Knitters’ Paradise

September 6, 2008 at 10:35 pm (Knitting) (, , , , , )

Warning: long and picture-heavy post!

Saturday was iKnit Day. A one-off opportunity to blow the reimbursement for my season ticket, escape packing for the day and . . . drum roll . . . to see the Yarn Harlot in her first ever UK appearance. If you don’t know who she is, you’re probably not a knitter. She’s kind of a big deal.

So I braved the rain, and the weird geography of odd bits of Westminster I’d never see before, and finally found the Horticultural Hall, aka the Land of Yarny Goodness. It was amazing. I stroked everything (except the angora bunny, which wasn’t supposed to be stroked). I saw people I knew in real life, and even more people who I recognised from ravelry, and I made some new friends.

I also spread the word of Kauni, because I wore this:

Sateenkaari-huivi

Sateenkaari-huivi

(Sadly I don’t have a better picture, because it’s now gone into storage, but edited: not Tournesol – someone with a similar name! please tell me who you are! took one without me noticing, and it’s here.)

Within half an hour of arriving about five different people had asked me if it was Kauni. Now, I’m all in favour of social interaction, but I do like a bit of variety – so I MacGyvered an explanatory label out of a bit of programme and a hairgrip: [photo to follow . . .]. It kind of had the desired effect – I ended up with lots of people telling me they liked my label instead 😉 But seriously . . . next year I’m taking a suitcase full of Kauni, and making a profit!

Yarn was purchased – the IRMT, where I’d just finished my internship, gave me back the money for a months’ season ticket. In cash. That basically made it free money . . . and these were my spoils (plus £5 spent on raffle tickets for the Mirasol Project):

Clockwise from top: The Knittery Merino Cashmere Sock Yarn in ‘Water Lilies’, Knitwitches 100% Cashmere Heavy Laceweight in ‘Northern Hills’ (which I took out of someone’s hand to admire the colours and never gave back – I still don’t know her name . . .), Pagewood Farm Yukon (merino & bamboo) sock yarn in “Bird of Paradise”, two skeins of Coldharbour Mill Merino 4ply (100% Merino! Water Wheel Spun! £4.99!) which will become knee high socks, and 100g merino roving in “Rio” from Limegreenjelly . . . who was so lovely that I bought roving even though I said I wouldn’t! (My spindle has gone into storage too. Boo.)

We all went out into the pouring rain to queue across the road for the Yarn Harlot. This was special. Everyone found a seat and got their knitting out.

No wondering if it was appropriate, no stares (other than “ooh, is that Rowan?”) – it was beautiful. (And yes, that rust-coloured yarn next to me is Rowan.) And the Yarn Harlot?

She was amazing. She had me crying with laughter. One of my favourite bits, though, came when she was complaining about the price of CrackSilk Haze in Canada.
“We pay twenty-five dollars!”
Audience: [sharp intake of breath]
“I mean, how much is it over here?”
Audience: “Seven twenty-five!”
We’re not addicts. I promise.

Back to the other hall to queue for book signings . . . man, she is popular. You have no idea.

(The girl with the short hair and the orange sock? She’s the one whose lace weight I, umm, stole. She didn’t really want it though.)

People queued for hours! Luckily we all knit, so we queue *productively*. (Although I did nearly garrote myself with a skein of Summer Tweed I had hanging round my neck while winding it.) Then it was my turn, and I grinned like the inane fan girl that I am. Because – and check this out – I. Made. The. Yarn. Harlot. Laugh. Here she is, most popular knitting humour author of all times, a blog that’s read by tens of thousands of people, everyone has just *paid* to see her – and I made her laugh. Because I have a note pinned to my shawl that says “Yes! It’s Kauni!” I am awesome. Here is the proof, by the way – scroll down until you see bright colours. I also got the obligatory picture of her with a sock-in-progress. Except . . . I didn’t have a sock in progress, but I will soon 😉

Then there was more fondling of fluff (I resisted the merino-and-silk roving and the baby alpaca . . .), and aliens, and catwalk shows, and silliness . . . until Camille and I staggered out into the rain in search of football and food, both of which we found. Thus ends the happy day (except the football – we left at half-time because it was too dire).

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7 Comments

  1. Penny said,

    That shawl you had on – is it Kauni? 🙂 I saw it several times and admired it from afar.

  2. Lolli said,

    I saw you on her blog! :o)
    Sadly I couldn’t make the day, but all the stories have made me smile so much. I love the pic of the queue! :oD

  3. Chris Clegg said,

    Have you seen that two or three people have commented on the Yarn Harlot’s blog entry, asking for the pattern for your Kauni shawl? Seems to be very popular!

  4. Liz said,

    I saw you on the day but didn’t quite make the dots connect in my head (doh!). Glad you had such a good time – I kind of regret that I didn’t queue to meet Steph but I’m sure she’ll be back, I mean, she *seemed* like she was having a good time over here.

  5. Tysolna said,

    Ooo I spy myself in the “knitting and listening” picture! 😀

  6. evve said,

    I’m the photographer 🙂 (fluffspangle on ravelry, but I see you’ve tracked me down there) It’s a brilliant shawl. I wrote down the name of the pattern on the flap of my chewing gum packet along with various other really important notes… and discovered I’d lost the lot by the time I got home. Thank goodness for ravelry which will tell me all.

  7. frillbow said,

    Oh you certainly got some stares that day didn’t you! The label was so funny. Think you must have been sat just 1 or 2 rows behind me for the harlot talk, as I can see the back of my head in the photo!

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