Unravel recovery and recap

This is my second attempt at this post so I can't promise that it will be as good as what I'd written before. Chalk it up to working on an iPad while on holiday and getting used to a new blogging app. Sigh - sorry folks. 

  Rachel - aka the lovely Porpoise - helped me man the booth all weekend. And see, the blanket did get finished in the end!

 Rachel - aka the lovely Porpoise - helped me man the booth all weekend. And see, the blanket did get finished in the end!

But ah yes, Unravel. Two-plus weeks is a long time to recover from a show although in my defense that first week Mr. H was still on half-term break so we spent time hanging out with friends and working on a crafty school project (more on that another day). Then I was busy getting ready for the super fun open day at Purlescence (DEFINITELY more to talk about on another day), prepping for my parent's visit (hello five pages typed cheat sheets with Harrison's schedule and extra-curricular activities), and packing for my trip to Japan (my travel project is all Noro, of course).

  My only non-booth photo - this gorgeous Icelandic lopi sweater where the colourwork motif reminded me of little Canadian flags all the way across.

 My only non-booth photo - this gorgeous Icelandic lopi sweater where the colourwork motif reminded me of little Canadian flags all the way across.

Unravel was a crazy and wonderful as I was expecting my first show to be. In fact, it was so insane, I barely got a chance to make a loop on the Sunday to check out other vendors' wares, and the only photos I managed to snap were of happy SweetGeorgia customers excitedly clutching their new yarns!

  Gilly was excited to find some SweetGeorgia in her favourite shade of tourquoise...

 Gilly was excited to find some SweetGeorgia in her favourite shade of tourquoise...

Lucky for me, there were plenty of folks who blogged or video-ed about the event, or reported on it via podcast, so I'm able to share a few of my favourites: 

  It was a busy weekend for Rachel, who also managed to finish her Georgia cardigan knit in the SweetGeorgia Merino Silk Fine. Isn't Mist a glorious colourway?

 It was a busy weekend for Rachel, who also managed to finish her Georgia cardigan knit in the SweetGeorgia Merino Silk Fine. Isn't Mist a glorious colourway?

Proving she's super-human once again - Rachel had a blog recap of the event up and ready to go almost immediately following Unravel. Even though we spent practically the whole weekend together, it was neat to see the show from Rachel's perspective as my co-conspirator in the SweetGeorgia booth.

Gilly of the awesome electric blue hair above returned to her blogging ways with a photo essay recap of Unravel which showed off many of the wonderful stalls on offer. Note to self: avoid wearing trousers in a colour that clash horribly with the SweetGeorgia banner in our booth.

 Plutonimum Muffins' Corrie Berry visited Unravel with pal from Loop's knit night and her post captures some of my favourite vendors that I've seen at various yarn shows in the UK so I feel like I was almost along for the ride! She's got great photos too.

A short, yet sweet (okay in her words, cheesy) video of her trip to Unravel was captured by Kerry Wallis. There a couple of shots of the Great Hall that show just how packed the event was, and the crocheted colours squares blanket even made the final cut!

Finally new friend, blogger, podcaster and general all-round social media guru Kate had so much fun podcasting about this year's event that she did it twice! You can find Part 1 and Part 2 (which mentions SweetGeorgia) on her website, A Playful Day.

I hope you enjoy these bloggers' recaps as much as I did. Won't you let them know by leaving a comment for them? Thanks!

Unravel-ing

One of the things that I don't do on the blog very much, if at all, is talk about my work in the knitting and fibre world.

What I do isn't hidden - it's right there in my bio - but unless you know me in real life or if we know each other professionally, you might not know that my "day job" is working as a sales rep in the craft industry. I am lucky to represent three terrific brands - SweetGeorgia Yarns, Soak Wash, and ChiaoGoo needles. They're high quality, premium brands and I use them myself. I don't think I could represent a brand that I wouldn't use - how would I get excited enough about the brand to be able to sell it?

Over the last year and a bit, going to these various yarn shows and meeting knitters and becoming involved with the yarn community here in the UK - that is my research. And every minute of it is amazing. It's exciting to be able to meet to knitters and introduce them to SweetGeorgia. I love seeing how giddy knitters get to pet a new yarn, and hearing their appreciative gasps as they see how wonderfully saturated the colour is in the yarns. As good as it may be to read about a yarn being fabulous on the internet, or seeing the vibrancy of our colours, nothing compares to finally seeing the real thing in person!

My job isn't only about finding shops to get the yarn into though - it's also about supporting the stockists that we have here in the UK and helping to get the word out to knitters so that they know that SweetGeorgia yarns are available here. To do that, you have to go where the yarn-lovers are: yarn shows.

Unravel 2014.jpg

Lucky for me the first big yarn show of the calendar year happens in February in Farnham, just outside of London. Even luckier, my application for a booth for SweetGeorgia was accepted and I'll be there (assisted by the lovely Rachel) with lots of yummy samples for you to try on and kits for purchase. There's also a super secret surprise that I'll be announcing soon on the SweetGeorgia blog that has been keeping me pretty busy!

Putting together a booth for a show is no small task but it's also been a lot of fun. I've been learning a ton and enjoying having to use a whole different set of creative skills other than fibre-based ones (how novel!). It will definitely be an experience to see a festival from the other side!

But back to Unravel - they're having a contest! And appropriately, it's about colour work:

Unravel 2014 colourwork contest.jpg

I have a lot on the go leading up to the show, but any thoughts? If I thought I could whip something up quickly, I would. If you're going to Unravel, maybe you can bring your own colourful creation to enter?

Catching up

It's still half term here at our house. My son's school gets two weeks as opposed to the one that most British schools get and while I think we do a good job of filling the days (my mom is here so we've been having a great visit and seeing various sights) and keeping the little guy on a regular schedule, mommy's regular routine has been completely thrown out the window.

Things have also been ramping up a bit for me work-wise so that's keeping me busy too, and then of course there were two more knitting/craft-related shows that I went to. One was a craft trade show, where I met some fabulous folks and also the lovely gals from the UK Handknitting Association. Their organisation keeps track of all kinds of knitting and crochet goings-on in the UK and their website has a ton of resources from retailers to suggestions for charitable knitting.

The other show was Unravel, which I attended with Rachel this past Sunday. Rachel seems to think I was using her for a ride to Farnham and while I cheerfully acknowledge being a ride-mooch, I do enjoy her company! Unravel was held at Farnham Maltings - a cool arts-and-culture-and-community kind of space made up of a bunch of different buildings and the show took over almost every available space. We wandered through room after room of exhibitors, down hallways and on multiple floors until we were yarned out (sadly, this meant I didn't go back to look at a couple of yarn-y stalls and I never did get that tea towel that said "Oh how I'd rather be knitting". Oh well.).

Sadly, I didn't get a lot of photos, but I did get some good loot:

A ball of 100% alpaca in a chunky weight from  Toft Alpacas  and an alpaca fur pom pom (a kit to make their  Pom Pom Hat ), a ball of  Bigwigs Angora  DK (50% angora, 50% merino), 25g of Bigwigs Angora fibre, and two little lavender sachets for my sweater drawers.

A ball of 100% alpaca in a chunky weight from Toft Alpacas and an alpaca fur pom pom (a kit to make their Pom Pom Hat), a ball of Bigwigs Angora DK (50% angora, 50% merino), 25g of Bigwigs Angora fibre, and two little lavender sachets for my sweater drawers.

As you can see, the hat was very quick to get on the needles. It's also been even quicker to get off since it's already finished! I need some better pics though, so will have to wait to show you.