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There may have been some stash enhancement September 14, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Craftiness, Knitting, Lovely people, Really good day.

Or, “You spent WHAT on yarn?!”

(Just to let you know in advance, it’s going to be a long, picture-filled post.  Bring a book.)

It was the I Knit Weekender in London on Friday and Saturday, so of course I couldn’t resist going along for a look.  It was such a beautiful day for it on Friday; it was so sunny that I decided against the tube wandered down the Embankment and past one of my favourite places…


…Gawped a bit at the protestors, counted policemen, got my feet trodden on by about five million tourists, you know the drill.  I walked up past the Channel 4 building, of which sadly I did not get a picture, but there was an amazing sculpture outside – it was as high as the building and made out of umbrellas, and when you looked at it from a certain angle – well, I was impressed.

To tell you the truth, for one who’s never been to one of these things before, I Knit was a bit daunting.  I’ve never seen so many knitters all in one place, and they all seemed to know each other, sellers and buyers, and a lot of them were wearing scarves or shawls that they’d obviously knitted themselves.  I counted a good half-dozen Ishbels wandering about the place (Ishbel being the pattern behind the purple shawl I knitted in Somerset) and they were beautiful.  So, I stuttered a lot, and got very starstruck – I’m not sure what it is about seeing things in person that previously you’ve only come across on the internet, but ooh, it was so exciting, and they all knew what they were talking about and everything…

There may have been some enhancement of my yarn stash.  It may or may not have been quite substantial.


The green one is by Cherry Tree Hill, and is gloriously green (aha!  I have yet to dye anything green, but am slightly sated nevertheless).  It shall be made into socks of some description – probably very intricate and cabled.  The blue and purple one is a merino wool/tencel mix by the Natural Dye Studio – which I have utterly fallen in love with.  It’s very soft and squidgey, and so shiny!  It’s also entirely natural fibre, dyed using entirely natural dyes, fixed to the wool by entirely natural mordants.  Added to this, I have discovered that it doesn’t make Mum itch! (she has a wool allergy) so I shall be making her some fingerless gloves from it – probably lacy ones, quite possibly Veyla by Ysolda Teague – because they’re beautiful and she can hide the lace if she’s feeling a bit more business-like.

But the softest of the lot – and this made me, I think, second happiest, were these:


Apart from being glorious colours, the lower of these two is 70% alpaca, and just so strokable you would not believe.  They’re from Coldharbour Mill in Devon, which still has a working water mill and still spins and what have you… I think a field trip might be in order here.  These two are turning into a shawl, I think, but I have high hopes of designing this one by myself.  To be continued.

But this is the one that I can’t stop getting out of its bag and staring at in admiration of the colours which are hardly done justice here:


I’ve heard of Malabrigo yarn for quite a long time.  It’s always held up as beautiful, and soft, and easy to work with, and hardwearing… everything you could want in a yarn.  And it is simply stunning.  Too stunning for socks, I’m afraid, much as I love them – this has to be far more visible.  I am leaning a little towards this.  I’m actually whispering a bit when I talk about it, it is that beautiful.

And then I met up with a friend, took over the V&A for gloriously pretentious and overpriced lunch, sat in Kensington Gardens taking the piss out of the pigeons, and then met my dear Mum for for dinner.  All in all an excellent day.

On Saturday was the Romsey Show – also excellent fun in walking boots but surprisingly no mud this year.  Of course, who am I to resist supporting local trade…


(Also to shortly become a shawl, I expect.)


This also happened, which made me very happy, although perhaps unsurprisingly Marcus resisted having his photo taken in the hat.  I am a little upset by this.  Mind you, I think it makes Clare look very attractive.

There was also watercress soup and Last Night of the Proms.  The former was delicious.  The latter, we think, is the only occasion of the year (except for the occasional nutter on St George’s Day) that it seems to be okay to get lots of people in a big room waving Union Jacks and generally being patriotic.  What is patriotism?  Why do we care?  I shall leave the existentialism for another post, I think, and merely say that it was very good fun.  Also that the conductor was a lunatic genius, as all conductors should be.

It is my belief that Sunday afternoons are absolutely made by the creation of slightly wonky cupcakes, especially with multicoloured icing.


(Of course, the green ones are a bit odd and the purple ones were the most successful, but that’s another bedtime story.  Next time, I think we should put the food colouring in the actual cake mix.)  There’s only one way to improve cakes such as these masterpieces:


I could honestly not be more proud of these if I’d made them with an actual five year old, instead of merely spending two hours successfully impeding a culinary genius.

Wonderful weekend.  Great fun.  Hurrah-hurrah-hurrah.



1. Lucy - September 14, 2009

This is one of those occasions where I can but smile at the loveliness of it all 🙂

2. Stash « Patchwork Dreams - September 14, 2009

[…] lieu, then, and in the spirit of Fi’s latest post, I am going to show you some photos of fabric which has recently come into my possession because it […]

3. Flix - September 14, 2009

I love this post, it makes me grin from ear to ear.

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