Thursday night was Yarn Tasting night, and there's an awful lot to report! Fascinating speakers, new yarn to try, projects to plan, friends to catch up with, new friends to make.... We started upstairs, taking over Jig's theatre space for the evening. There was much excited rummaging through the goody bags, because there was brand new yarn to play with. On garment rails, quietly waiting their turn, were enticing new garments in the loveliest fibres and colours.... We were so privileged this year to have two internationally renowned designers to talk to us. Debbie Bliss and Louisa Harding are old friends of This Is Knit, so it was marvellous to welcome them to the same stage, and to get their first-hand discussion of the beautiful things they've got in store for us this year. Debbie spoke first and gave us a wonderful insight into her entire design process, from initial inspiration (Dior's New Look and Downton Abbey are big influences this year) to her wisdom on fit and proportion. As well as the delicious Blue-faced Leicester that we've already talked about here, there are new patterns for Luxury Silk DK and an adorable new babies' and children's collection for Baby Cashmerino (you should have heard the "aaaaah!" that went up when we saw the pictures). There's even a terribly elegant dog sweater in the BFL! And then a catwalk show broke out! The audience needed very little encouragement from Debbie to try on the sample garments and sashay up and down the aisle! Lisa tried on the most beautiful silver grey Luxury Silk DK cardigan and found it hard to part from - she's wearing it here reading out a winning raffle number (there were prizes right through the evening): Then it was time for Louisa to show us the gorgeous things she has for us this season, and it was such a treat. There were gasps of delight on hearing that the dear departed Thistle aranweight is now replaced by Akiko and that there's a new addition to the Grace range, Grace Harmony. This simple and elegant capelet is made in Grace, and it's such an excellent example of Louisa's design signature: We also got to see (and feel) Luzia, which knits up into a fur fabric! This simple little jacket showcases it perfectly, though a little fur scarf will brighten up your winter coat no end too! And then the festivities moved downstairs, where all the sample garments were available on the balcony for trying on, while our dear neighbours at the Pepper Pot lent their tables for sitting and chatting and trying out the new goodies. The shop was looking particularly lovely too: Debbie and Louisa, thank you so much for coming! It was a delight, and we can't wait till you come back! And of course, thank you to all of our lovely Yarn Tasting guests - meeting you is the best part of the event every year, and this time was no exception. So much to report, and so much to plan! The evening added significantly to our queues - how about you? We'd love to hear what projects you're lining up for the new season, so why not leave a comment below and tell us!