Last weekend I got to go to Unravel, which was my first ever knitting fair. You can imagine how excited I was about it! Such an event is a rare kind of treat for me, as fairs in general are not really very ME-friendly. The only way I could do was to go on a wheelchair, but as it was very crowded it wasn’t a particularly easy thing to do. Many thanks to my friend Kate for patiently pushing the wheelchair around. Luckily Kate is also into knitting and crochet so I don’t think it was too much of a hardship for her. Our dear husbands were sent to the pub for a few hours, so they were kept happy too. We had such a lovely time, and were very pleased about our purchases.
I do have to admit my budget did rather go out of the window. Sad but true, perhaps inevitable even. But I don’t get to see yarns “live” very often so I decided not to care.
I chose yarns that are least like the yarns I can spin myself at the moment, which inevitably meant beautiful yarns in luxury fibers. I bought four skeins 100% silk lace yarn from the Natural Dye company, in two lovely spring-like colourways, a peachy orange and a muted pink with a fairly cool undertone. I seem to have a thing for orange and coral at the moment, as I just couldn’t resist a skein of Artisan Yarn’s Soliloquy Sock Lace in a beautiful pale coral colour. These will be made into summery shawls.
In addition to these bright colours, a few skeins of moody grey-blue yarn from Fyberspates jumped in too. One of these was a skein of Scrumptious lace in a pale blue colourway called Water (again this will be for a shawl of some type) – as well as 4-ply yarn in a semi-solid not-quite-teal blue shade. It’s called Rural Charm and it’s 70% Blue Faced Leicester, 20% silk and 10% cashmere. Just pure loveliness!
Talking of luxury fibers, it was obvious at Unravel it is such a huge trend at the moment. So many of the yarns were from indulgently soft merinos, alpacas and silk/merino/cashmere blends. Obviously these fibers make gorgeous soft yarns, and if you knit small projects such as hats, scarves, shawls and mittens then it is a great way to indulge in a bit of luxury. And I understand indie dyers want to have a base yarn with the most appeal and least risk and that seems to be silk and merino at the moment. Knitters just can’t resist them (and that’s very much me included).
But, I really was missing a range of proper sheepish yarns in beautiful colours. I don’t mean I miss scratchy wool, but there are so many lovely sheep breeds on these isles, many of them beautifully soft while still having authentic woolly feel to them. So well done for Blacker Yarns for having yarns made from named British sheep breeds. Their colour range, however, is quite limited – most of the yarns they were selling were in natural colours which are of course beautiful, but sometimes you just crave for something brighter. So as I was after some specific colours I did not buy any of their yarns this time.
I don’t know if it is just me who’d like to see more yarns in interesting but not necessarily luxury fibers in a wide range of beautiful, interesting, complex colours? Maybe I am just fussy about my yarns… well that was of course why I decided to learn to spin my own.
But all in all, it was a great day out and now I have 5 projects’ worth of yummy yarns for new knitting projects.