Sarah has already written her quick thoughts on the Iknit Weekender but since this was my second show and my first as a shopper and buying yarn for my first project, I am writing a blog post on my experience of the I Knit Weekender. I will write this under two headings: as vendor, and as shopper.
I actually didn’t spend as much time on the stall as I thought I would. I had to work in my Monday to Friday job on the Friday and only got to the venue at 5.15pm after having dropped a stand off in the morning before the marketplace opened. On the Saturday we caught the train from Crofton Park to Victoria and were at the venue early so that Alex could make a custom bracelet for one of the Knitting Noras.
On the Friday evening though it was great to be able to go and have a drink with a number of other vendors and to have dinner with John from Easyknits and the other people who were working at his booth, Marleen, Sarah and her husband Chris. I had a great laugh and we had a lot of fun freaking out the waiter, but I shall say no more.
We had a successful two day show both in terms of sales and in terms of meeting people and getting feedback from people. A lot of really interesting feedback was received on the envelopes and needle rolls and some new lines will be coming out in time for Fibre Flurry. They won’t be much different but just slight variations at the moment. We also were selling badges for Stitch London and they also sold very well.
The moment of the weekend came when we pushed Sarah to have a chat with Gerard about how our hand sewn items were going in his store. Sarah went over and had a chat to Gerard, and 5 minutes later Gerard and Sarah came back and all I heard was that whatever yarn pouches we didn’t sell by the end of the day he would take from us. To say that we were stunned and left speechless is an understatement. All three of us had huge smiles on our faces during the cab ride home. It really made our weekend and as a new venture it did help to reinforce the idea that we are doing something that people like and want. So if you saw a yarn pouch you liked but didn’t buy it at the I Knit Weekender, then please visit the I Knit shop as they now have all of the stock that we have left. This will certainly keep us busy making new yarn pouches for our next show which will be Fibre Flurry in Birmingham.
This was the first time looking for yarn for my first project which will be for a blanket for a friend made out of knitted squares and was specifically looking for variegated colours as the person that I am making the blanket for is not a solid squares kind of person.
There was lots of shiny yarn that wasn’t variegated and I would have loved to been able to afford it all, but I went shopping on a budget so saw stuff that I may buy in the future.
Phil from the Natural Dye Studio allowed me to walk away with two skeins of yarn that I wanted to match to some yarn from Jon at Easyknits so that I could put the colours together and make sure that they would match. This was lovely to be able to do and gives me an excellent starting point for the blanket I am making. The other item that I wanted to purchase was the Knitting Nora’s postcards as I stumbled across their blog and read what they had done and that the proceeds were going to charity. If you want to get some of their postcards for yourself you can get them from their Folksy Shop.
These are the shinies that Alex and I bought between us:
So I bought 3 skeins from Easyknits, 2 for the blanket and the yellow one because they have a bit of an Aussie yellow to them but I have not worked out what I want to do with it yet. 2 skeins from the Natural Dye Studio and I won a prize in the p/hop raffle and picked up some undyed camel and silk yarn from the knitwitches. Alex bought two skeins of the Carousel Yarn from Easyknits which unlike at Knit Nation was not lost on the way home and I surprised her with a present of interchangeable needles which she really likes. Finally we bought the Knitting Nora’s postcards and got a free 2010 calendar with it.
If I was looking for laceweight or solid colours then the other shops that I have seen before at Knit Nation but personally really like their stuff as well are:
There are others I am sure who I didn’t look at properly when I was wandering around but these are the two that I specifically remember that I didn’t buy anything from this time but really wanted to.
I will mention the one thing that really annoyed me as someone who has worked as a paralegal with media and IP lawyers. I overhead someone talking about “reverse engineering” items rather than buying the patterns. I just got the feeling that this was being done to make a monetary gain, rather than just making something for personal use. This may be the norm, I don’t know but to me if you are reverse engineering something, then you are taking someone’s idea and making it your own. If the person then passed this off as their own work rather than giving credit to where the original idea came from, then to me this is tantamount to stealing. I didn’t say anything but left me quietly seething for a few minutes.
So my first experience of the show as a shopper was a positive one and I am looking forward to going to Fibre Flurry and getting the opportunity to sell our items but also to have a look at everyone else’s.