Monday, 8 September 2008

I Knit 2008: What a Great Day Out!

I suspect that I would make a rubbish photo journalist - I get so distracted by what is going on around me that I forget take photographs!

I Knit Day 2008 was a chance for me to spend time with my mother before I take off to Canada - so it was more about enjoying the day than being up with the sparrows and camping outside the venue in order to be first through the door to bury ourselves under knitting purchases.

So when we arrived and spotted the long queue of people waiting to get in, we nipped around the corner to a taxi-drivers cafe to wait it out over a mug of very good coffee. By the time we emerged, the queue had vanished and we were able to stroll leisurely into Lawrence Hall where the fashion show area and the market stands were set out.


The hall was busy with people sitting, knitting and browsing wares. In fact, I couldn't get anywhere close to the Purlescence, Socktopus or Fyberspates stands to say hello to Robynn, Alice or Jeni. People were swarming, at least three deep, around each one.

As it was so busy, so we headed over to the displays in the charity project section, which included some enormous knitting plus a knitted and felted kitchen area.

Novelty Knits

It is amazing yet if you do ever find me sitting at home, knitting myself a chocolate ├ęclair? Please - I beg you - flush my Diet Dust rations down the nearest toilet and take me out for a real cream tea!

The only think that I did in the market area on Saturday was pick up two sets of vintage glass buttons, then risk life and limb by tackling the knitterly elbows at the I Knit stand to purchase a copy of Knitting Rules...

...we-ell, you know - as much as I try to pretend to be a cool, detatched London knitter? Deep down, I knew that I was going to stand in line with everyone else, to have a book signed and do my best not to gurn like an idiot while saying hello to the person whose blog I read and enjoy so much.

(Actually, it is worse than that. I didn't tell my mother but in fact, my first ever, so-freshly-washed-it-was-actually-still-wet sock, was neatly folded and stowed in plastic, ready to show and tell!)

As I was an usher at the Yarn Harlot talk, I missed the Stitch in Time Fashion show. So I really hope that someone else managed to snap some photos because I hear that it was very good! While that was on, I was over at Lindley Hall with a group of other knitters putting badges out on chairs.

Actually, when I first went into Lindley Hall? I was thinking quietly to myself: Good grief, doesn't Stephanie get nervous when she sees big venues? Um.... I am not sure that this is going to go down well?


When we were able to open the doors for people to come in, there was this almost un-British rush of people, crowding to get in through the doors and to their seats. I was a bit taken aback. Then I realised that they were all totally drenched to the skin - they didn't just want to get inside to secure the best seat, they needed to get out of the rain, strip off wet clothing and get themselves as comfortable as possible before the talk started!

Mind you, see that very big space with all those seats in the above photo? That room was filled with chattering, excited knitters in minutes, with people standing at the back as well. It was quite something. But the very best thing about being in a room full of other kinesthetic people for a talk?!


Look! Noone bats an eyelid when you get your knitting out. Just look at the rows next to me - yup, that is evidence of the people in every single row: knitting, knitting, knitting!

Then, the talk began...

...suffice it to say that it was good - very funny! I won't spoil it, just in case you get a chance to hear Stephanie speak in person for yourself!

However, what I will say in a roundabout reference to Stephanie's talk - if you are a Canadian knitter who is fond of Rowan Yarn? It seems that it might be an idea to make friends with a few British knitters? After all, what better way to cement an international friendship than via a small exchange of gifts containing locally sourced, reasonably priced yarn?!

Also, it is possible that I might be moved to comment that if this Well Known Knitter (WKK) had heard Stephanie speak on Saturday, she might have thought twice about taking up this knitting photo opportunity?!


Maybe, maybe not?! Now I did queue and I did get my book signed. Mind you, not until the queue had gone down - that took some time, let me tell you.


I kept going back but the queue was just the same, just comprised of different people!


This knitter had the perfect, book signing, queue solution. Yet I feel mildly intimidated by the organisation at work here - I do not know anyone who is so well planned that they would have the presence of mind to arrange travel into central London equipped with a large beanbag?!


At that point, I took off to watch the Erika Knight fashion show. She has a new book of man knits coming out. Not all of the pieces were to my taste but it was a fabulous presentation as she took time to talk through all of the pieces in the book, explaining the trend behind each and why the garment would make a good wardrobe staple.


At the end , I turned around and spotted Erqsome and WanderLustKnits in the book signing queue - I joined them as there's just no way that any queue could be an insufferable experience in the company of such great people! It got even better when we were joined by Yogic Knitter and KnittingNrdFightr.


By the time that we'd started to close the gap between us and the book signing table (chatting to Gerard on the way) I have to admit - we were all a bit on the raucous side.

What I loved about it though? We all seemed to pull it together for our few moments at the book signing table with Stephanie. See, here's Emms with Stephanie?


And then?

XL804760XL804769's that for the reality of our (lack of) composure?! We were such groupie, knitting nerdles!

I wonder if Stephanie was cursing the length of her name by the end of the day? By the time we got to her table, she had been signing books for almost three hours. If it had been me? I think that I would have been looking at my writing hand like it was an alien being. It would have felt like one. She must have been really tired but even so, she was absolutely lovely to all of us.

What a fabulous day out, surrounded by such nice, like minded people. Y'know?

After that, it was a quick tour of the knitted aliens before we headed out into the gloomy evening for a glass of wine and some nibbles at the South Bank before clambering onto a train home.


Click here for the slideshow of my I Knit Day 2008 photos.

Or, even better, click here for the offical I Knit Flickr Group photos!

Please go see, enjoy and either add your photos to the group pool or let me know where you have stashed your own photos of the day!


Penny said...

Stephanie's talk was great, wasn't it? Thanks for all your work putting out the badges, that really helped to make it feel special.

Melissa said...

She was totally regretting having such a long name! At the end, she was saying that hyphening her last names had been a mistake!

Was good to see you there.

Melissa x

Knit Nurse said...

Great post! I wish I'd had the energy to make more of the day..but hey, there's always next year!

Robynn said...

I can't decide whether I'm glad or not that there were conscientious photobloggers at iKnit. Pro: I get to see what I missed while manning the stall. Con: I get to see what I missed while manning the stall...

(I hadn't seen the felted kitchen, for instance. And I didn't even *know* there was fudge until I heard about it afterwards! Woe!)

Roobeedoo said...

This is probably the first time I have regretted leaving London. Looks like a great day! Maybe next time!

Gerard & Craig said...

Robynn, I knew there was fudge but sgtill never got a chance to get any. Can you imagine!?

Great blog and great pics. Thanks for your help in the Lindley Hall. I'm sure Gerard will thank you personally for that photo. Camp? Never.


Kelli said...

Oh, love your photos!!! Must chat soon about your socks. Email me. :)

emmms said...

That second picture of me is SO PRETTY! I'm so happy you shared it.

On other other hand, the first is proof I met her, hurrah!

Twas a fab, fab day!!