|Image (c) Lulu Locket Photography|
If you don't already know, Unravel is an annual 'Festival of Knitting' (and handspun/ indie dyed yarns, crochet, spinning...), held over three days in the historic market-town of Farnham in Surrey. Since it's launch in 2009, Unravel has attracted visitors and teachers from around the world - as well as a wonderful range of carefully selected exhibitors, there are numerous talks and workshops.
|The official logo, by Holly Exley, will be on this year's Unravel Tote bag - always a great souvenir!|
I have written about my experiences of Unravel many (many!) times so this year I decided to ask some of the people who will be exhibiting their wares and/or teaching, to give their own perspective.
Joanne Scrace of 'Not so Granny' & 'The Crochet Project'
Despite knowing Joanne via her blog for a few years, we finally met in person when she came to Unravel 2015 to run a crochet workshop. Before she left, Joanne had already decided to come back again this year. I wanted to find out why...
|Maker, Designer, Teacher and Tech Editor, Joanne Scrace. Image (c) Victoria Magnus|
What were the highlights of Unravel for you last year?
Last year's trip to unravel was my first and I am so pleased to be going back. Its such a lovely intimate feeling festival with a really choice selection of stalls. I think the people were my highlight of last year. I spent all the time I wasn't teaching, chatting and barely had time to buy a skein! I think Unravel is the best way to kick off the festival season for the year!
What are you most looking forward to this year?
When I'm not teaching or chatting I will be hanging out on the Coop Knits stand where we are launching a very special collaboration between Rachel and The Crochet Project. We've been whispering about it for a while now and sharing sneak peeks - I can't wait for the big reveal! Its going to be suitable for novice and experienced crocheters alike so even if you are only just learning to crochet or not very confident following crochet patterns, you'll want to head over and see what we have made!
You're teaching again this year, what can people expect to learn from your class?
Yes! I'm teaching Textured Crochet. Its a really fun class where we look at a lot of the more unusual stitches that you can incorporate into your crochet to add interest and texture. I always used to get terribly confused between popcorns, bobbles, puffs and clusters. This class will sort all of that (and much more) out and have you wielding them like a pro! Its suitable for anyone who has at least a knowledge of the basic stitches but I always make sure that there is plenty to learn for more experienced crocheters too. The class practice piece makes a lovely scrubby face cloth as a little bonus too.
Julie Nelson Rhodes of 'Tilly Flop Designs'
The Tilly Flop Designs stall is always a real attention-grabber - if you ask people what their favourite purchases were, Julie's designs frequently feature! This year you'll find the stall on the stage in the main hall and she has an Etsy Shop too. (Tip: If you like something, get it asap as they sell like hotcakes!)
|Image (c) Tilly Flop Designs|
How would you describe Unravel to someone who hasn't been?
It’s a yarny magical mystery tour - the Maltings is such an unusual place in that there are lots of rooms squirrelled away around the old buildings so you discover something new literally at every turn. The calibre of exhibitors is always high - I’ve really no idea how anyone can stick to a budget at Unravel. So pick up the programme as you’ll need the map and the list of exhibitors!
What are you most looking forward to this year?I always think of Unravel as being the first show of the ‘season' so love seeing what everyone has made over the winter months - it’s a constant catwalk of knitted [and crocheted] goodness! My ravelry queue always grows exponentially after Unravel. And it’s always great to see what new yarn and designs and everything else associated with yarn is launched there too. Plus it’s one of the friendliest shows you can go to.
What do you predict will be your most popular product[s] this year?
Oh goodness - well, since I was last at Unravel I do have quite a few more card designs and they always sell well … if the God of Production is on my side I will be launching a new tea towel design there which will complement the existing ‘Oh how I’d rather be knitting’ one … but I suspect that the car stickers will be popular - I launched them in September and they caused much hilarity and sold really well … so fingers crossed!
Louise Zass-Bangham of 'Inspiration Knits'You may remember how much I loved Louise's book (reviewed here) and her playful designs using beautiful yarns so I was really pleased so see she would be at Unravel. When I got in touch, Louise was very excited about the festival, because she is not only teaching a workshop on yarn selection, but she has also designed the pattern for the first Unravel Knitalong!
|(C) 'Maltings' by Louise Zass-Bangham, shown in The Little Grey Sheep's Stein Fine Wool, colourway: 'Her Other Life'|
The design has been inspired by the barley which was originally processed at the 'Maltings' venue. The pattern includes three sizes (with DK and 4 ply/ fingering options), and 'Mini Maltings' - a more simplified version - perfect if you are pushed for time, or new to knitting. There are options to play around with the design too.
|Image (c) Louise Zass-Bangham. 'Maltings' shown in Kettle Yarn Co. Beyul 'Steppe', |
Kettle Yarn Co. Beyul 'Iceberg', and Bee Ram Ewe's Dovestone DK 'Rhubarb'
ALSO LOOK OUT FOR: An exhibition of Amanda Perkins' work, Veera Välimäki teaching a shawl class and the launch of the third instalment of her collaboration with Joji Locatelli - Interpretations - by Pom Pom Press at the event (find more on the Pom Pom Press blog). As well as the official exhibitors and teachers, I happen to know that plenty of awesome designers and bloggers will be attending the show as visitors too, so you never know who you might bump into!
Update: The draw is now close and the winner has been notified. My thanks to everyone who entered, and if you are going on Saturday or Sunday and see me there, please do come to say hello!
*There were two earlier drafts which I went back and published later, when I was feeling a little more confident about the whole 'blogging' thing. Those old posts do make me cringe a little now but remain in the archives as part of my journey.