I'm afraid I'm by no means the first blogger out of the blocks with my report on the Iknit two day knitting extravaganza so I feel liberated from the need to write a blow by blow account and can ramble at my ease through some of the impressions of the days.
I was there literally, from when the doors opened and the knitters started to gather and when we were finally asked politely to vacate the premises thanks to the timings of classes and the numbers of people I found to catch up and chat with. Every year Iknit feels more and more like a great big party of all the people I know from the various corners of the knitting universe that I inhabit.
As in previous years my dear friend Natalie came down to stay with me - not as her yarn dying alter ego The Yarn Yard but as herself so that she could have as much fun as me with everyone who wants to chat with her and to enjoy recharging knitting batteries with courses and talks from some of the best in the business.
So- here we all are then on Friday morning, eagerly entering the Horticultural Halls.As usual, Gerard and the Iknit team had made sure that there was plenty of space for the charity projects that knitters are involved in. As regular readers may know, I have been working with the P/Hop campaign raising money for Medecins Sans Frontiers and they were able to have a stall in the main hall. Knitters up and down the country donate books and yarn and make shawls and blankets to raffle, patterns and skills were P/hopped and field staff were there to talk about the work the money funds.
In this photograph, I am struck by the juxtaposition of the warm, cosy knitted goods with and the image of the armed man. Sobering.
In other news, one of the lovely things about events like this is to be inspired by the incredible work of other knitters. It was wonderful to see Roo's beautiful beaded wedding shawl in person - here it is meeting another Aolian sibling made by Gill from the Woolly Workshop. I know this photo is slightly blurred but that Gill just doesn't stand still and its such a happy scene.
On Saturday, I took a sock knitting class with Marjan Hamminck, alias Yarnissima. Her style could not be more different to Annie's with all of us busily working away on our mini sock projects and Marjan moving quietly between us, gently correcting mistakes and answering queries.
Here is my sock knitting work.I am now proficient in right slanting and left slanting lifted increases which I will certainly add to my repertoire.
At the end of the class as I was packing up my things I mentioned that I would have to hurry if I was to make my Alice Starmore colour work class, the highlight of the weekend. I leave you to imagine how I felt when my neighbour pointed out that according to my list, I should have attended that class the day before.