Thursday, 29 July 2010

Knit Nation - Thursday night preview

I left work early and rushed through London to arrive at Imperial College in time for the Knit Nation Market Preview.  There was a big queue all the way outside along the terrace, but I had time to duck in to the queue-less registration desk to pick up my tickets.  Then it was into the queue to be surrounded by yarnloving excitement.  The word being bandied about all around me was 'wollmeise', which is hand-dyed in Germany in vivid colours and is supposed to be lovely to knit with.

Then the queue started to move and we streamed into the long rectangular hall of the marketplace.  Although I am not part of the cult of Wollmeise, it was too irresistable and I allowed myself to be sucked along the entire length of the hall, past empty stands and bemused stallholders, as what seemed like the entire queue headed straight for the Wollmeise stall at the end.  You couldn't see the stall for a crowd of women 10 or 15 deep, it was an absolute mob scene, crazed knitters clutching 8 or 10 skeins to their bosoms, people lobbing skeins over the crowd, snatching up laceweight from the baskets, people calling for skeins to be passed back to them from those lucky few near to the wall displays.  I felt like a kind of bodysurfer as I was buffeted slowly along the stand, fondling yarn as I went.  I didn't buy anything because the bright colours aren't really my thing, but I enjoyed the vicarious craziness. 

Then I went around the corner and started shopping up the other side of the hall, which was still virtually empty, and all you could hear was the shrieks and babble coming from the Wollmeise stand.  The market place is well stocked with independent dyers, tons of yarn, a limited amount of accessories such as needles and project bags, a very few books on a couple of stands.  But very little haberdashery other than needles, almost no hardware (so if you were looking for spinning wheels etc. you would be out of luck I think) and not even that many patterns for sale except on a few stands.  It was yarn yarn yarn.  I went around three times and was still done in an hour.

In the end, I only bought what I went for:  3.5mm tips for my wooden KnitPro interchangeables, and some small diameter wooden straight needles, and of course a KnitNation totebag.  I did go back to one stall to buy some lace yarn I really liked, but it was gone when I went back - always buy it when you see it.

I was disappointed that there didn't seem to be anything else happening, unless it was somewhere else very quietly and unsignposted.  I thought there would be people hanging about knitting, or a knitting lounge or something.  Maybe there was and I just completely missed it.

I'm back there tomorrow night for the Ravelry talk, assuming I can get off work early enough (my boss is sadly in tomorrow, but it's her birthday so hopefully she will drink a lot at the pub at lunchtime and not notice when I leave early...

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Oh no, isn't there anywhere to sit and knit? Or go for a coffee with other nice knitters?

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