I'm just back from Unravel 2012 in Farnham, Surrey. What an amazing gathering! This is my third knitting show since coming to the UK (the other two being Knit Nation and The Glasgow School of Yarn) and I have to say, Unravel was the biggest. Every time I finished a room of the marketplace, thinking I was done, I found another room of vendors! Just incredible!
All my favorites were there, including Skein Queen, John Arbon & Susan Crawford, and Well Manor Farm (who also provided some adorable sheep) - and some new favorites such as Easyknits and Textile Garden (with a truly to-die-for button stand).
The organizers also did a fab job of making the Farnham Maltings wonderfully woolly... everywhere you looked there was something knitted, right down to the decorations (yes, those are knitted balloons!).
From Skeins I got three hanks of wool/silk blend yarn 'Sultan', colorway 'Pish' (blues and yellows, very spring). This is the only thing I got not really knowing at all what I'll do with it - I got enough for a set of accessories or a small shawl/scarf.
I also got some red, orange and yellow mawata from the same place - they were sold in 10g packets, which was all I needed for what I have planned :)
From the Easyknits booth I picked up some lovely sock yarn. It was a tough decision picking my one skein from this booth, and I know I'll be coming back because the color sense is just spot-on. This is 100% merino in the Deeply Wicked color 'King Fisher', which is a teal, green, and rusty orange variegated. This will be socks, possibly Firestarter from Yarnissima.
I had a specific reason for patronizing the Easyknits booth this time, besides the wonderful colors: Easyknits was 'supposed' to be the 5th KNIT sock club yarn -- even though no one at ACM had told Easyknitter this fact! So I decided to support Easyknits, which wasn't a hard decision, because the colors in the skein just called to me. I mean, green and orange?! Yes please.
I always love to stop by the Skein Queen booth and chat with Debbie - this time I picked up a skein of Enchant, a smooth, soft, snuggly alpaca/silk/cashmere blend in a nice neutral sandy color. I haven't picked out a pattern yet but I'm seeing this as a snuggly casual shawl.
Last, but not least, was the huge, incredible button booth run by TextileGarden.com. Now I want to say, first of all, I am not a button stasher. I stash beads, and I stash ribbon, and lord knows I stash yarn. But I never make enough cardigans etc to stash buttons.
But this booth makes me want to stash buttons.
Dozens of different shapes and sizes of buttons all in little bowls, shiny and pearly or rustic and wooden, shaped like little animals or burned with intricate filigree designs. This button stand was a thing of beauty, I tells ya.
Buttons, actually, were my excuse for attending Unravel at all. 'Don't you have enough yarn?', people would ask me. I told them, sure, I have enough yarn, but I'm making a cardigan and I need some buttons for it!
So, it's good that I did actually find some buttons. Along with a load of other stuff, too, of course.
The yarnbombing decorations continued outside the building itself...
...and even in the loos!
The Best in Show competition featured some really lovely entries from all sorts of fiber arts. There were some real jaw-dropping displays of skill, from colorwork to lace to felting... My favorite, though, was this filet crochet camisole with a Dalek design!