Friday, September 9, 2011

aaaand we're back!

Sooo. It's been a long time since I've last done any form of blogging or recording or something. (Blame Facebook, it's so easy to post things straight there!)

HOWEVER. I've spent so much time doing crafty things over the summer that it simply won't do to not have some sort of bloggery about it. So I will probably be sharing some interesting posts that I have found over the interwebs and some that have been shared with me and general evidence of my ability to while away the seconds of my life. To start...


First of all, WOOLFEST (June 2012). Said by some to be the yarny equivalent of Woodstock (pfft what nonsense), this looks like something any self-respecting knitter within the area ought to check out. This one (I have not been) appears to be a rather holistic celebration of yarn, including live animals (oh come on, ALPACAS! ALPACAS! - You know, alpaca is the poor man's cashmere), spinning and dyeing demonstrations and oh so much else that I simply have to go and see it for myself.

Another great festival of yarn that is probably better known: The Knit and Stitch Show (October 2011), which I have been to... so you get pictures!

PACKED with interesting stalls of every kind to thrill the neurons of any discerning crafter, you're sure to find at least a hundred things you like here: yarns of the luxury, novelty, classic, and just-plain-bargain breeds, embroidery things, quilting things, scores of notions and accessories, many nautical miles of ribbons, buttons and - well, your kind of candy store, as Burdastyle would say. There is even a gallery of gorgeous art to help keep your mind off your swiftly emptying pockets.

Casting off into the unknown!

If you see something you like that is a bargain, buy it quick: in the maze of this dazzling Aladdin's cave, you'll be unlikely to find it again. If I remembered the prices of things I'd post about it, but unfortunately I don't. But here's a tip if you are hard pressed to make a decision: Anything with a crapload of silk, cashmere, alpaca (or the baby variety, my favourite)... anything with a luxury yarn blend in it going for cheap... hand-dyed, hand-spun... IS A BARGAIN. Manos del Uruguay 2 for 1? YES (even if you have NO idea what to do with it. Take it from the queen of hoarding). Skip the novelty yarns and stuff with a large percentage of synthetic fibres unless you really really really really want it AND the quality is excellent. Not just good, Excellent! e.g. stuff by this lady. And I mean really in the sense that you already know what you will do with it. Skip buying notions and accessories unless you know the price is really good or it's hard to get elsewhere. Anything fair trade or in aid of other communities is definitely a bonus!

Do you begin to understand the problem?

Obviously, you do have to know a little bit about yarn... how much it costs generally, how easy it is to find it cheaply, which luxury yarn you'd choose to take on a desert island... and so on. You don't want to get saddled with a pile of yarn that "was cheap at the time but now I realise that I hate acrylic and synthetics" <- true story. Of my life. Go for the good stuff, with projects in mind. This is the time for your inner Yarn Snob to SHINE, in order to make the best of your trip (and your budget!). But hey, live and learn right? Even the softest of loosely spun alpaca yarn, the most tempting, the most deliciously deceiving... let's just say that particular yarn quickly lost favour as fast as it was shedding...

Set yourself a reasonable budget and stick to it! (I think £100-£150 is reasonable: trust me, you could spend that in 20 minutes. If you don't buy yarn throughout the year, it's worth putting the money aside for it.) Collect everyone's cards and brochures so if you're not sure, you can always buy them later. So, my conclusion? Don't eat for a month. You'll need to save up for this mega event! Oh and bring sandwiches, and visit the loo before attending the event*. You are probably going to be there all day. No, seriously.

*This is an event largely attended by females. A lot of them over a particular age. Consider the number of toilets and take your chances.

Ok except maybe for this guy.

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