Tag Archives: outside

Unravel – My first festival of knitting

We awoke on Saturday to the first properly nice sunny day for some time. Armed with a large flask of coffee, sweets for the journey, and everything we could think of needing for a day out (minus the big bottle of water I left in the kitchen) we jumped in the car and set off for Farnham. We left at 10am, exactly when we planned to.

The journey was uneventful, save for a rather long game of ‘I spy’. No traffic. No getting lost. As we entered Farnham we saw banners and adverts for Unravel. We arrived at the planned car park at 11, again, exactly the time planned. Things were going far too well, especially as we tend to be good at taking wrong turns during trips.

We had parked in a car park by the river, as suggested by some members of the Unravel group on Ravelry. We set off towards the venue, Farnham Maltings. We had planned to walk along the river but ended up taking a slight detour, but it was nothing major. The trip was short, and we arrived at the Maltings in about 10 minutes, with a quick stop to admire some pretty crocuses. They followed the path of the river all the way from the car park to the Maltings, as we found out on the way back.

Farnham River and Crocus Path

When we arrived at Unravel there was no queue for the advanced tickets so we could head right in. Nick set off in search of food while I made my way to the venue for Susan Crawford’s talk on vintage Shetland knitting.

The talk was interesting, and I particularly enjoyed seeing the intricately knit colourwork on the pieces. It impressed me that the yarn they used was so fine, somewhere between lace and 4ply. A 4ply cardigan takes long enough for me, I don’t think I could go any finer!

After the talk I met up with Nick, who had not only successfully found food, but had a bit of an explore of the building. We decided that we should look at everything before buying anything. There was so much I could have bought: yarn, buttons, needles, more yarn, baskets, aprons, more yarn.

There was a workshop at 2pm to learn how to felt a small creature. I’ve never done felting before, and Nick was up for giving it a go. Unfortunately it seemed there was a misprint in the guide book and the workshop was only meant for children. Although the tutor was perfectly happy to teach adults, we decided to leave the limited places for the children instead. It was then (I think) that I bought my first skein of yarn, as the room was next door to the workshop. It’s easyknits.co.uk DW Toughie in the colourway Who.

Easy Knits DW Toughie

We headed out to a seating area and had some coffee while planning the rest of our afternoon. The tent was decorated with a knitted pigeon, pompoms and on every table was a decoration of a ball of yarn with needles stuck in it.

After we were suitably refreshed, we made our way back to the stalls. The first thing I bought was a shawl pin and some buttons. I had seen some shawl pins earlier but, although they were stunningly pretty, I didn’t want to spend that much money on them. This one was much cheaper and still pretty. The buttons are for the Thermal I’m knitting.

Shawl Pin and Leaf Buttons

Then we found the John Arbon stall. I have knit with their Exmoor Sock yarn before and loved it, so when I saw the bargain yarn, I went a little mad. It was £3.50 per 100g for bobbin ends. So I bought:

100% Wensleydale. Nick chose this as we’re planning for another pair of socks and this was the brown he was looking for. I can’t find any info about it anywhere.John Arbon Wensleydale

Exmoor sock in Heather

John Arbon Exmoor Sock Yarn

Undyed Alpaca/Merino/Nylon 4ply. I may experiment with dyeing this but I’m not sure yet. It’s so very soft and it’s a pretty natural colour.

John Arbon Alpaca 4ply Yarn

Alpaca Sock

John Arbon Alpaca Sock Yarn

My favourite (for now), Alpaca Supreme. I wouldn’t usually buy silk, but this was just so pretty and so reasonably priced that I couldn’t resist. I’m looking for the perfect shawl pattern for it.John Arbon Alpaca Supreme Yarn

On the Little Grey Sheep stall, we found the perfect blue that Nick wanted to go with the brown. It’s a mini skein and as he only wanted it for detail, that was brilliant.Little Grey Sheep Gotland 4ply Yarn

Nick decided to head outside and sit down while I had a final look around. During the first look round I saw a single skein of Colinette Jitterbug in a crazy green colourway that I fell in love with. I told myself that if it was still there I would buy it. It was, so I did.Colinette Jitterbug Sock Yarn

I was also on the lookout for a project bag for my mum. I didn’t find anything suitable though unfortunately. There were some fantastic bags there, but none of the ones I saw had any pockets, and I’m pretty sure she wants pockets. I was tempted by the baskets, but I didn’t like any of the ones left on the stall, so that will be something to get another time.

There was so much more I could have bought, but I was pretty restrained, and thanks to the bargain John Arbon yarn, spent less than I had budgeted.

The plan when we were done was to find a pub for dinner and to watch the rugby, but we decided to just head home as we were both pretty tired. We walked back along the river (the right way this time) and drove home, entertained by another game of I spy.

My first visit to a knitting festival was very positive, and after being undecided for so long I was very glad that I visited Unravel. I did find it a little too crowded, but waiting until the afternoon to buy proved to be a great idea as it meant the crowds had died down and there was a bit more room to browse.

Seeing as he was so patient to come to an event all about knitting with me, please take a look at Nick’s website. He’s a game developer and is just getting ready to release his first game, Hyper Gauntlet.

See It Blog It: October

Although I now live in Southampton, I’m originally from Bristol and lived there for the first 23 years of my life. I visit often, as my family still live there and I find it a lovely place to be. The whole city has a much more unique feeling than Southampton.

While in Bristol, I tried to cram in as much as I could as I was only planning on going for the day (in the end I ended up staying the night, but left pretty early the next morning). I had also read about See it Blog it over on mylifeinknitware.com which made me decide to explore part of the city I had been through probably hundreds of times, without taking notice of my surroundings.

I was quite happy on my way to the station, although there were lots of omens that made me think I might not actually have such a good day as I was expecting. There was a man passed out in a bus stop. Someone got off a bus and made sure he was ok before I got there, so I left him to sleep. Then there was also a pigeon that looked like it had just kind of died and fallen out the sky. The train journey went without a problem though, and that was, for the Saturday anyway, the end of any problems.

First, as soon as I got off the train and headed to the bus stop, I took a look at the train station itself. Bristol Temple Meads is pretty large, and there’s normally so much traffic and tall buses around that you can’t see it properly. Still being pretty early, I managed to take this:Bristol Temple Meads

It’s interesting, because unlike most of Bristol, where old buildings and new sit together, sometimes overlapping, Temple Meads is pretty old. Take away the cars, traffic lights and signs and you can easily imagine what it used to look like. The building on the left actually used to be the station, but now it’s the building directly in front.

I then paid a visit to St Nicholas Market. I’ve explored this place thoroughly so it wouldn’t count at all for See it Blog it. I couldn’t resist a visit though, as this has to be one of my favourite places in Bristol. You can buy anything in there, all from independent, local traders. I bought some sauce from Dr Burnorium’s Hot Sauce Emporium and wandered the market, just taking in the sights and smells. It was nice and quiet as it was still only 10.30am.

Next I walked to the centre and hopped on a bus to visit my grandparents. When I left them after lunch, I headed to Clifton to investigate a new wool shop. I’m so glad I did. Beshley’s Wool Shop was one of the most inviting, wonderful wool shops I’ve been in. Beshley herself was very welcoming, and I didn’t feel at all awkward taking plenty of time to look at and feel all the wonderful British wool she stocks. I was on a hunt for some lovely soft chunky wool for some bedsocks for my grandma. I found the perfect thing:

Erika Knight Vintage Wool in drizzle and wisteria.

Erika Knight Vintage Wool

I also couldn’t resist this Exmoor Sock Yarn in peacock. The picture just does not do the colour justice.Exmoor Sock Yarn

I was also very happy about the prices, and it proves that you don’t have to pay ridiculous amounts to get high quality, local yarn.

I managed to drag myself away from the loveliness of the shop and went to find a bus (they’ve changed some routes) back to the centre. I also managed to help out a lost woman on the way.

When I reached the centre, my goal was to explore Nelson Street, a previously dull and grey, partly derelict street that has become vibrant and colourful with the See No Evil Graffiti Exhibition. I’ve been through this street many times on the bus, but I’ve never walked along it and taken notice.

The first view is from the centre, of the huge man pouring paint, painted on the side of one of the taller buildings.Nelson Street 1

Next to that is an interesting design, which appears to revolve around machinery. This is above a ‘Welcome to Bristol’ piece.Nelson Street 2

Walking along a bit, you get to this church, which just shows the mish-mash of buildings in Bristol. This is in the middle of all the graffiti. The time is wrong, as with most clocks in Bristol. It was about 3.45pm.Nelson Street 3

Next is a very impressive piece, on the side of a building. The amount of detail here is unbelievable.Nelson Street 4

This is at the end of the same mural as above. Again, the detail!Nelson Street 5

Which is the right way? Which is the wrong way? Note that this is a one way road, apart from for cyclists.Nelson Street 6Nelson Street 7

Finally, right next to my bus stop.Nelson Street 8

I headed to my parents’ house, where they were finishing laying the carpet and decorating the downstairs. I ended up staying the night, which wasn’t the original plan, and headed back to Southampton in the morning. That journey wasn’t so easy though, as the train I was on was cancelled and I had to wait for an hour at Bath Spa. I ended up sat on the floor of the platform knitting, because why not? This resulted in a happy elderly woman who smiled at me a lot. Then on the train, a man sat next to me and somehow knew I was knitting a hat (it was all crumpled on my lap), and said that it looked very nice. I suppose on the plus side of that hour longer than expected journey, I got to do a lot of knitting!

Take a look at what other people have done, or take part in See it Blog it at My Life in Knitwear.