27 February 2017

Yarn travels – unravel 2017.

Hey hey hey, well seeing as we’re well into 2017 already I should probably actually do a blog post. On Saturday 18th February we hopped in the car, and trundled down the motorway all the way to Farnham for Unravel 2017

Although it’s been going on for years this is the first time I’ve been to Unravel. Last year I saw loads of stuff about it on social media and that there was lots of people I would have loved to have met there, so this year I didn’t want to miss out.

If you’ve not been before, Unravel is definitely catering to the higher end of the yarn market (in that it’s lots of real wool/independent producers and companies). Being set in the Farnham Maltings building which is a creative arts centre, the layout of the event is somewhat of a labyrinth. There is one main grand hall but then there are lots of smaller rooms dotted around, which has its positives and negatives. Having different rooms meant that there was plenty of stalls and very defined areas, but also because of how busy it was, it was quite hard to get from one room to another and it could have been easy to miss something….that said, I noticed that it had quietened down significantly by about 3pm, so if you can’t stand crowds its always worth going to these things later in the day.

John Arbon Textiles
The amount of yarn available was a little overwhelming. Whenever I go to yarn fairs/festivals I always make a point of going around everything once to check it all out, and then go around again and start making purchases – with unravel I felt like I needed to go round all the stalls at least twice before buying anything to really decide what I wanted. 

One stallholder that I was itching to see in particular was Rachel Atkinson and her ‘Daughter of a Shepherd’ brand. I’ve read a lot about Rachel’s yarn, and she’s done so much to raise awareness of the plight of British wool farmers. She also wrote a really nice piece on her blog a few years back about my artwork so I really wanted to put a face to the name. I’m kinda crap at introducing myself and can be a bit anxious about approaching people, but Rachel gave me a knowing nod straight away and we had a really nice chat.

Daughter of a Shepherd
Needless to say I also bought some of her yarn, I’m going to have to do something special with it and I can wait to get hooking with it.

Daughter of a Shepherd
I met a load of other awesome people at the event too (although I didn’t have the nerve to ask for photo’s with them or anything). The legend that is Jane Crowfoot was there on her Janie Crow stand, and after passing a few times I plucked up the courage to go talk to her….and man, was she lovely. After an awkward introduction on my part (asking ‘you know who I am right?’ maybe isn’t the best start), we had a great chat about her designs and the industry, and she was really encouraging when I told her about some of my designs and aspirations. I also met fellow bearded stitcher Nathan (otherwise know as Sockmatician). I’d recently come across this guy on Instagram, and our beards and love of bright colours naturally drew us into talking to each other.

As well as all the yarn to buy and people to see, there was also plenty of textile art on display. There was some really interesting work by Woking College in some of the hallways.

Textile Art by Gemma Jones from Woking College
There was also the knitted Aviary in the entrance. The birds were donated by knitters and crocheters and then were being auctioned off afterwards for charity.

But I think if I had to choose my favourite pieces it would be a split between the knitted moths by max’s world….

….and the crochet art of Kate Jenkins, which is frankly mind-blowing!!!

So yeah, overall it’s an awesome yarn festival, I'd definitely go again…..but be prepared, your wallet will feel it. I ended up spending way more than I intended to, but there was just so much quality yarn I couldn’t help myself. Obligatory haul picture below.

That's all for now, more stuff coming reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalll soon. Peace out x

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