This was my first year at iKnit London and I didn’t really know what to expect. I have also never taken a class at an event like this and I signed up for 3 of them at iKnit. So, what was it like?
First of all, it was smaller and less crowded than I expected. I’m used to going to the Dutch handwerkbeurs which includes all types of textile crafts, and is always so crowded and packed into a small space that you can hardly breath or see what the vendors are trying to sell! This was spacious and open and there was room to really shop. Since it wasn’t crowded we were kind of wondering if the vendors were selling and really making this worth their while. I heard later that several vendors said they sold quite a bit and were very happy with the weekend. That’s great news! Happy knitting vendors means that they will continue to show up for these events and will continue to stay in business.
Here’s a photo of Artisan Yarns’ booth. I bought 3 skeins from them and I loved her work more than anything else I saw at iKnit. She does a lot of natural dyeing and the colors are just amazing. And such nice people too!
Here are some other booth and general iKnit area photos:
The above photo shows knitted “creatures” made from wire. They are absolutely beautiful and very very clever. The knitter made up the designs and then set them on display sheets with descriptions and genus and specie names as if they were real animals. Stunning.
Nancy was spending time at the Dutch Knitters table, talking to people about Brioche knitting, and handing out cards for her book that is coming out in December. After the fashion show Friday night, where we dressed in her garments and strutted our stuff on the catwalk, a lot of people were very interested in her work. She’s made lovely and very interesting things! I especially like brioche cabling and how she’s very effectively played with the reversible nature of Brioche. You can pre-order the book here from Amazon.com: Knitting Brioche: The Essential Guide to the Brioche Stitch.
I took 3 classes at iKnit: “Cellular Automaton” from Debbie New, “From Square to Eternity” from Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer, and “Knitting Popourri” from Annie Modesitt. All of the classes were 3 hours long, which for some of the topics was just too long and for others, not long enough. The classes weren’t cheap either at 35 pounds each. I’m all in favor of supporting knitting designers, as it’s nearly impossible to make a living with knitting, and that’s really the only justification I can give for the cost. It’s our own knitting community arts funding. I learned the most technically from Annie Modesitt, who had lots of tips and tricks for us. Debbie New’s class asked us to think about knitting in more experimental and organic ways, but the class could have been done in half the time (or she could have added more topics). The class from Pat and Steve was very well organized and structured and taught me that knitting mathematical geometries isn’t such a mystery. I think I can take their principles and apply them to things I really want to make.
And, well, that’s the end of Part I! In the next episode I’ll have more on tracking down knitting at the Victoria & Albert Museum, what I actually bought over the weekend, and travel tips for those who are fed up with the hassles of travel.