Monday, March 10, 2008

SkipNorth

Here I am, back from SkipNorth. A few pounds lighter in the pocket, a few pounds heavier in the yarn department. (I am told that those who attended last year's SkipNorth managed to buy half a ton of yarn at the KCG alone - that's 1120 pounds, which is about the weight of an adult American alligator.)

We stayed in the Youth Hostel in Haworth - a beautiful Victorian mill owner's mansion, set above the village:



We were well fed and watered and had plenty of room to knit and spin and show off our talents.

It was lovely to meet so many like-minded souls - some of whom I "know" from the blogging world, others who were completely new to me.

A certain amount of stash enhancement took place with visits to Coldspring Mill, The Skep, The Knitting and Crochet Guild and Wingham Wool Works.

Coldspring is a funny sort of a place. The downstairs is full of yarn of all descriptions - some cheap and cheerful acrylic; some unnamed (but easily identified) "designer" yarns; some cones of wool or cotton or silk but all a bit fat (technical term) for me. Upstairs there is a large selection of camping gear and outdoors stuff.

I was very restrained (really I was). I bought some brown/cream/grey variegated wool to make the "Wrap Me Up Wrap" (no picture yet, I was too busy winding the yarn for when the pattern arrives that I didn't have a spare hand for the camera). In spite of the treasure trove, I contented myself with just that.

We then moved on to the Skep and because it is so small, half of the party went in and half went first to a nearby haberdasher's. A real old fashioned place with every bit of kit for knitting, sewing, quilting, paper crafts. There were plenty of buttons in little drawers with one example button on the front - no stupid little cards here - you can buy exactly the number of buttons you require (even if it's one). Here, I had the great good fortune to snap up a box of nickel plated T-pins, which are indispensable for blocking lace projects and extremely hard to come by.

Back at the Skep I bought two balls of sock yarn because Jo at Crafty Cottage in Warwick has twisted my arm into teaching a sock knitting class (of which more later), so I need to knit a few pairs of socks into various stages of completion. That's all I bought. (I did say I was very restrained.)

In fact, I was saving myself for the Knitting and Crochet Guild, because I knew they had plenty of just the sort of skinny (technical term) yarn that I like.

I wasn't disappointed. There was skinny (tt) yarn on cones from floor to ceiling. We had to ask the man for a step ladder to go adventuring up to the higher reaches. Thanks partly to my own greed and inability to pass up a bargain (all cones were £1.00 - that's about 50 cents to you lot across the pond) and partly to that great enabler, Sue, I managed to acquire eleven cones of yarn - various fibres (some unknown), various colours. This is enough skinny yarn to keep me knitting far into the next century. I don't suppose I'll be here then but if there is no knitting in heaven, then I'm not going.

I was also tipped off (by that minx Sue again) to the sale of old Anna magazines for £1.00 a go. I snaffled five containing Herbert Niebling lace patterns and considering these are very rare and going for about $150 on ebay I don't think I did too badly. Again, there is enough lace knitting to keep me going for a good while yet, my only difficulty being in deciding which lace to knit next.

I seemed to end up with a huge bag of yarn - yes, those three bags are all mine:



(though I really spent very little) and there were concerns about how it could possibly fit into a Smart car for the journey home. There were visions of me being packed into the car with only a pair of eyes on show. In the end, it all fitted perfectly:



Sunday saw us visiting Wingham Wool Works and while it is mostly stuff for spinners - a fibre art that I have not yet succumbed to - there was other stuff too. I bought a cone of "mucky green" (tt) raw silk (once again, thrust into my hands by the demon Sue) that is just lovely and even though I've just told you I haven't succumbed to the spinning bug, I bought a drop spindle and some Cheviot roving that I am assured by someone in the know will be a good thing for a beginner to start with.

I know you haven't had "Saturday Back Field" for a while, so here's the back field where I was on Saturday:



This is the view from the terrace outside Coldspring Mill. Dark, windswept and brooding - no wonder Emily Bronte wrote "Wuthering Heights"!

That's all for now - I'm off to fondle some yarn (and, let's face it, I've got plenty of yarn to fondle).

4 comments:

Wye Sue said...

hee heee cant wait to see what goes on the sticks first...

And what about Ann-at-work's scarf !!

I'm off to knit - got to finish at least one shawl before I cast on another...

natalie said...

The car photo is priceless.
You may be tempting me into the lace collective, but I need to master charts.... any tips?

natalie

Rosie said...

That Sue is a ferociously good enabler, isn't she!

allisonmariecat said...

I think you *were* in heaven, my dear, with cones of laceweight for so little money! Beautiful acquisitions, and I'm especially happy for you because I get to see what you knit from it.

"Snaffled" is one of my new favorite words. Could you define it for me so I don't use it incorrectly?

I think if that were my back field, I would write gothic romances all day. Who could help it? Maybe I could dictate them so I could knit at the same time.