Monday, June 08, 2009

UK Ravelry Day report

I had so much fun at UK Ravelry Day. Oh, it was brilliant. I met and talked to so many people. This is special for me because in situations like that, I usually find I have nothing to say, even to people with whom I supposedly have something in common, so I clamp up and sort of just spend my time mooching around the stalls, get bored, and find that I still have hours to kill before my train/plane/bus/whatever. Not this time! So in this 'Report from Ravelry Day' post, I shall simply tell you about the interactions I had with all those lovely people.

First, the lady from the Knitting and Crochet Guild who offered an expenses-paid cab ride for random Ravelry Day attendees at the train station: Thanks!

Then I got to meet Jeni of Fyberspates. She is lovely and tall and was wearing cool boots.

She got to see the Scrumptious design in person and loved it, which was a great relief to me. She let me pick out yarn for the third and last design of this batch of ideas I'd sent her. Best of all, we had a good chat about further collaboration and ways to get the designs into shops as well as selling on the innernetz.

And then I spent the whole morning helping Angie set up the fashion show. Let me tell you: I have never had so much fun whilst in the midst of so much chaos. Oh man. Angie and I, along with Pat, Pam and Tom (I believe that's his name) ran around like headless chickens for a while, before Tom sat Angie down with pen and paper and got things started on the road to organization. Oh, it was glorious fun. With five minutes to spare before the show began, we managed to put together a master list of garments and models in the order of presentation. I was convinced we would send people out in the wrong order or there would be huge gaps in the show while we got people changed, but in the end, I believe it went off pretty credibly. I was backstage frantically throwing clothes at people and moving them physically into correct order, so didn't get to see any of it! But I had an unbeatable time.

I got cake and spent some of the early afternoon working the door and checking tickets with a volunteer in a Ravelry t-shirt whose name I totally did not get. We had a grand time. When the number of people died down, Jo, the day's organizer, threw a Meg Swansen ticket at me and told me in no uncertain terms to enjoy myself at the talk.

I ran into Liz while getting more cake after the talk, and spent a relaxing half hour chatting with her. We'd only met a few days before, when I went to my first knitting meeting of the Oxford Bluestockings group. Always nice to get a chance to pick a local's brains when you're a new resident.

As I was sitting, knitting and waiting for one of the workshops to let out, Pam or Pat (I'm sorry! I got them mixed up in the fashion show madness, and now will forever be confused) stopped by and, again, I spent a great half hour chatting with her. She goes to a bunch of the knitterly gatherings in the UK, and says that Tom happily accompanies her to them as well. I look forward to running into them again.

Finally, to cap off a great day, I met up with the Irish contingent and -what else?- went to the pub. It was great to see Isobel and Sinead again, and to meet Averil and some of the representatives from Cork.

It turned out a bunch of other Ravelry Day people, including the organizers and some guests, congregated at the same pub. We took over a whole half of the first floor, I think. God only knows what the rest of the pub thought. We thanked Jo, although she refused to make a speech. It was a brilliant evening, and, thanks to two very weak mojitos (was there even booze in those?), I even managed to find my way to the train station sans taxi.

And then! At the train station, I met Rene, another Californian scientist Raveler. She'd only just moved to the UK a couple of months ago. We were on the same train for most of the way and spent the journey discussing expat things, science, and the way British people use whingeing about the weather as a social lubricant.

Great day.

1 comment:

Jo said...

I ended up making several speeches several glasses of wine later. Thank you for helping Ange with the fashion show. Unfortunately it's something that didn't get my full attention, like lots of other things. The month of my life has been utter hell, seven days a week sometimes up to 14 hour days. People don't realise I organised the event in four months from my dining table while being a full time mum. At least for next year I'll have 16 months to organise it.