The first ever Unwind Brighton event went ahead last weekend, and what an event it was!
Of course, this was only Midwinter's second ever show and I'm still wide-eyed and excited about all of them, but even the seasoned pros came away in awe of what the Unwind team had put together.
We set off at quite a leisurely pace in the sunshine on Friday - the van seemed more neatly stacked than it had been for Wonderwool - and swiftly crossed the bridge then pootled down the scenic route through Bath and Salisbury towards Brighton.
Arriving in Brighton in the early evening, we had the great luxury of staying with my friend Cathyfor the weekend. We had seen her house from 20 miles away on the road: the big white tower block on the seafront, 17th floor, no less, and the view from inside did not disappoint.
I may have been a bit smug about this when talking to people...I'm not even slightly sorry :p
But so much for lounging about eating cheese and staring at the sea view. Saturday morning meant serious business! We arrived to set up at 7am, in the beautiful Corn Exchange, right next toTriskelion Yarns in our little Welsh enclave. Welsh flag duly hoisted between the stands, Mark set about putting up our new racking while I want back to park the van and pick up some breakfast on the stroll back through barely waking Brighton..."Paris s'eveille" came to mind.
So there we were, all ready to go. What followed after that was a blur. So many wonderful, enthusiastic, interesting people coming by, all eager to find out about the yarns or tell us about their exciting projects. People from far and wide too, France, Canada, Germany, Scandinavia....Mark even got introduced to the special power we scandinavians have of conducting a conversation in two languages at the same time, in this instance, Swedish and Norwegian. I have come away with several tips of Norwegian yarns to look in to, which I'm very excited about.
The best-seller of the day was by far the Lithuanian linen, probably due to it being a stunning summer day outside....and sweltering inside! This was all we had left by end of Saturday:
but fear not, more is on order already!
I do wish I had taken some more photos of the rest of the event and the other stalls - the quality of the other vendors was just superb and the setting was so beautiful, but I must admit that between my duties as a vendor and being overwhelmed by the choice as a shopper, I just didn't have enough brain capacity left to remember to take pictures as well!
When I did get a chance to escape, I did a little personal shopping for my mother. There were quite a few stalls doing smaller skeins - maybe that is this year's thing? - perfect for colourwork or smaller projects or for just petting...
As for myself, I kept getting inspired and distracted by the amazing array of knitwear I saw on visitors and other vendors and just wanting to make my own versions of them all! In the end, I settled for a hank of Juno which I originally saw at Wonderwool two years ago but didn't buy at the time, some lovely wooden toggles from The Little Knitting company, and the gorgeous Oosie yarn from Skein Queen. Quite how I missed the Oosie all weekend long until the last hour of trading is beyond me, it was EXACTLY what I was looking for after I had a customer wearing a similar colour cardigan at my stall. Actually, I first picked up and bought a beautiful inky blue-purple shade. Then I went back and asked if I could borrow the green and get some opinions. The opinions all said the blue was stunning and suited my skin colour and I should go for the blue. So I got the green. And boy am I glad I did....the more I look at that shade, the more interesting it gets.
And those two little hanks at the front? They're also from The Little Grey Sheep. They re going to make up the edging for the 4 big orange hanks that are being dyed for me as we speak....you didn't think I'd come away from an event like that with just those three things, did you??
So there we are, that was Unwind 2014, the first of I hope many more to come (please Dani, pretty please?) . We're back on the right side of the bridge again, tired but blissful and with my head buzzing with ideas and inspiration.