The last two months have seen me attend three very different yarny events: a visit to Sirdar HQ; the Indieburgh Yarn Crawl; and PomFest, all of them fantastic in different ways.
Last month Pom Pom Quarterly celebrated their 5th birthday with a two-day PomFest party. I happened to find myself near enough to London, on a family holiday (with no pre-planning obviously), to go for the first day.
There were no classes at PomFest, but rather talks and panel discussions, which were fascinating. Bristol Ivy talked about her design process: how process dictates form (“What happens if I knit this in this way?”) and conversely how design dictates form, where Bristol shared some images that had inspired her design work. I also caught a panel discussion, chaired by Anna Maltz, about how knitting and the knitting industry has changed in the last five years. There was much talk about the increased role of social media in the knitting world and about the growth of small businesses, especially local and specialised yarn companies.
Of course, there was a market place, where I picked up some goodies, and a lovely seating area, where I bizarrely found myself sitting at a table with Ysolda Teague, Veera Valimaki and Clara Parkes – I really didn’t know what to say!
The Indieburgh Craft Crawl in the middle of June, was a real “knitting friends day out” round the craft shops of Edinburgh. It was fantastic to visit Ysolda Teague’s studio, which is usually closed to the public, although she told me at PomFest that their space doesn’t usually look like it did – they had done a fair bit of furniture rearranging and ‘yarn displaying’ to get it ready for the Crawl. It was also great to see Border Tart’s trunk show at Kathy’s Knits, where I couldn’t resist buying a little set of mini-skeins (photographed above with two skeins of Tuku Wool from Ysolda). It was a very hot day so I was pleased to make it along to the ‘after-party’ at Hama, near the Scottish Parliament building, to drink a pint, do a bit of knitting and catch up with some yarny friends.
Finally, way back at the beginning of June, I went to visit Sirdar HQ as part of my prize for winning Knit Now Magazine’s New Designer Of The Year. It was a fantastic day and Sirdar was so generous with their time and yarny goodies. We had a tour of the warehouse (pictured: these boxes were filled with yarn) and the design room, and a sneaky peak at the new yarns and designs for Autumn 2017. Finding out about Sirdar’s design process was really interesting and I loved seeing their inspiration board covered with photos and swatches. It inspired me to create my own design board at home and I’ve found it really helpful to have my ideas up on the wall: I may have even found a new love of swatching!