Unravel 2015: show preview

I know over in the US you’ve got Stitches West, but if you’re in the UK, you’re probably familiar with Unravel. It’s this weekend and I can barely contain myself!

Unravel is at Farham Maltings, a wonderful old mill building, just a short distance from London. It’s a fabulously-curated show, and usually the cause of much excitement because it has the distinction of being the first show on the calendar of the yarn and fibre festival “season”.

On the third weekend in February, the timing is also pretty perfect. Many knitters have been knitting from stash or trying to behave themselves since the new year, and the cold and damp is usually still here – along with the February doldrums. Unravel comes along at just the right time to shake things up creatively and encourage falling off the “cold sheep” wagon – as has happened to me in the past!

Last year of course Unravel was work, as Inspiration Knits had a stand and we were sharing our patterns – and the gorgeousness of some of our favourite yarnies – at the show. It was an amazing experience to see finished Inspiration Knits in the wild and help spread the word about Inspiration Knits designs. But for me the best part was meeting all of you who have bought patterns and been part of our growing community on the Ravelry board.

This year I’m back to being one of the masses and since I’ve been head-down on a lot of design work lately, I’m looking forward to seeing some new-to-me exhibitors, and old favourites too.

Elisabeth Beverley cashmere-mix

The gentle palette of Elisabeth Beverley’s plant-dyed cashmere

Yarns and yarnies
Where does one start? Being at Unravel for me is like being a kid in a candy store with all the gorgeous yarns and bases and colours to choose from! Aragon Yarns carry some of my favourite SweetGeorgia, but also have Indigodragonfly from Canada that I’d love to try out.  For some lusciousness I quite fancy checking out Bigwigs Angora (homegrown and ethically cared for!) and some of Elisabeth Beverley‘s plant-dyed cashmere. The soft, pastel colours are lighter than what I’m normally attracted to – which makes them out of my comfort zone – but I’m sure they’ll get me thinking about spring knitting.

It’s also nice to see familiar faces from previous shows too so of course I’m looking forward to seeing Midwinter Yarns (gorgeous Scandi yarns!), Kettle Yarn Co. (such luxurious yet hardwearing bases!), Skein Queen (mmmm – more colour!) and Purlescence (more SweetGeorgia, as well as Fyberspates and J&S! Yes, they all deserve exclamation marks!).

There will also be a visit to The Fibre Co. to check out their amazing bases. My brain is just begging to design something in their Road to China Light base of baby alpaca, silk, camel and cashmere…I just might have some in stash, but I may need more (cough).

Some of the eye-popping colours of Indigodragonfly

Some of the eye-popping colours of Indigodragonfly

Spinning fibre
Yes, you read that right! While I’m still spinning really wonkily, I’m enjoying the learning process and can see how appealing this craft can be. I’m sure once I get going it will really be a slippery slope!

To help me on my way, I’m looking forward to seeing the beautiful blends of fibres of Hilltop Cloud and the eye-popping colours of Spin City. And IST Crafts will be there with their well-balanced spindles should I decide to add to my collection of two.

More beautiful colour - this time from Kettle Yarn Co.

More beautiful colour – this time from Kettle Yarn Co.

Since I’m technically still on a yarn diet myself, I’ll have to find other ways to spend the pennies that I’ve been saving. Moonbeads should fit the bill nicely as I’m sure some of my new designs will benefit from added sparkle (and what doesn’t, really?!). I love the beads I bought last year, and I’m after some more size 5, which are difficult to find.

And as embellishment for me I’m looking forward to checking out Ananuca. Not only are they handmade in Chile and have wonderful, plant-dyed and rustic, hardy-looking yarns, they have some amazing jewellery – the kind of statement pieces that I lust after…assuming I haven’t spent all my money on yarn, obviously.

It’s quite a lot to take in, but I’m hoping that going up on the Sunday will mean it’s less busy so that there’s more time to stop and chat with folks. If you see me there, be sure to say hello – and show me your yarn purchases. And if you’re going on Friday or Saturday, do leave me something to pet!

2 thoughts on “Unravel 2015: show preview

  1. Shame you aren’t doing a preview for Stitches West…or maybe that’s a good thing! Just reading your blog made me itch to buy ALL the yarns and ALL the fibres you talked about. A very good thing for my diet that I’m not going to Unravel after all (though no promises that you or someone else won’t get an urgent text w/shopping list…).

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