On Friday I went down to London to take in some of IKnit's weekender. I went last year, and this year they've expanded to a full two-day show. I hadn't booked any of their workshops or talks, although they certainly produced an all-star line-up. Mostly I wanted to mooch around and see if anyone I knew was there.
Though there was a good crowd, I was kind of surprised at how calm and easily-navigated the main exhibition floor was. I think because it was a Friday rather than a weekend. Also maybe lots of people were at the workshops?
I delivered some patterns to Jeni at the Fyberspates stall. She was displaying a bunch of knitted samples. And look what was there!
My Hera Jacket! She said there'd been lots of interest in it, and by mid-afternoon, she'd sold all but one copy of the pattern. I greeted this news with pleased surprise, but she said this meant she'd have none to sell the rest of the weekender. I hope she found a copy machine. Still, this news made me very happy.
Surprisingly, I didn't buy much. IKnit had a blocking wire set which I thought hard about, but decided to leave for another day. The House of Hemp had a beautiful display and some of their hand-dyed hanks were gorgeous. They were madly busy every time I went by. Eventually, I elbowed my way through and, after much dithering, bought four skeins of their 4-ply in a pretty blue, with a sleeveless shell in mind.
They'd organized the yarns into baskets based on broad colour families, and I needed help getting four skeins of the same colour. The lady was really nice and pulled out skein after skein, comparing colours and running under a skylight to see better. We eventually felt these four were as close as we were going to get. I'll probably use two skeins for the front of the shell and two for the back, doing a couple rows from each skein to blend the colours. If I like working with the yarn, I get the feeling I might be heading to their website to buy some of the hand-dyed; they had a hank which reminded me of glorious peacocks...
I also bought a skein of some faaaabulous yarn from the IKnit stall, which will be a present for The Limey. You, and he, will have to wait until I finish it to see.
I stopped by say hi to Diane, then ended up spending most of the day sitting around knitting and talking with her and some fairly random strangers.
Eventually, hunger and the fear of spending more money drove me out of the show. I stopped by an Oxfam bookshop on the way to the tube station and- surprise!- found a few really good knitting books. I got one of Kim Hargreaves older books, and one from Kaffe Fassett as well.
I ate, and then hung around until it was time for my train back. One thing I don't like about training it from Oxford is that the cheaper day tickets mean pre-booking specific trains; how do I know beforehand when I'll be ready to head home? But it turns out I needn't have worried.
I was well-entertained at Paddington station by the Great Western Railway Paddington Band. Who knew?