Last Friday I packed the car well before my normal getting up time and trundled over to pick up Joanne (only 5 mins late, I am improving!) to head off for a weekend of knitting fun in Haworth for Skip North 2010. The drive up went surprisingly well considering that there were roadworks every couple of miles all the way up the M1 (and on the M3 and the M25 too). We arrived at our B&B at lunchtime, and discovered there had been a mistake with Joanne’s booking, and that although there was space for her on Friday night, there was no room on Saturday. Luckily a spare room was found at the Youth Hostel for the Saturday, so after unloading our stuff from the car (I seemed to have brought a greater volume of knitting than I had clothes) we trundled up the hill to the Youth Hostel to check in and get our acts together for the afternoon workshops.
I did Sue‘s workshop on shadow knitting first. I had read a bit about shadow knitting (also called illusion knitting) before, and seen Steve’s fabulous work, but never given it a go, so this seemed the ideal opportunity. It is great fun, and I love the moment of discovery when you tilt your work and see the pattern appear.
Here is my sample as seen from above:
Can you tell what it is yet?
I am looking forward to having more of an experiment with this technique.
Then I did a workshop with Jane on different kinds of colour knitting. Here is the cup cosy I knitted:
The two coloured braid is a Twinded Herringbone braid, and the single coloured braid is a Vikkel braid. I am definitely looking forward to incorporating these in something in the future. There is also a bit of mosaic knitting, and a double strand cast on using two strands the same colour, and a double strand cast off using one strand of each colour.
After tea was the P/Hop swap. People brought along yarn, needles and books they no longer wanted, then other people could claim it in exchange for a donation to Medecins sans Frontieres made later through the P/Hop website. Here is Nic presiding over the chaos.
After the swap we all sat around knitting and chatting. It was lovely to see old friends and meet new ones, and to spend time with other enthusiastic and knowledgeable knitters.
Luckily after all this excitement Saturday featured a bit of a lie in. We had a fantastic cooked breakfast at the B&B and then made our way up to the Youth Hostel to catch the bus at 11am. First stop was Coldspring Mill, a strange combination of camping shop upstairs and bargain yarn basement downstairs. There were lots of lovely cotton yarns, although I managed to resist. I actually have a lot of cotton yarn still despite giving a lot away last year, and find that it is a bit painful on my hands to knit with, I think from now on I shall stick with blends. They had quite a selection of other yarns too, there seemed to be a lot of pale yellow about, unfortunately not really my colour.
Then it was back on the bus, where we ate our sandwiches, despite thinking we would never need to eat again after breakfast, and headed off to the Knitting and Crochet Guild. Liz gave us an interesting talk and showed us a lot of things from the guild collection, then it was time for a spot of shopping with KCG Trading. Unfortunately the book I was hoping to look at hadn’t arrived yet, but I did manage to get a skein of wonderful radioactive green sock yarn 🙂
This is Trekking Hand Art, 100g, 420m, 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon, the colour is officially called Brazil.
Tired but happy after a hard days shopping we piled back on the bus back to the Youth Hostel and yet another great meal 🙂
In the evening we were treated to a talk by Shaun and Julie of County Alpacas. A very interesting talk about the history of alpacas in the UK and the situation currently. I loved this opportunity to hear more about the fibre industry, and their alpacas are very cute! They also brought with them some lovely fibre and yarn from their own animals, so I bought a 250g bag of black fibre. I haven’t quite decided what I am going to do with it yet. It is special so I want to do it justice, I shall think on it for a bit.
Sunday was a bit of an earlier start with the coach departing at 9am. I was cutting it a bit fine as I screeched into my parking space just after the bus drew up, and had just enough time to dash in and grab my packed lunch while everyone else started to board the bus. The early start was because Sunday was Wingham Wool Works day, which is about an hour to an hour and a half from Haworth, depending on the traffic.
Despite having been there a couple of times before, and the last time only in November it still took me a while to stop being overwhelmed by all the fibre and actually start to look at everything properly! We were very fortunate that the weather was lovely. Great for standing outside in a daze while contemplating more different colours of fibre than you know what to do with.
I managed to fill my bag with a few little goodies.
I got three different colours of rainbow merino / silk tops. I think this blend is 70% merino, 30% silk. I got somewhere between about 150g and 200g of each (I wasn’t being terribly accurate with my measuring).
These are all going to be sock experiments. I am going to try and spin a tightly twisted 3ply and see how they wear.
I also got a little selection of their sample fibre bags.
Corn, ramie (nettles), milk protein, two kinds of tussah silk, and banana fibre.
These little sample bags are such a great idea, you have enough fibre to play with and see whether you like it, without having to have 100g of something which it may turn out you are not that keen on.
After we had shopped until we dropped, and had a quick drink in the pub down the road, it was back on the coach to the Youth Hostel for the final tea and cake and goodbyes, and then time to wedge all our new purchaes into the car.
I had a wonderful weekend, and have come away with so many ideas, as well as some rather yummy yarn and fibre. I love these opportunities to spend time with so many lovely knitty people. A big thanks to Alex and Nic for all the organising and cat herding. There are better photos than mine on the flickr group.
The trip home wasn’t quite as smooth as had been hoped. Not awful, but there was a lot of stopping and starting and traffic as we made our way through the many roadworks. We made it home fine if a bit tired, and not too late in the end.