Yarnporium vendor highlights: A Yarn Story and Inspiration Knits

Our next vendor highlights focus on two exhibitors who have really taken on board our challenge to bring something extra special for our Yarnporium guests.

Luscious La Bien Aimée Merino Singles just waiting for you on the A Yarn Story stand at the Yarnporium.

Luscious La Bien Aimée Merino Singles just waiting for you on the A Yarn Story stand at the Yarnporium.

Bath yarn boutique A Yarn Story knows what knitters like and in her shop, knitters LOVE speckles. Owner Carmen has gone straight to the Queen of Speckles herself to source a very special yarn for her stand at the Yarnporium - La Bien Aimée yarns from Paris.

More rich colour from La Bien Aimée.

More rich colour from La Bien Aimée.

Merino Singles are the most popular base that La Bien Aimée dyes on, a plump, smooshy single dyed in fresh and fun colours with names like 'Wee Rainbow on a Vespa', 'Autumn Graffiti' and 'Pop Grunge'. 

Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade will be on hand to show off her latest designs in The Fibre Co. yarns. You can meet her on the A Yarn Story stand on Saturday from 1-3pm.

Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade will be on hand to show off her latest designs in The Fibre Co. yarns. You can meet her on the A Yarn Story stand on Saturday from 1-3pm.

The speckle fun doesn't stop there and A Yarn Story will also be bringing a selection of their Hedgehog Fibres yarns, along with shop favourites like The Fibre Co.'s new Arranmore yarn. And on Saturday from 1-3pm, designer Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade will join the A Yarn Story stand and show off her latest patterns in Arranmore and other The Fibre Co. yarns.

Inspiration Knits designer Louise Zass-Bangham loves to encourage knitters to play with colour. Her popular Yarn Tamer cowl gets a soft, muted approach in Eden Cottage Yarns (left) and delivers over the top impact in Countess Ablaze yarns (right).

Inspiration Knits designer Louise Zass-Bangham loves to encourage knitters to play with colour. Her popular Yarn Tamer cowl gets a soft, muted approach in Eden Cottage Yarns (left) and delivers over the top impact in Countess Ablaze yarns (right).

Designer Louise Zass-Bangham of Inspiration Knits has also pulled off a yarn-y coup and bringing not one but two favourite British hand-dyed brands to sell alongside copies of her popular accessories book Knit Play Colour.

Louise's Colour Trail scarf worked up in the delicate hues of Eden Cottage Yarn's Oakwood DK.

Louise's Colour Trail scarf worked up in the delicate hues of Eden Cottage Yarn's Oakwood DK.

As a designer Louise is a real knitter's knitter. She loves to play with colour and texture, explore stitch patterns and figure out how to use those must-have skeins that follow her home from yarn shows. She also has a love for hand-dyed yarns and like many of us, is often at war with herself over whether she's in the mood to knit with a softer palette or bold, screaming colour.

 Eden Cottage Yarns Whitfell Chunky makes Louise's Shadowlines Wrap pure indulgence!

 Eden Cottage Yarns Whitfell Chunky makes Louise's Shadowlines Wrap pure indulgence!

Happily for guests to the Yarnporium, Inspiration Knits has covered both sides of this endless debate by bringing yarns from both the Countess Ablaze and Eden Cottage Yarns with her. Fans of Eden Cottage Yarns soft and romantic palette will be able to select from hand-dyed Titus 4-ply, Titus DK or Oakworth DK, as well as the baby alpaca deliciousness of ECY's mill-dyed Whitfell DK and Whitfell Chunky.

Bright, bold and beautiful: yarns hand-dyed by the Countess Ablaze.

Bright, bold and beautiful: yarns hand-dyed by the Countess Ablaze.

Yarnlovers who prefer a brighter, bolder palette can indulge in Countess Ablaze's Tia Merino, English Gentleman fingering and DK, Exotic Traveller and Sovereign Bases.

Trailblazer, also from Knit Play Colour, knit in Countess Ablaze Tia Merino.

Trailblazer, also from Knit Play Colour, knit in Countess Ablaze Tia Merino.

Louise's love of texture and colour come to life knit up out of the Countess Ablaze's yarns.

In addition to Knit Play Colour, Louise will also have a selection of her other accessories on the stand and be more than happy to help you with your colour choices! Soft and light? Bold and bright? Both? What will you choose?

 

Road trip recap: the Bath Christmas Market and other crafty goodness

This post is a bit overdue but better late than never and we'd be remiss if we didn't tell you about all the fun we had with the success of our first non-Great London Yarn Crawl event with Yarn in the City.

Rachel and I check our list twice before setting off with the group. Photo credit: Catherine Hopkins

Rachel and I check our list twice before setting off with the group. Photo credit: Catherine Hopkins

We got an early-ish start thanks to everyone being wonderfully punctual in meeting up at our departure location in Hammersmith. There were a few familiar faces from GLYC 2014 to hug and say hello to, and new friends to welcome aboard our latest Yarn in the City adventure.

Shortly after 9am we were on the road, comfortable and cozy in our executive coach and settling into our travel projects. We also handed out Yarn in the City treats which included mini skeins and a Christmas bauble pattern from our sponsors Kettle Yarn Co. and East London Knit. There was also a map of the Bath Christmas Market and all the stalls to help our guests plan their must-see sights.

The smooshy, delicious yarns at A Yarn Story.

The smooshy, delicious yarns at A Yarn Story.

Our first stop was just outside Bath at The Shed and home to A Yarn Story. Carmen was there to welcome us with open arms - and a new delivery of The Uncommon Thread's Heavenly DK! While the throng was in the shop, I wandered around some of the other shops in the shed, happily finding some wonderful handmade buttons from the textile artist Carole Waller downstairs at One Two Five Gallery and a few other stocking stuffer type gifts. 

Helen and Kelly get some spinning and knitting done while enjoying a break in the sunshine at The Shed.

Helen and Kelly get some spinning and knitting done while enjoying a break in the sunshine at The Shed.

With a little help from my friends: winding up my new SweetGeorgia Superwash Six on the way into Bath.

With a little help from my friends: winding up my new SweetGeorgia Superwash Six on the way into Bath.

I may have also fallen down at A Yarn Story for some deliciously soft and amazing Superwash Six from SweetGeorgia Yarns. I hadn't been able to try it out yet and was excited to get the chance! Not that I got much of chance mind you, as soon we were on the bus headed into Bath for the Christmas Market around the abbey, along with planned stops at Country Threads and Wool.

A rare shot of the Christmas market at twilight in the shadow of the abbey. It was so pretty seeing all the stalls lit up.

A rare shot of the Christmas market at twilight in the shadow of the abbey. It was so pretty seeing all the stalls lit up.

Bath was lovely but positively heaving with people. I hope I can be forgiven for having forgotten to take many photos in favour of just enjoying the day. Many of our guests were familiar with Bath and paired up to take in the market, visit with friends or do other shopping when the market got to be a little too much. In our own off-market wanderings Rachel and I discovered the lovely Bijoux Beads and The Makery - both wonderful enough for their own post another time!

All too soon we were rendez-vous-ing at Wool for our own private event to ogle the wonderful yarns with festive treats and mulled wine from Laura and her staff, before heading back to the bus heavily laden with the day's purchases!

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us on the day - we had such a wonderful time with you all and we can't wait for our next events coming up in the spring. Watch this space!

And if you'd like to read another recap of our lovely day out, one of our guests and good friend Catherine Hopkins has an excellent post (and more photos) over on her blog. Cheers!