*edited to add/amend people's names!*
*warning* Enormous post. There's about 25 photos on here, so profuse apologies to anyone on dial-up!! Also apologies to anyone whose name I've got wrong. I'm very easily confused, especially when there's large amounts of yarn nearby and half the people have got the same name (which should, in theory, make it easier, but it doesn't cos you need to know which one they are to work out which blog is theirs!)
Skip North was held at Haworth Youth Hostel:
An amazing building with loads of room for sitting and knitting in and talking to people. I think I must be especially frugal about central heating at home as the hostel to me felt absolutely boiling! This pic was taken on the Sunday morning whilst we were waiting for the coach to come and pick us up! Alex is in the foreground ringing the coach company...
One of the communal areas was the ballroom, but before you all get delusions of grandeur/images of Pride and Prejudice, it was actually more like a games room! We had workshops on Friday afternoon and I went to the spinning one in the ballroom (the others were stitchmarkers, bullion crochet and procion dyeing). This pic (as well as being a bit blurry) has:
Nic, Alison, Lauren (have you got a blog?), Ruth (who was teaching us) and Diane and Badger's hand on the right.
Some of us also sat and knitted in the dining room before tea (and during tea and after tea). This is Anne and the knitted/crocheted breast. I'm going to make one too, but didn't dare do it last week as it would have meant knitting it on the train... You can read more about knitting boobs on Anne's blog here.
In the evening all of us (35?) squished into the lounge and frightened the Muggles sitting reading a cycling magazine in the corner. There weren't enough seats so we sat on the floor, on the table, by the fire surround... I wish the pics I took came out, but the only one that did was this one of Diane and Badger (I know you wanted a copy Badger so feel free to save it!). Like me, Badger also inhabits Library World (which is a very cool place to inhabit).
On Friday night we had a talk from Steve and Pat from Woolly Thoughts, which I really enjoyed and wasn't too scary and mathematical. I even bought a couple of cushion patterns - I got "Trivial Pursuit" and "Best of Both Whirls"
And at Coldspring Mill on Saturday morning when no one had turned up to let us in! We had to stand outside for a while, peering forlornly through the windows at all the lovely yarn.
But once we got inside. WOW. Piles of yarn EVERYWHERE! The racks have Debbie Bliss yarn, which all seemed to have at least a £1 off, and there were yarn packs at the back and cones at the front, all at a substantial discount. There seemed to be plenty of Debbie Bliss, and Noro, and Twilleys, plus a LOT of other stuff.
We grabbed armfuls of the stuff and then had to stand in the queue for ages (so British) because there's only one till/credit card machine! This is Rachel, Heather and Sheila queueing with their hauls.
and me with mine!
My Coldspring purchases:
1050g of Twilleys Freedom Spirit in colourway Fire (= 21 balls at half price!)
750g of Debbie Bliss Cotton Denim Aran (= 15 balls at half price!)
Then onto the Skep, where we had to split into two groups as it's quite small!
and I bought 500g of merino 4ply (£4.99!!) to make Thermal with and two balls of sock yarn, unbranded but it's 75% wool, 25% nylon. £1.25 a ball (how crazy is that?)
on the way down the road we even saw signs to yet more yarn, but that wasn't on the schedule!
Then at the Knitting and Crochet Guild HQ at Lee Mills we again split in half to attack the 1p a gram yarn mountain and be shown items from their collection of historic knitted and crocheted items.
This is Nic and the pattern bit of the shop section.
and the other Nic and some of the Yarn Mountain.
And a bit more of the Yarn Mountain.
This is part of the Guild's library collection (well I had to take a library pic, didn't I?!) where we were shown various items and I forgot to take photos of them!
And a very small part of their displays. This one was all about sock knitting (well, you'll have already worked that out from the photo anyway!)
I managed to restrain myself from buying anything from the Yarn Mountain (1p a gram!!) but did buy some Susan Bates Silvalume DPNs. I'd never seen these before but it's a really cool idea, you get a "sock set" with 20 DPNs in - 5 each of 1.5, 1.75, 2 and 2.25mm, most of which are sizes I'd been looking for for a while! And each size is a different colour!
I bought the spindle from Diane. It's made from sycamore wood and is from Sublime Spindles.
Back in the lounge in the evening Anne learnt to spin (she was better at it than me too!):
and various other people practised on people's spinning wheels. That's Spinning Fishwife on the right and Sue on the left.
On Sunday morning we climbed back on the coach to go to Wingham Wools. Wingham did wonders for my pedometer step count, as there are about 4? different sheds and I ended up running around all of them about five times, squeaking with excitement and wearing a very silly grin. It was absolutely amazing to see so much STUFF!
This is the "English" shed which was stuffed full of roving (probably wrong term there, might be "tops") and yarn all from different English sheep breeds (shouldn't that be British?).
and the "Rainbow" shed, which was full of, er, rainbox dyed thingies! And people looking at the rainbow dyed thingies.
This is what I bought:
200g skein of dyed roving, in the colourway "Blue Hydrangea". They had some beautiful colours in this, I wondered whether it would make a good sub for Debbie Bliss Maya/SoHo (especially as it works out at half the price of that!)? I'm going to use mine for felted slippers.
2 bags of about 100g each of rainbow merino so I can practise spinning.
3 x 50g of Wentworth Yarns space-dyed superwash DK for socks (it was £1.50 a ball, which seemed ridiculous as it's 100% wool).
Back at the hostel, this is me and Anne with all of Anne's purchases and my Sunday ones.
Monkey couldn't come. He would have liked to meet a lot of his friends but someone had to stay at home to babysit...
Anyway, it was a fantastic weekend and BIG THANKS to Alex and Nic for organising it! I met loads more people (some for the first time!) than have been mentioned or appeared here - Fred, Rachel, Liz, Rosie, Marie, Sue, Gemma, Sarah (BabyLongLegs), Lottie (who is blogless), Rachel (another one), Sue (another one), Denise, Theresa and I know I've missed a whole load of other people. Wonderful as all the yarn shopping was, I think the best thing was meeting everyone else! I didn't get any photos of the Skip North afghan either, so I hope someone else did.