Yarnporium 2018


Welcome to a new blog post - it's come quite late I know, but hey, it's here now!

This week I thought I'd put together a few notes about Yarnporium - an event organised by Yarn in the City, that seems to take place every two years.  This was my first time attending and it won't be my last!

I'll be honest:  I wasn't initially intending to attend Yarnporium.  It hadn't been that long since Perth (drink!) and I have zero budget for more yarn or supplies right now, what with the whole leaving-a-steady-secure-career-to-set-up-my-own-independent-business thing putting a wee bit of pressure on my bank account and financing skills (both of which are pretty weak, to be honest).  But some of my lovely friends were vending, and I was easily talked into attending by ladies in my knitting group.  I'm really glad I was!

I was designated-driver and we hopped in the car on Saturday morning for the quick zip up to London.  Only it wasn't particularly quick...there were roadworks that I'd totally forgotten about which limited the speed by 20mph, I needed fuel, and then the road I usually park on in East London had been changed to permit holders only on Saturdays, where it used to be that any old Tom, Dick or Harry could park.  This wasn't so much of a problem - we could park in Westfield - or it wouldn't have been if it wasn't match day for the footy and half the roads were closed or having roadworks done. 

Eventually we managed to get into Westfield and got parked. There was a bit of a hairy moment when I tried to steer my 2012 Peugeot into a lovely space between two shiny landrovers (I like parking next to shiny cars - their drivers like their own paintwork so are likely not to touch mine!) and my passenger-seat-driver friend suggested parking a bit further up so it would be easier to get out later.  Turns out it's just as well she did suggest this because, as we were walking to the escalators to take us down to the mall, I noticed that the nice space I'd been planning on parking in was actually the "forecourt showroom" of a car sales company that operated out of Westfield Stratford! 

At almost 11am we finally arrived at Central Hall Westminster.  Viewers of the podcast will not be at all surprised to hear that I had technical issues and couldn't download my ticket online.  Luckily, the lovely ladies had a printed list of all the people who had pre-booked tickets.  I was given my wristband, and allowed inside.

The atmosphere was very very different to the festivals I'd attended before.   I think it was something to do with the carpet.  The carpet was thick and had the effect of muting all sound, despite the ceilings being high which should, you would have thought, created an echoing acoustic. It felt a little bit like visiting a stately home, or a library.  A wonderful colourful yarn filled library with skeins to squish and to purchase.  The whole effect was somewhat "muted" but not at all unpleasant.  I spent the entire day there without once feeling overwhelmed and I could enjoy the yarn at my leisure. The stalls were well spaced out too - no narrow aisles to navigate, while squeezing sideways between bulging tote bags toted over people's shoulders.  It was actually really lovely to have space to move, and to be able to locate your fellow festival-goers easily without having to do that thing you did in supermarkets when you were small:  rush up and down the central horizontal aisle while peering down each one in turn to try and catch your friend or family member.

First up, I headed over to Truly Hooked - Verity was vending and I wanted to catch up with her, as well as not make my first purchase, which was not planned in advance to be a skein of light grey.    Her stand was stunning as ever.  Decked out in her fabulous knitted leggings, she gave me a big hug and we caught up a little.  I picked up my skein of light grey and was there long enough that I was seduced by a skein of lace-weight single ply merino yarn in the "Kraken" colourway - a stunning colourway of blue with highlighter yellow and a subtle green blend, and what looks like either purple or black speckles.  Either way - stunning!  Clearly it had to come home with me.

Also on Verity's stand were copies of her books: The Sock Drawer, The Second Drawer Down, and On The Hook.  I own both sock books and they're glorious, my own personal bias brought about by the Lara socks notwithstanding.  In addition, there were also some stunning samples - not least was the sweater which, I think, will either be named the Wizard Sweater or The Sweater that Lived.  Personally I love the second one!  Pic below.

This jumper WILL BE CAST ON in the spring - there's no doubt about it.  Maybe I'll finish it by HP's 30th anniversary - who knows?  It's already been more than 20 years - how is that even possible?  HOW AM I THAT OLD?! 

The only questions are:  what colours?  and "will I cast on a catdigan first?"  This brings me to the lovely Marna of An Caitin Beag - you've got to have seen her work.  The Sinister Catdigan has gone a bit mad on IG and social media.  I felt like we should have had a Catdigan spotting bingo card or sonething for the festival too as there were SO MANY catdigans in the wild - so cool!    I went over to pick up these hideously wonderful stitch-markers, that she'd been teasing us with on instagram earlier in the week.  Another lovely chat was had; I swiped the last set of teacup cat progress keepers, and there were hugs too - of course!  And thus the second planned purchase was made.

Based on my account of the first two stands I visited...how much yarn do you think I brought back with me?

Pop your guesses in the comments box below, and I will say who is right when I come back to write part two of my Yarnporium post!

***to be continued ***


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