I can’t believe I’m only just posting this, but I managed to make it to the fabulous Wool House on its very last day. It was an exhibition by the Campaign for Wool, spanning ten days, to promote the multiple uses and benefits of wool. For those who missed it, the exhibition took over a section of the beautiful Somerset House in central London, showcases the uses of wool in clothing, furnishings, art, and just about any other use you could think of.
There were different themed rooms, each with its own focus, whether natural, modern, or nursery (by far the cutest:)
There were some really lovely homewares, which I realised my flat is lacking. I didn’t get a photo, but there were walls draped in wool fabric as wallpaper (woolpaper?) to0. Ah, for a pinstripe room!
I really liked the incredible detail of the exhibition, right down to the Black Sheep Ale that formed part of one display:
It was such a great exhibition, and over the ten days, they had something like 17 000 people come through the doors. I’m rather immersed in the knitting/crafting community, so it was great to see how much wool is appreciated more broadly.
Some of you may not be aware, but there is a fantastic FREE craft night that happens in Hackney on the last Tuesday of the month. It’s The Make Escape, and it’s held upstairs in The Attic at The Hackney Picturehouse. It’s such a great night, I can’t believe not everyone knows about it yet! The idea is that it’s a space where people can drop in from 7.30pm and just join in with the crafts that are happening on the night. Each month hosts a different theme, and last week was all about Easter.
Here’s my bunny nugget with a very woolly sheep cosy:
Making the most of the opportunity to learn a new skill, I had a bash at crochet. It’s hard to believe that someone has actually taught me to crochet before, but since I’ve never practised, I’m still completely rubbish. I just can’t seem to figure out how to tension the yarn without a needle in my left hand, so I ended up with the smallest, tightest few stitches known to humanity:
Catherine Hirst tried to reassure me that an inability to tension the yarn is very common in beginners, but I think maybe crochet is just not the craft for me.
I had a little stall with my yarns and got a chance to talk to some really interesting knitters and crocheters. I love how people are welcome to set up a stall and then help out or run a workshop for the evening. I’m already plotting and scheming for some good ideas for future workshops.
The fabulous Momtaz who organises the night was busy taking photos of the evening’s craftiness, which she has put together in a blog post here. There’s even a photo of me, but I can assure you, I was much happier than the photo suggests! (I really need to work on my fear of being photographed).
All in all it was a great evening and I’m looking forward to more. The next night is April 30th, with the theme of jewellery. Break out the sparkly stuff!
Hello from this little chap in an easter bonnet in the front garden at the fabulous Howard Road House. There’s no occasion that goes past without a fantastic thematic display, and it’s always worth a look.
I’m currently feeling slightly ill from eating too much chocolate. Oh dear. I hope you’re all having a great crafty weekend.
There’s actually a good reason why things have been rather quiet over on this blog: I’ve moved to Walthamstow. The move was completely unplanned (thanks landlord!) so it’s all been a bit frantic, but I think I’m getting myself settled now. I’m having a great time getting to know a new part of London, and so far, I really love it here.
The thing that I love most about Walthamstow is the great sense of community. I’ve jumped in head first, am getting involved in everything I can, and have even set up a knitting group (see here! Come join!). (Oh, and for those of who are not local, yes, it’s the birthplace of 90s band East17. There’s no need to include a link for that, is there?)
One local event that I discovered is the fortnightly E17 Pop-Up Restaurant. Held every second Monday at the famous Ye Old Rose and Crown, the lovely Will hosts the evening which showcases a different international cuisine each time, and it’s about as authentic as it gets. I was very excited about the first one that I came across: Burmese. Can’t say I’ve ever had Burmese food before!
It was really, really good. For a bargain price, we got a delicious three course meal, with chickpea fritters to start, a main course of butternut or chicken curry on noodles with all the extras, and a dessert of mango and lime cheesecake or coconut sago pudding.
Of course my photos don’t do it justice, but I was too eager to eat the food rather than mess around with settings on my camera.
I missed last night’s Korean meal as I’m currently in Cornwall (more about that soon) but I’m looking forward to seeing what’s up next.
Oh, and expect more blog posts from around The ‘Stow. There’s lots of great crafty stuff happening.
It’s January, and it’s been snowing for days – perfect knitting weather! I hope you’re all suitably rugged up in knitwear. I feel rather smug heading out in my hand-knit woollens to keep me warm!
I think it’s shaping up to be another great year for knitting events in the UK. Here’s my annual round-up of the big knitting/woolly events that are coming up, and in chronological order, so you can plan your year:
23-24 Feb Unravel Farnham Maltings, Farnham, Surrey
16 March Edinburgh Yarn Festival The Drill Hall, Edinburgh
27-28 April Wonderwool Wales Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, Powys, Wales
28-29 June Woolfest Mitchells Lakeland Livestock Centre, near Cockermouth, Cumbria
27-28 July Fibre-East Redborne Community College, Ampthill, Bedfordshire
7-8 Sept British Wool Weekend The Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate
28-29 Sept Yarndale Skipton Auction Mart, Skipton, Yorkshire
10-13 Oct Knitting and Stitching Show Ally Pally, London
19-20 Oct Bakewell Wool Gathering Bakewell Agricultural Centre, Bakewell
28-29 Oct Fibre Flurry Birmingham (exact venue TBC)
31 Oct-3 Nov Knitting and Stitching Show RDS, Dublin
21-24 Nov Knitting and Stitching Show Harrogate
I’m very pleased to see the ol’ favourites with some new events too.
Please leave a comment if you know of others that I’ve missed out, and let me know where you’re planning on heading!
I had so much fun at the Spitalfields Market a couple of weeks ago. It was one of those cold, grey London days when being undercover at a market is just the right thing.
I got to meet lots of new people, and particularly exciting was meeting ravellers “in real life” for the first time. It’s always amazing to make face to face contact with people you’ve interacted with on the internet.
One of my favourite aspects of doing a market stall is getting to know the other stallholders. I love learning about the stories behind their products and hearing about their experiences. As usual, my stallholder neighbours commented on how “dedicated” knitters seem to be (I think that was a polite way to say yarn-obsessed) and I couldn’t really disagree. I completely love the knitting community and wouldn’t have it any other way.
I also had lots of friends pop down (which was great not only for company, but also to give me the chance to get some lunch!) but my only regret was that I didn’t get a chance to go shopping at the other stalls myself. We were part of the 70 stalls designated for the We Make London designer-makers, so there was no shortage of creative goodness to check out.
One of my friends came along and helped to ensure that my displays were all nicely colour co-ordinated…
I had plans for doing a giant Etsy shop update after the market, but I got the sudden news that my landlord wants her flat back, so I’m currently doing a mad dash trying to put my life in to boxes. I’ll be moving house next weekend, so there will be new stock in the shop once I’m unpacked. I’m moving to a very creative part of London, opposite another knitter, so there should be lots of knitterly things coming up!
… but I pretty much missed it.
Many of you will be aware of British Wool Week, which is part of the Campaign for Wool‘s promotion of wool and encouraging its use in a range of industries. Every year there are various events around the country to mark the week, but unfortunately it has also coincided with a ridiculously busy period for me so I couldn’t participate in anything.
I did actually stop by Covent Garden to see the Woolly Golf, which was billed as “a golf course made entirely of wool with over-sized sheep obstacles”. It sounded like good fun. However it clearly wasn’t my lucky day, as it was closed (during its stated opening hours!) and this was all I got to see:
Harvey Nichols also had a giant ball of yarn on the front of their store, but it takes a lot for me to venture in to West London…
So, for those of you who saw more of Wool Week than I did, I’d love to hear about it.