UK Ravelry Day part 1

Yesterday was World Wide Knit in Public Day, and I had a fabulous time knitting in the city with lots of friends. I managed not to take any photos of it all though so I have nothing interesting to blog.

Instead, let me tell you about last weekend, which I spent in Coventry with a whole load of knitters and lots of yarn. Super.

I left home at 4.30am, for the 6.30am flight to Birmingham. That’s very early and I’m not really a huge fan of mornings. I met up with Sinead on the flight. (Incidentally, Sinead took plenty of photos yesterday and at the UK Ravelry day, so go and read all about them both on her blog too). Coventry was only a 15 minute train ride away from Birmingham airport, and the event was only a short walk from the train station, and was very handily signposted for us.

I wasn’t planning on buying much, so had signed up for two workshops and a talk in an effort to keep me away from all the lovely stalls. It didn’t really work, but I was pretty good, and there was an awful lot of yummy yarn there. The vast majority of it was British yarn from small independent spinners/dyers – which is most definitely guilt free yarn to buy. And oh! The colours! So many lovely things.

I started out in a yarn dyeing workshop run by Jon from Easyknits. I’d bought some yarn from Jon at the iKnit day in London in September which was lovely to knit with, and Jon had been so friendly then that I figured his workshop would be lots of fun, and I couldn’t have been more right. I was a little bit worried that it would have been quite technical and there would have been lots to remember, but actually it was a lot more relaxed and hit and miss and creative and fun. I’d feel confident that I could come away and do some dyeing myself now, and after seeing everyone else’s finished yarns I’d have a better idea about colours. The workshop felt like a couple of hours playing about with colours and painting and making a big mess, and it was a lovely way to start the day. (It was also helped along by the delicious gingerbread men that Jon’s partner had baked for us. Mmmmmm.)

Anyway. The workshop.
First we painted the dye onto our yarns (lovely undyed Blue Faced Leicester).

Here’s mine. I went a bit pale:

Next we sprayed them with vinegar and wrapped them in cling film to make wool sausages:

Then Jon took them away and steamed them to set the dye while I went off to ogle Alpacas in the rain:

And listen to Meg Swansen talk about knitting, design, and Elizabeth Zimmerman:

Later I collected the yarn , and I brought it home and hung it up to dry:

And this morning I wound it up:

I’m calling it “Washed Out Wimbledon”, because it’s almost that time of year, it’s like the Wimbledon colours if they’d been left out in the rain, and I have lots of happy memories of washed out Wimbledons. It will be socks, but I’m not sure which pattern I’ll use yet.

…More in part 2…