I visited the very first Nottingham Yarn Expo last year and was so impressed at the way it was set out and the number of exhibitors, over 100, that I decided there and then that I would return again this year. Unfortunately, my trip there yesterday was quite disappointing. Instead of the market place being held on two days over the weekend as it was last year, it was only open on the Sunday as Saturday was reserved for workshops. That was fine, I wouldn't have visited both days anyway and I was free to attend on the Sunday. What did disappoint me was the fact that several of the advertised exhibitors were not there. Some may have dropped out several weeks ago, I admit that it's a while since I looked at the list online, but tickets were on sale at the time these dyers were still being advertised. I checked the online exhibitors list when I got home and some businesses are still on there even though they weren't at the show. It was so much smaller than last year, yet the admission price had increased. I didn't find the shopping experience as relaxing as last year either, it's quite a large venue so it was nicely set out last year meaning there was no hustle and bustle but this time the stalls on the upper floor were squashed together and at times it was hard to tell where one person's stall finished and another began. It was much better on the lower level though. I was sorry that I didn't get to sample the wares of dyers such as Norah George, Lay Family Yarn and Beehive Yarns amongst others, all these dyers were originally advertised but weren't there on the day.
Disappointment aside, I did manage to do a little shopping so I'll show you what I brought home with me.
Jellybeans Yarns is new to me, I haven't come across this yarn company before but I was so impressed by the gorgeous colours which were available. I bought three different semi solid colourways, Golden (one of a kind), Midnight and Red Ember, but it was very hard to make a choice as there were many which took my fancy. The colours are more saturated than these photos show, I could have spent a fortune on this stall and I'm sure I'll be buying more from this dyer in the future.
I picked up a couple of Christmas colourways, Little Elf from Dina's Home of Crafts on a stellina base, there's got to be a bit of sparkle at Christmas time, and I also picked up Fairy Lights, this year's Christmas colourway from West Yorkshire Spinners. I'm not sure I'll get either of these knit up in time for this Christmas as I've got other things on my needles at the moment but I'll be able to knit up some socks ready for next year.
I went to the show knowing that I'd like to bring some mini skeins home with me to add to my Scrappy Blanket. I picked up a bundle of 10 gram minis from Down Sheepy Lane and an odd 20 gram mini from Snuggly Stars Yarns.
Helen from Giddy Yarns and the Giddy Knits Podcast was exhibiting for the first time at Nottingham and it was lovely to finally meet her as I've been watching her podcast since she started it. I believe I was one of her very first customers when she started her yarn business too. My Dorothy In Oz Socks were knit in Giddy Yarns and I have another four different colourways from Giddy Yarns in my stash so I didn't buy any full skeins from Helen on this occasion, however, Helen's four year old son, Arthur, had dyed some mini skeins especially to be sold at Nottingham with all the profits going to him so I had to have one to add to my blanket. These were being sold under the Kiddy Yarns logo rather than Giddy Yarns, how cute is that? There's no surprise that there's plenty of purple in this colourway as it's Arthur's favourite colour. I did peruse Helen's stall though and I have to say that her Lost At Sea and Loganberry colourways are on my wish list.
I'm really pleased with my purchases but I'm not sure it's a show I'll go back to next year.
As you know, Eleanor is at university in Nottingham so we paid her a visit whilst we were in the area. We turned up with a bag of supplies for her so she'll be eating well this week. It was lovely to see her.