As you may be able to detect from these photos, I’ve been dabbling a bit with Instagram lately.
It’s not often I go for the pale, faded out retro 70s style – too engrained in the “capture-the-colour-as-it-is-in-reality” mindset. But there’s something about the photo above which makes it look as if I was calmly preparing for two events with a fully composed disposition and in full control.
It fails to portray the frenzied dyeing, drying and winding kilos and kilos of yarn and the sheer panic of starting preparations the Sunday before.
“Why didn’t you start earlier, mum?” A good question, you might say.
“Because I was getting club and shop update parcels out the week before, and was so busy, I ran out of mailing bags and sellotape and Royal Mail failed to deliver my mail sacks for eight whole days.”
Bet you wish you hadn’t asked.
And back to the calm, soothing colours of the Wisp cashmere/silk. And breathe.
With the aid of a few 6am starts, I managed to get it all labelled, priced and packed, and on Friday afternoon, myself and the intrepid Wendy headed with a car-full of yarn through central London (oh yes, thank you Mrs Sat Nav for making us turn right across Regent Street – smile and glide, smile and glide, as Wendy said) to the Pompom magazine party venue at Christ Church, Spitalfields.
It was great to see the Pompom ladies, Lydia and Meghan and the other standholders including Ce of the Uncommon Thread, Dani of Lioness Arts, Linda of Kettle Yarn, Kim of ArtEqualsHappy (bought a little fairisle lavender bag) and the p/hop stand was there too.
There was a marvellous atmosphere of knitters and crocheters buzzing around, drinking lovely Christmassy drinks, listening to the amazing bands, chatting about craft and generally having a lovely time. And it was great to catch up with old friends and meet new people too.
Afterwards, I packed up the car and headed across London, driving for almost an hour and a half until I reached my hotel for the night around midnight.
The next morning, it was a hop, skip and a jump to the Made and Found venue. A beautiful house in Mill Hill.
Although I hadn’t met any of the other makers before, I was made to feel incredibly welcome and soon got the yarn out on display for visitors to fondle.
It was a huge privilege to be displaying along with some extremely talented makers, many of whom had featured in Country Living magazine.
This is Emma Mitchell’s curious museum of silverware. Her website is called silverpebble and just look at this gallery of her work.
This is Celia Hart – illustrator and printmaker-extraordinaire. We may have done a little swapping and the beautiful duck egg cushion on the far right has a new home in our bedroom.
This is the lovely Lilli Wicks – the youngest of us – and she creates contemporary knitwear pieces having studied textiles and machine knitting at university. Check out her DETACHABLE pompoms in her Etsy shop here.
This whole room of quilty loveliness belongs to the owner of the house, Tracy Dowling. I believe she takes commissions, so check out her blog here.
And here’s Linda Bloomfield with her stunning range of porcelain tableware. The cake stand featured in The Great British Bake-off. You can find her website here but be warned: you may be sucked into the gorgeousness of duck eggs, citrons, dove greys and shell pinks.
Here’s just some of the work of Karen Boatwright – I confess that a wee chaffinch may have come home to nest with me. And just look at those knitted dogs and foxes. You can find them online at Karen’s tintabernacle Etsy shop here.
And this is the work of Paper Cut artist, Claire Knight. You can see more of her work here and she also undertakes commissions.
And finally, there was the lovely, lovely Val Curwen aka Dottycookie who did a roaring trade in gorgeous handmade baskets, Christmas trees and garden ornaments made from hedgerow materials (I’ve no photo – what was I thinking?)
I think I made some marvellous friends – it really was great to meet them all.
And you’ll be pleased to know, there is some of the incredible amount of yarn I took along left.
Here’s the plan:
I’ll release the yarn gradually into the shop between tomorrow and Friday, so it’s worth checking back during the week.
The yarns available will be, in no particular order: Blush, Delectable, Grandiose, Lustrous BFL Lace, Oasis Grande, Opulent, Voluptuous Skinny and Wisp. (With apologies – due to illness not all of the yarns made it into the shop. The Blush, Grandiose, Lustrous BFL Lace and Voluptuous Skinny will be added another time.)
This will be the last shop update until the New Year.
SQ calendars are now back in stock after the first batch sold out – you can find them here.
I’ll be dyeing up club yarn for December next week, and plan to send it out at the very end of the month. If you’re reading along, the inspiration book is A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.