Yesterday a friend and I went to Festiwool in Hitchin.  It’s not a yarn show I’d heard of before (it doesn’t seem to get much publicity) but it was a really interesting mix of dyers and producers, many of whom I hadn’t seen or heard of before.  There was a really nice balance in the show between indie dyers and commercial yarns, as well as tools and accessories.  There were also quite a few people selling fluff and spinning tools (note to self: tempting though it looks, I do not need a new hobby).

It’s always interesting to look around a yarn show and see the trends in dyeing.  There were a lot of really bright neon shades on show, reminding me of 1980s fashion.  There were also quite a few sugared pastels, some spatter-dyeing and gradient dyed yarn (though less than I’ve seen at some previous shows).

And of course I made some purchases while I was there.  I didn’t make it to Ally Pally this year, so I had a yarn-buying itch to scratch.

Festiwool 002First up is this lovely laceweight from Native Yarns.  It’s 100% Bluefaced Leicester.  It has a lovely crisp handle and knits up into a beautifully sheepy fabric.  The shade is called Boudicca, and it’s dyed with indigo to give a rich, blue shade.  The dyer has warned me that the indigo will bleed when I knit with it and wash it for the first time, so this will definitely be yarn to use at home rather than a project to take out and about with me.

Festiwool 004Next up is this beautiful yarn from Sparkleduck.  It’s their Solo yarn – a single ply superwash merino.  I fell in love with this vibrant colourway, which is called Here Be Dragons.  The mix of rich colours was irresistible, even though I normally prefer semi-solids to variegated yarns.  I’m not completely sure yet what these two skeins will become, but I think there should be enough for a hat, scarf and fingerless mittens set.

Festiwool 007I also bought this pair of silk and merino mix skeins from a new-to-me dyer called Travelknitter, who is based in Walthamstow in East London.  The colours are a little more purple than they appear on screen (not the washed out steel and charcoal you see here).  I think these are destined to be used together in a two-colour lace shawl, probably something like Travelling Companion.

Festiwool 024I also popped by the stand of Third Vault Yarns (who I’ve written about before).  As I’ve said, I love Lola’s dyeing so I couldn’t resist treating myself.  On top is a skein of Nightcrawler that she has been teasing me with for weeks.  And I loved the subtle variegations in her Naiad yarn, slightly bluer than Waters of Mars.  I also picked up (not shown) one of her Jayne-in-a-ball gradient dyed skeins.  It comes with a pattern to knit your very own Jayne hat.

Festiwool 014And finally, I couldn’t resist this utterly bonkers skein of Sokkuso O from Whimzy.  The vibrant neon green and purple caught my eye, but what sold me on it was the name of the shade: To Infinity & Beyond.  It is gloriously mad.  I have no idea what it will become.  But I knew it had to come home with me.



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