Tuesday, 28 January 2014

A wool show and a double pattern launch - oh my!

For those who might imagine that this blog has been quiet because not a lot has been happening, nothing could be further from the truth. The first part of the New Year was an absolute blur of preparation for my first knitting show as an independent exhibitor, the Waltham Abbey Wool Show held on 19th January. There were display materials to gather, samples to make and of course, a couple of new designs to launch at the show. It was quite an eye opener to me which gives me new found respect for those people whose presence at fibre festivals we take for granted.

The show that I chose to make my debut is a first timer itself so it was difficult to judge how many people might be there and the sort of things that they might be interested in. With the assistance of my lovely friends Ruth and Nic I set off nervously but couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. The venue was comfortable and well organised with everything we needed and organisers on hand to help if required. There was a good mix of stallholders selling yarns, kits, fibre and finished items, a lot of whom I hadn't come across before which was really refreshing.

The most gratifying thing, for both ourselves and the organisers of the event was the steady stream of customers. I understand that 250 were expected, 350 hoped for and in the end over 500 people came along. We were busy all day and sold more patterns than I could have ever dreamt of. I have to say that this was in no short measure due to the amazing skills of my friend Nic as a stallholder. She was able to enthuse about my patterns in a way that I couldn't do without self consciously blushing to the tips of my ears!

 The show also gave me the opportunity to present my newest set of patterns. Following on from the successful launch of a sampler version of my Fairlee Mittens at the end of 2013 I have now released a much fuller version of the pattern with a range of five sizes from extra small to extra large which can be knit in five different weights of yarn from chunky to sock weight. The version below is a Sport Weight Medium knit in Yarn Yard Hug, a lovely bouncy, soft merino.

I have also released a sister pattern, a top down fingerless version called Combley Mitts. They are named after Combley Great Wood on the Isle of Wight where every year our family used to visit in the autumn to collect sweet chestnuts. These mitts are an elegant but simple pattern which will make use of any spare ball of yarn. They use the same thumb shaping as the Fairlee Mitten and carry the three by three rib pattern throughout the body of the mitt to ensure a snug fit around the hand.  Most sizes take less than 50grammes and as they are knit from the fingers to the cuffs it is easy to use every scrap of yarn.

Below is the Aran Weight Medium in Jamieson's Aran which is a beautiful earthy, hard wearing 100% Shetland yarn.

This pair which I have to say are my personal favourite are the DK Weight in medium and are made from JillyBean Yarn Dorset which is a lovely rustic yarn made from Dorset Poll and Alpaca fleece. 

Both these patterns are available to buy as Ravelry Downloads by following the links in this post or in the side bar.

So, as you can see, there has been plenty going on - from now on I'll try to keep you posted a little more regularly!


Jaq said...

I'm really sad I missed it, it sounds like it was the perfect starter show for you! It was organised by the lovely ladies who run The Crochet Chain in Waltham Abbey. I was there last week and Diana was saying how well it went. Let's hope they organise another next year. :)

Jaq said...

I'm really sorry to have missed it and it sounds like it was the perfect starter show for you. I popped into The Crochet Chain in Waltham Abbey last week and Diana, one of the owners who organised the show, was saying how well it went. They were thrilled at the turn out and the feedback so let's hope they hold it again next year. :)

Kate Towerzey said...

Lovely review Jane. So glad you had such a good day at the first ever Waltham Abbey Wool Show and that you chose our event to be your debut as an independent exhibitor!

We love your stunning mitten designs, our only regret as organisers was we did not have time any time to browse and buy ourselves.

Hope you will be back next year.

Kate Towerzey & Diana Bensted Waltham Abbey Wool Show Organisers

tea and cake said...

Well done, Jane. Your stall looks lovely and welcoming, and the mitts very stylish! I am really please for you. x