Visual Overload

Visual OverloadYesterday saw me leaving home at 8am to drive to Unravel at Farnham Maltings in Surrey to attend Unravel, a 2 day knitting festival.  I only went for one day as I failed to persuade E to be in charge at home for the whole weekend.  He says I spend too much of my life surrounded by yarn as it is, so I guess I was lucky to even escape at all.

Farnham Maltings is a fabulous creative space based in the heart of the lovely Surrey town of Farnham.  It is home to artists’ studios, has a theatre and runs numerous courses and exhibitions.  In its history it has been both a tannery and a brewery. You can read more about its interesting past here.

The 2013 theme was focussed around the Best In Show illustration which was commissioned by Farnham Maltings from Illustrator Amy Blackwell and gorgeous project bags with the image were available to buy.  I of course had to grab one even though I have a trillion project bags already.  Oh well, I can always hide my yarn in it.

My friend H and I started the day doing a two hour workshop on dyeing using dye powders derived from plants and natural sources with the very talented Judy Hardman. You can’t do a huge amount in 2 hours but we got to mix a variety of naturally derived dyes to get different colours

2013-02-23 11.15.31 The yellows along the top were from pomegranate, Fustic, Dyers Broom, Coreopsis

The second row are purples and reds from Logwood, Madder and Lac with the yellow of Weld at the end

The third row shows Teal, Saxon Blue, Logwood Purple (which gives a grey) and Sorghum

We then dyed small skeins of wool and silk using a microwave to fix the colours.  It has definitely enthused me to try more dyeing from plants, both using available powders as well as plants from the garden. A selection of yarns dyed by Judy were on show which were beautiful.  Unfortunately she wouldn’t let me take any of them away 😦

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I love Unravel for its support of independent dyers, pattern designers and small British yarn companies and wasn’t disappointed this year.

I saw my lovely friends Max and Margaret on the Millamia stand and got to have a sneak preview of their latest adult collection Colour Coded which is beautiful and I cannot wait to knit the sweetest 3/4 length sleeve tie neck cardi.  Don’t think Margaret wanted her photo taken!!

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I also got to meet some lovely people who I chat to on Twitter. Danielle who runs A Stash Addict was exhibiting for the first time.

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 I bought a skein of vareigated pink/purple sock yarn to knit a small shawl

And there were some lovely woolly sculptures

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It was a compete overload of visual amazement, a day of joy of catching up with old friend and of seeing new friends.  I was bowled over to meet the very talented designer Ruth of Rock and Purl and Green Triangle Girl who broadcasts the fabulous knitting podcast and blogs at A Playful Day and can’t wait for next year.

Kirsty xx

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