Saturday, 16 July 2011

Knit Nation 2011, Purl Princess reports.

Knit Nation delivered once more this year with its mix of amazing British independents and gorgeous international yarn, needles, books and notions.  The rain didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits and as we entered the market place there was a lovely friendly atmosphere and lots of yummy things to pore over.

We did the initial sweep round the stalls stopping to chat to lots of friendly faces. The lovely ladies at the Purl Alpaca stall told me that they are about to launch their new range which is going to include a dress, which is apparently right up my street. Looking forward to that!

I finally met my Knitting Magazine neighbour Jeanette Sloane, who was selling her beautiful yarns and pattern book. Our columns have been next to each other in the magazine for at least a year, so it was really nice to have a chat and properly meet each other. I also caught up with Knitting Magazine editor Emma, who was selling subscriptions like there was no tomorrow.

Asking round there seemed to have been a repeat of last year’s mad dash for the Wollmeise yarn on the opening night. A shell shocked Meghan on the Loop stall, where the yarn was selling, told me they had bought 1,000 skeins of the yarn with them. By the look of the stock remaining there was maybe only a quarter left and still with a day and a half of trading to go! Looks like there will be slim pickings for the Sunday crowd.  Someone else told me that they’d heard that there was an hour long queue to pay for the sought after yarn after less than an hour of trading. Man, people love that Wollmeise!

It was lovely to see some old faces from my S&B London past like Erqsome who was working alongside Sweet Clement & WickedWoolyWitch who looks amazing having lost over 60lb. You go girl!

This year there was a Knit Nation specific Knit Tea Salon which I had expected to be fancier than it was. We paid £12 each which included 4 finger sandwiches, 4 mini cakes, which you had to pile up on a small side plate and a cup of tea which you had to serve yourself and in a paper cup. There was no dedicated Knit Tea Salon seating area either, so we sat on a long canteen table. The sandwiches and cakes were nice, but the only thing I think was worth the £12 price tag was the fact that we didn’t have to queue up like everyone else did. ‘Knit Tea Salon’ conjured up an idea of a quaint tea room, with table service, china cups and relaxed atmosphere. Instead it was more like a school canteen, which was a disappointment.

Thankfully it was the only disappointment of the day. After our tea we went to Ysolda’s stall where we bought 2 raffle tickets and picked out a couple of lucky dip pouches. Mum and I both won free Ysolda pattern downloads from Ravelry as well as some yummy chocolate. The two ladies that went after us one copies of Whimsical Little Knits which I already have copies of, so I didn’t feel too jealous! I bought my copy of Little Red in the City, which is much bigger than I thought it would be as it’s packed with Ysolda’s helpful guidance on construction and fit. This book will be one to sit down and read properly. Once again I got a photo of me and Ysolda in her photo booth and once again I probably made myself look like a bit of a stalker.

Back in the market place I made my purchases and spent all my money on Excelana yarn at Susan Crawford's stall in a lovely colour called Powdered Egg! And a really cool print from Tilly Flop for our new home which looks like some knitting on a needle but the picture is made up of helpful knitting rhymes like “In the bunnyhole, round the big tree, out through the bunnyhole, off hops she”.

Overall it was another successful Knit Nation with lovely products, a welcoming atmosphere and an ability to empty your pockets with no problem at all.

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