I am still reeling from the fun, excitement and chaos that was Unravel! By chaos, I don’t mean to slight the Malting’s event organisation; that was supreme. I mean that my stand was so busy my head was spinning. A nice problem, I know!
Our custom kits proved hugely popular. The star kit of the show was Stay Awhile. People loved the colour palettes we’d prepared, ready for people to mix and match. We had a range in luxurious Juno Fibre Arts Alice and in more affordable Whimzy Sokkusu O, so people could splash out as much as they wished. I’ve made Stay Awhile in two lovely greys of Sokkusu O, which is perfect for cold days when I want to look smart, or for day-to-evening. But now I’m thinking about one in Alice; lightweight and pretty for summer.
I love that because we chose colours that all toned with each other, people could make their own combinations. For example, I hadn’t planned to put Oyster and Boudoir together, but several knitters did. They are going to make delicately beautiful shawls. One of our stand team was practically hyperventilating at the sight of that duo; I think she will be casting on imminently.
However, what you need to know is that she has already made three of these shawls- one in the elegant Oyster and Touchwood combination, and two in Sokkusu O! I can’t comment either…I’ve already made two and currently planning a third! This shawl is just so wearable. The Sokkusu O colours we had were a mixture of semi-solid and very-variegated. Again, they worked really well in lots of different combinations.
One important note – I did get asked a few times about recommended needle sizes for Stay Awhile, for the yarns we were showing. I realise the pattern leaves it up to the knitter to decide, based on personal preference. But since people were petting our samples, for anyone who didn’t get a recommendation, I suggest you knit as loose as you dare, without losing stitch definition. We used:
Stay Awhile, Sokkusu O: all 3 samples were made on 4mm needles
Stay Awhile, Alice: Touchwood & Oyster (coffee & cream) sample was made on 3.75mm needles
A few knitters chose these beautiul yarns for Knit Night instead. People were amazed at the range of projects you could make with one Knit Night pattern. We had lots of samples on show, and the yarn options in Fyberspates Silk Twizzle, Fyberspates Faery Wings and Whimzy Silkie went down a storm.
Several novice knitters are now taking the plunge with adding beads, since Knit Night is a great project to tackle first because the knitting is easy. Also, you’re only adding one bead on each row, not every few stitches. The bead colours we stocked were chosen to go with the yarns, plus we had a beading tutorial sheet to get people started. Maybe next time we need the crochet hooks too, to complete the kit. I LOVE Knit Night in Fyberspates Silk Twizzle; I can now reveal the stunning sample we made for the show:
Plenty of knitters admired Midnight Ocean, in sparkly yarn. Yogicknitter’s Sea Urchin yarn, dyed specially for the pattern, was admired even more! Song of the Sea proved as popular on a show stand as it does on Ravelry. If you were one of those knitters who was tempted by the siren call of Song of the Sea, do join our knitalong, running until the end of March. At the show we revealed the ombre Fyberspates Faery Wings version, which was made in two colours. I love it!
We had great fun running our prize draws, and random spot prizes for those wearing badges or projects from Inspiration Knits patterns. Congratulations to all the winners – we had a big prize draw each day, and gave out about 50 spot prizes over the weekend.
We did also struggle with card payments, despite getting setup for it. I asked around at the end of the show and have a recommendation for a reader that was still working when others weren’t. I’d like card payment to work more smoothly, and I’m sure it can, so apologies to anyone who was inconvenienced at the show, and thank you for your patience.
Our biggest problem over the weekend was being too busy – we need a bigger stand next time, I think. I have had a few people say they couldn’t get on the stand, and gave up trying in the end, which isn’t good. I had no idea it would be this busy for us! It’s a nice problem. I am very grateful to my stand team for being so helpful.
Being busy also meant I got to meet lots of lovely knitters. It was wonderful to meet you all on the stand; I think that was my Unravel highlight. I love discussing yarns and patterns with equally enthusiastic people!
How was Unravel for you? What was your highlight (or low point)?
Lastly, do look out for the forthcoming blog posts on my Unravel shopping, adding beads…and those last two special samples I just shared with you.
Show photos copyright Denise Lindberg, used with permission. All other images copyright Louise Zass-Bangham/Inspiration Knits.