exquisite food in fairly posh surrounds and at a reasonable price - what more can one ask for? Everything was freshly prepared (sometimes at the table) and lovingly scooped onto your plate. Delicious!

With the time now approaching 8pm, we wandered back to Imperial for the 'Ravelry Party' - or to put it bluntly, the Ravelry Party goodybags. Yes we are shameless freebie hunters.

Here are Jess and Casey, the Founders of Ravelry, about to begin the raffle.

We did end up having a raffle winner in our group, so it was worth sticking around for ;) We also piled into the photo-booth, with (for me at least) disastrous results..

"So where's the swag?" I hear you cry. Below we have some undyed cashmere, angora, silk blend from Artisan Yarns, followed by four skeins of Wollmeise twin sockyarn, two in 'My Old Blue Jeans' and two in 'Neptune'. I actually also got two more sock skeins, but they will remain un-photographed as they are to be delivered to a friend in Sweden and I'd like the colours to remain a surprise..

Here's the cute goodybag from Ravelry, along with my Wollmeise lace in 'Dunkel Kirsche' and 'Flaschenpost' (love that name!).

As we were one of the first to arrive at the Ravelry Party, we also got a nice Knit Nation bag to carry everything home in. So not a bad haul!

With a successful Knit Nation complete, our only question is when the next one will be?

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