UK yarn shows for 2017

Happy new year everyone!  I hope your 2017 is off to a good start.

My 2017 has been great so far: I’ve just been back in London for 2 days after returning from a whirlwind trip to Australia.  It was pretty amazing, and now my head is buzzing with all sorts of thoughts, ideas, and half-plans for the year ahead.  Once I recover from the trip and get back in to real life (and some sort of sleeping pattern), I’ll be sure to do some posts about my travels.

travelling wombat

Thinking about the year ahead, I bring you my list of UK knitting and yarn shows for 2017.

This is an annual list that I’ve been compiling for a number of years now.  As the knitting community continues to grow in the UK, there are more and more events being held around the country, with new events each year, and some events being discontinued.  It’s becoming trickier to keep up to date with what’s happening where!

Keep in mind that in addition to the 25 events that I have included, there are many other smaller events around the country aimed at local communities of woolly enthusiasts, so be sure to keep an eye out for those.  I’ve listed the larger events that knitters more often travel for.

I find it really helpful at the start of the year to get an overview of what’s coming up over the next twelve months.  I hope you find it useful too.

My own first scheduled show for the year is the wonderful Edinburgh Yarn Fest, where Travelknitter and The Wool Kitchen will again be sharing a stall again (a great time is guaranteed!).  I’ve applied to be a vendor at other events later in the year, so I’ll let you know about those once details are confirmed.

travelknitter stall

UPDATE 16.02.17:  A month is a long time in the knitting events world.  Since my original post, there’s been one cancellation, one addition, and a change of venue.  The list is now duly updated.

Download a PDF copy of the 2017-travelknitter-guide-to-uk-knitting-events-updated.  Enjoy your travels!

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2015 UK knitting events

The year is drawing to a close, and so it’s time to bring you the list of UK knitting events for 2015.  Once again we’ve got an impressive lineup for the year ahead, and the list just gets bigger every year.  Unfortunately that results in a few duplications over weekends, but that just takes a bit more planning.   Who’s excited?

Confirmed events for 2015:

18 Jan
20-22 Feb
5-8 March
14-15 March
27-28 March
25-26 April
9 May
15-16 May
16-17 May
16-17 May
23 May
30-31 May
26-27 June
25-26 July
7-8 Aug
15 Aug
11-13 Sept
26-27 Sept
26-27 Sept
26 Sep-4 Oct
7-11 Oct
17-18 Oct
29 Oct-1 Nov
26-29 Nov
Waltham Abbey Wool Show Waltham Abbey, Essex
Unravel Farnham Maltings, Farnham, Surrey
Spring Knitting and Stitching Show  Olympia, London
Edinburgh Yarn Festival Edinburgh, Scotland
p-LUSH  Ricoh Arena, Coventry
Wonderwool Wales Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, Powys, Wales
Wharfe Wool Fair Otley Courthouse, West Yorkshire
I Knit Fandango Lindley Hall, London (new event!)
John Arbon Textiles Open Weekend South Molton, Devon
FOFEST  Exeter, Devon  (UPDATE: cancelled until 2016)
Highland WoolFest Dingwall Mart, Scotland
Proper Woolly   Holsworthy, Devon  (new event!)
Woolfest Mitchells Lakeland Livestock Centre, Cockermouth, Cumbria
Fibre-East Redborne Community College, Ampthill, Bedfordshire
British Wool Show (previously British Wool Weekend) York Auction Mart
Popup Wool Show  The Oval Leisure Centre, Bebington, Cheshire
Bristol Wool Fair Clifton and Durdham Downs, Bristol
Yarndale Skipton Auction Mart, Skipton, Yorkshire
Masham Sheep Fair  Masham, Yorkshire
Shetland Wool Week Shetland
Knitting and Stitching Show Ally Pally, London
Bakewell Wool Gathering Bakewell Agricultural Centre, Bakewell, Derbyshire
Geeky Puffin Knitpalooza (retreat with one-day market) Edinburgh (new!)
Knitting and Stitching Show Harrogate, Yorkshire
Possible events:
There are a few events that may well be held again next year, but details are still to be confirmed.  However I know people are chomping at the bit to start planning for next year, so I had to get this blog post published sooner rather than later.

Unwind, held in July 2014 at the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, Brighton UPDATE: not being held in 2015

Glasgow School of Yarn held in October 2014 in Glasgow

Festiwool, held in November 2014 at North Herts College, Hitchin, Hertfordshire

Time to start preparing the shortlist of the events that I’ll get to in 2015!  What’s on your must-see list?

2014 UK knitting events

It’s that time of year again where we pull out our trusty diaries and plan for the year ahead of knitting and fibre events, right?  Or is that just me?

I’ve pulled together a list of all the major knitting events in the UK for 2014, and some of these dates are hot off the press.  Calendars at the ready..

19 Jan                Waltham Abbey Wool Show  Marriott Hotel, Waltham Abbey (new event!)

21-23 Feb          Unravel Farnham Maltings, Farnham, Surrey

13-16 March     Knitting and Stitching Show  Olympia, London

26-27 April       Wonderwool Wales Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, Powys, Wales

24 May              Highland Wool Festival Dingwall Mart, Scotland (new event!)

27-28 June       Woolfest Mitchells Lakeland Livestock Centre, near Cockermouth, Cumbria

12-13 July         Unwind Brighton Dome Corn Exchange Brighton (new event!)

26-27 July        Fibre-East Redborne Community College, Ampthill, Bedfordshire

5-7 Sept            Bristol Wool Fair exact location in Bristol tbc.  (new event!)

6-7 Sept            British Wool Weekend The Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate

27-28 Sept       Yarndale Skipton Auction Mart, Skipton, Yorkshire

16 Aug             Popup Wool Show  The Oval Leisure Centre, Bebington, Cheshire  (new event!)

9-12 Oct           Knitting and Stitching Show Ally Pally, London

6-12 Oct           Shetland Wool Week Shetland

18-19 Oct         Bakewell Wool Gathering Bakewell Agricultural Centre, Bakewell

2 Nov               Festiwool North Herts College, Hithin, Hertfordshire (new event!)

20-23 Nov       Knitting and Stitching Show Harrogate

Please note that the Edinburgh Yarn Festival will be taking a wee break this year, and are planning a bigger event for March 2015.

I’m amazed at how many new yarn and fibre based events keep springing up all over the country.  And every one is different, with a different theme, focus, atmosphere, and fabulous vendors.  I’m trying to work my way round them all, but there’s just so many to choose from!  I might visit the new Unwind event in Brighton this year (good excuse for a weekend away) and my dream is to get to Shetland Wool Week one day.  Maybe this year?  Because we all know that knitters DO travel.

woolthamstow

Being a recent arrival to Walthamstow, I quickly set about getting involved in various things, including kicking off a new knitting group.  We have a group on Ravelry, as well as a group on Meetup, and we have a really good mixture of knitters and crocheters, so there’s no discrimination here!

We meet on the first and third Monday of each month at the recently refurbished The Bell.

photo(1)

It’s a good local pub, with polished wood floors, rickety second-hand furniture, and comfy couches that are just right for sitting and knitting.  We tend to snaffle the couches by the window, so we get the best light and we can do some knitting promotion with the passers-by.

One of the walls even features William Morris-esque floral wallpaper, in a nod to the William Morris Gallery down the road:

wallpaper

The food always goes down a treat:

chorizo

1-knit night

If you’re local to E17, please do come along and join in.

And just a little snippet of news:  Woolthamstow is about to get even woollier…

exciting!

E17 Pop-up Restaurant

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!

global_169477192

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.

1-IMG_4195 1-IMG_4189

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.

2013 knitting events

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!

rain and sheep – aka The Great British Summer (pt 2)

Back in June,  I built a trip to one of my all-time favourite places, the Lake District, around one of my all-time favourite fibre events, Woolfest.  Obviously it was a little while ago now (and I could come up with a dozen reasons why I’m so far behind in this blogging malarkey), but it was such an adventure I don’t want to let it pass by without a blog post.

A friend and I had booked a little cottage for the week, so that we would have a few days to mooch about before Woolfest arrived.  It’s a fair old drive up from London (some 5.5 hours) but definitely worth making a trip of it.
We were tucked away in a teeny little hamlet on a hillside, surrounded by amazing greenery and a waterfall at the back.  After dropping off our bags, we prioritised carefully and went for a walk across the countryside to the nearest village with a pub.  In less than ten minutes I spotted my first ever red squirrel, which completely made my day!  Obviously it was too quick for me to get a photo, but this sign down the road hints that there are a few around:

Being the Lake District, the ground was rather muddy in places, and I managed to submerge myself in mud (wearing trainers, of course) on the way home from the pub.  I won’t be posting photos of that on the blog though.

The schedule for the week was largely based on finding walks that ended with a country pub as a destination.  Luckily in Cumbria that’s quite easy to do!

En route there was much sheep sighting, and I got to practise my breed spotting.

The most friendly lambs I came across were the lovely Herdwicks.  They’re a wonderful native Cumbrian breed.  These two were quite happy for me to walk up to them, but unfortunately stopped just short of letting me pat them.

They’re a very hardy breed, perfectly suited to life in the fells, and they change from black lambs to rather sweet and smiley grey adults:

The only “real” walk we did during the week was along Catbells.  I was painfully reminded of my appalling state of fitness (and was constantly overtaken by bouncy teenagers and older women with walking poles), but views like this were worth it:

And we came across the occasional woolly friend, clinging on to the hillside:

Nice, huh?

There really are sheep everywhere in Cumbria.

By the edge of the lake,

chomping on the moss growing on trees,

and just wandering around the streets.

The weather turned a bit nasty towards the end of the week, just in time for Woolfest.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen such heavy rain for a constant 24 hours!  Woolfest was great, and it was fantastic to be there and to catch up with friends.  There are always some new characters to meet though:

We went back to the cottage at the end of the day, and I was getting a bit worried that the waterfall outside the house seemed to be getting louder and louder:

We went back in to Cockermouth for a lovely meal and a drink, and then a few hours later discovered that the roads to get back were flooded!  Coming from the southern states of Australia, I’ve never actually seen floodwater before, and I was absolutely terrified.  I had to turn back from the first route (one guy’s car had already broken down) but the main road really wasn’t much better.  My poor little car was very, very, close to stalling, and I thought we were never going to get through the longest “puddle” I’d ever seen!  I’m hugely grateful that I was with friends who were able to help calm me down once we were all back at the cottage.

The rain continued over night, and we were somewhat stranded for a number of hours until the road was passable:

Not a bad little adventure for a wool show, really.  Floods at Woolfest, and mudbaths at Fibre East.  Not sure if I should attempt a trifecta…