It was with a a bit of heavy heart that I set off on Friday , but soon the events that followed did manage to cheer me up greatly. Even the torrential , almost biblical , rain that came down on London on Friday evening didn't manage to dampen the spirits again. And the taxi driver who had apparent gaps in his "knowledge" , which meant we drove about in circles for twenty minutes before arriving back at the same place couldn't quell our excitement .
Rowan cotton print , puddles and rainclouds , from Libertys of London .
The Iknit London weekend was here ! We would soon be seeing the Yarn Harlot , who would be entertaining us with her wit and wisdom on knitting, life and the Universe .
We would be meeting up with knitting friends and making new knitting friends .
And , we even managed a trip to the Iknit shop down in Waterloo , not quite in time to enjoy a refreshment, well there was plenty of yarn and books to be perused first . Have to get our priorities right , yarn before booze!
On the morning of Iknit day , we popped down to Libertys, as our Kimmie had never been there before. We entered the Tudor facade entrance , as the doors opened at 10am , took Kimmie right into the centre display and told her to look up at the beautiful wooden panels that adorn each floor .
Libertys is really THE MOST beautiful store in the world , there is nothing like it , Harrods and Harvey Nics' pale into insignificance next to it , and if you only have an hour to see something in London - GO THERE!
WE oohed and ahhhed in the Haberdashery department , the tana lawn , the silks , the patchwork cottons , and yarns , the books and patterns..... quite overwhelming .
Yes , we bought !
When we arrived at the Royal Horticultural Halls , there was a queue right round the building . And what a diverse crowd , mothers with newborns in papoose carriers , trendy young teens and twenty-somethings , glamourous grandmothers and fathers , bohemian arty sorts...... and us!
Iknit programme , ticket, badges and YH signed book, tube ticket for the day.
Once in the hall, we sat ourselves down, then got a cup of tea to set us up for the onslaught ! Thankfully, with me being tall and having a head of curly hair, I'm easy to spot in a crowd , so my good pal Lynette managed to catch up with us almost immediately , then Catherine , then Julia , then Paula , and later , Heather and Yvette. I have "known" Yvette virtually for a wee while , so it was lovely to finally meet her in person .
Another lovely thing was the way , you ended up chatting to complete strangers , and finding you have quite a lot in common (wonder why that is ? lol)
Met a lovely lady from Swindon , whose name I never got , so I shall have to check on Ravelry later. Also, during our visit to the Victoria and Albert museum on Sunday , we met the Dutch knitters , and two lovely ladies , one from Geneva , the other from Denmark.
The lovely lady from Geneva owns a yarn shop , so I can see a trip to Switzerland coming up soon , especially since our good pal India lives there now too !
And the very lovely and educated Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was as good as promised, funny, witty, entertaining, and educating . Although some of the questions asked of her were a bit.... lacking in the intelligent (what is it like to be a man knitter ?!?!? ) The chat went on for an hour and a half - far too short , especially for the folk who were knitting throughout!
And having the bad memory I have, there are certain bits that stand out more than others. One in particular was the research done by Cambridge Uni on how people cope with trauma. If someone sees something traumatic, but is doing something repetitive , this blocks of the primal part of their brain and allows the intellectual part to work it out, thus reducing the effect of the trauma. Repetitive actions included knitting! And the final quote was "although, you cannot expect people to carry about emergency knitting in case something traumatic happened!
Mmmmm , you think?
Then a lady from Oxford Uni stood up to tell how she was conducting research on the effects of knitting , especially on people with depression etc. (bad memory , again!).
Instead of a boat race, I think there may be some Knitting research races in future !!
Too much intellectualism makes me sleepy , so it was off for a cuppa and some more shopping!
Managed to wave to Yvonne , at the Knitting and Crochet Guild stand , while I was standing in the queue to get my book signed - it was that sort of day . There was so much going on , so many stalls to buy from , so many folk to chat to , some wonderful fashion shows (Jane Wallers' , new book out soon , TO DIE FOR!) . It all went by too quickly.
Some of the purchases from the day - manos del uruguay silk blend, Kraemer silk and silver , NDS roving , Knitwitches silk mohair , Wensleydale tops , and Rowan Cotton print.
Later on , a crowd of us Scottish Knitters (made up of some scots, an american, a canadian , and some english folk ! lol), met up for dinner in Kensington. It was a great night, the food was wonderful , the company great , we chatted, ate, drank and chatted some more . Bit like a knitting meetup, unfortunately the wine was too strong, goodness knows what the knitting could have ended up looking like if we did eventually get to knit!.
Too soon , we were back on the flight to Glasgow , back to "auld claes an' purridge " !
It was such a wonderful weekend !