Hello and welcome to the first episode of 2016. I hope you all enjoyed the festive period and got plenty of knitting time in!
The Patreon is live and I share a few details of the rewards package at each level. If you want to get in on the virtual knit night, private group and get an extra, Patron-only show episode once per month, $5 per month is where you need to be.
The Swaporium is also open. If you want to get in on the Most Engaged Audience yarn, it’s up there now. Look out for more things being added in the next few weeks. If you want to be first to hear about new products, join the mailing list.
There’s a giveaway of Ann Kingstone’s book, Lace Knits, which I reviewed in Episode 71. To enter, head over to the group on Ravelry and leave a comment saying which is your favourite pattern from the collection.
Allow me to enable you to Katya Frankel’s new collection, Flatland: Adventures in Geometry.
Knitting Shows/Events in January
Waltham Abbey Wool Show – 17th January 2015, 10-4 at Marriott Hotel, Waltham Abbey.
How to Survive a Knitting Show/Yarn Festival
Many of us have been, many may never have attended, but having been to a good few myself, I thought it would be good to share a bit of sage advice on surviving a yarn festival. There are always hints and tips to be picked up to make the experience that bit better. Personally, I go fully loaded with two bottles of Highland Spring sparkling water. Girl’s gotta hydrate! Here are my top tips for success.
Preparation: Before the Show
Pre-order tickets – you will often get a discount. Same deal with accommodation and the cheaper train tickets are released 12 weeks before the day of travel. Set a reminder if needed. Savings now = more money for yarn.
Check out the journey and your options for getting there. A bit of select googling will bring up any problems that previous attendees may have experienced, which gives you the chance to avoid them. Things like knowing a sneaky back way to drive in rather than following the SatNav can save you hours of time. More time for buying yarn!
Check the exhibitor list which will be released in advance (sometimes months if the organisers have their act together – looking at you here Edinburgh Yarn Festival). This will allow you to plan/prioritise stalls to visit in advance. This sounds obvious, but once the fumes hit, it can be VERY easy to get distracted. I’ve actually not managed to get to stalled before for a whole WEEKEND because of it. Heed my warning: blinkers on so you don’t miss out.
Also stalk your favourite vendors prior to the show. They often post photos on social media or in newsletters about what they are taking. You can pre-shop and go straight there on the day if it’s going to be a quick seller or decide to chance missing whatever you want if another vendor has a higher priority purchase!
Check out that facilities. Not all shows are equal, from toilets to catering, public transport to parking. Not all vendors will accept card payments, and in rural areas there may be problems with card readers connecting to the internet to take payment. Make sure you do your research and plan accordingly.
Execute the Plan: On the Day
Wear your best knitwear (obviously!) but consider layering and sensible shoes. Lots of the shows are in agricultural buildings and auction marts these days, which don’t have heating but may become quite hot when the sun is out and they are full of people. Likewise, your disco pumps might be a great choice for a sophisticated urban meet, but are going to be past their best if you accidentally get sheep poo all over them at a rural show. You can’t think if you’re too hot/cold/stinky.
Transportation. How are you going to get that giant heddle loom home? Even a day of modest shopping can be a right handful to lug around. Although some shows have bag creches (hurrah!) think about how you will get thing back thereafter. There are carrier bag charges in place in England, Scotland and Wales now and nothing is worse than spending yarn money on bags. Consider investing in a sturdy gusseted shopper from your favourite yarny emporium – they fold up small when not in use, save the planet and yarn money. A backpack can be a good option if you’re going far!
Bring supplies. Plenty of snacks and drinks will avoid you being overcome by yarn fumes or making regrettable purchases due to low blood sugar or dehydration. The queues for the catering at shows can be frustratingly long, and like hypothermia, by the time you realise you need a drink, it’s too late (and then you have to stand in the queue).
Time outs. Give yourself regular breaks to assess progress against the plan. Undoubtedly, you’ll have bought other things and not achieved some of the things on your list. Go back and reassess your priorities to ensure you don’t miss anything or overbuy.
Debrief: After the Event
Review the catalogue and any business cards/flyers and add your favourite vendors on social media or join their mailing list. You don't want to miss out on future updates from your new favourites!
Review your purchases. Add your yarns to your Ravelry stash (or however you monitor your collection – I just throw it in the box!) so you don't forget the extra options you now have for projects.
Start planning the next one!
Do you have any top hints and tips for attending shows? Please get in touch and share them!
That’s all from me this week. As always, thank you for listening. Feedback is always appreciated, and you can email me or message me via Ravelry or social media. If you enjoyed listening today, please consider leaving an iTunes review, to help others find the podcast too. Happy crafting!