Is there any season we knitters enjoy more than autumn? That slow drop in temperatures, the crispness in the air, sends us all running for our stash. We’re eager to find something new and snuggly to cast on and then settle in with a cuppa as the light starts to fade earlier and earlier in the evenings.
With The Great London Yarn Crawl and Yarndale already over (and I had a fantastic time at both – check my Instagram if you don’t believe me!), there are still many events to help us knitters celebrate and the autumn calendar is chock full of them. I thought it might be helpful to do a little round up:
The Wool Ride (5 October, 2014)
This is the first year of The Wool Ride, a family-friendly bike ride through London that passes some of the city’s most iconic sights such as London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster. Following the ride there are activities and demonstrations (sheep shearing!) and it sounds like a lovely day out. Held on this coming Sunday, 5 October, the event is free (but you have to register to take part), and kicks off Wool Week UK 2014. My kids are a bit little for this, but I know friends who are going and I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!
Wool Week UK 2014 (6-12 October)
Wool Week is one of the major initiatives of The Campaign for Wool, an endeavour spearheaded by Prince Charles to “raise awareness amongst consumers about the unique, natural, renewable and biodegradable benefits offered by the fibre”. Every year they do a number of events, which have now spread to Wool Weeks in other countries! This is the 5th year of the Campaign and there are many activities planned for Wool Week UK.
A few of the more knitting-centric activities:
– a scarf knitathon at the Brora flagship store in Sloane Square where customers can pitch in and knit on the giant, bespoke scarf that will be auctioned off for charity;
– the John Lewis store on Oxford Street will hold a series of masterclasses with experts such as Erika Knight; and
– wool lovers are encouraged to have their own event with family and friends to help celebrate wool by hosting a PicKnit. Details, invitations and party ideas are on the PicKnit website.
The Knitting & Stitching Show (8-12 October)
Well-timed as a wrap up to all things wool in October is the annual Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. Every year my mother-in-law gets me a ticket and we go together to ‘Ally Pally’. There are hundreds of vendors and the day requires a lot of stamina as excited knitters travel from all over to come and find deals, acquire new stash, and be inspired by the many offerings on display in the galleries. For the wool-averse, and I appreciate October and November seems to be full of wool, this is a great chance to see all the other fibres with which we can knit just as happily.
This year the Knitting & Stitching show has added another day so is actually open for five days! Pro tip #1: Get your ticket in advance before October 7th and save £3 on the entry (and the queues) at the door. Pro tip #2: There is a special Thursday Evening Ticket, if you can sort your schedule to go between 3pm and 7pm. This late Thursday opening was new last year and the show was much less crowded at this time, making it much more relaxing and enjoyable without the massive crowds.
Wovember (1-30 November)
Finally – if getting to London or even the UK isn’t easily accessible – there’s also Wovember. Wovember is a month-long, online celebration of wool during November. The grassroots initiative also calls for clearer labelling and descriptions of garments. Easy enough for everyone to participate, you make a commitment to wearing as much wool as you can in the month, along with celebrating the amazingness of wool and sharing photos and stories of your wool appreciation (knitting, anyone?). There’s no news yet if Team Wovember (comprised of Kate Davies, Felicity Ford and Tom van Deijnen – what a power team!) will be continuing this year but as they’re a busy bunch I’m sure that something will be posted soon – keep checking back at the website.
I have Instagram/Wovember ideas germinating. I wonder if I could post a woolly pic per day on Instagram? Or we could have a woolly knitalong in our Ravelry group? What do you think?
Happy (woolly) knitting!