Yarn Tasting 2012 can really be summed up by that picture: lovely new yarn and fibre, and it's hers, all hers!
We were so excited as 7.30pm approached on Friday - we had so much to share with you and so much to talk about. We gathered in the Powerscourt Townhouse Theatre for the first part of the evening (the same space we've used before, though it's now a rather spiffing performance space used by Jig
), and it was on with the show.
We had not one, but two eminent guests - Carol Feller and Ysolda Teague. Carol was at last year's Yarn Tasting, so she talked about what she's been up to in the last year. It won't surprise you to hear that she's been busy - she launched a new collaborative project
with Hedgehog Fibres on Friday (we've got kits for the hat pattern all made up for you), and she's now got a craftsy class
for this gorgeous cabled cardigan:
There were also lots of Ravi cardigans
in the audience - you'll remember that Carol had a KnitALong to celebrate her 100th pattern and that we had a chance to see it during her workshop
back in May. Lisa was wearing hers, and we kept seeing them walking by:
Our next guest was Ysolda Teague
. She's a true knitting superstar, having built an international reputation with her charming, innovative and colourful patterns. Her talk to us was fascinating: it detailed how she had come to be a knitter in the first place (because of a doll unfortunately named Annabel), and how she'd embarked on a career as a designer.
The only really committed knitter in her family was her grandfather, who learned to knit while serving with the RAF during the Second World War. The picture above shows the two of them, both wearing garments he'd made. He was with us in spirit, I think.
If you're on twitter, then you may have noticed #yarntasting trending in Dublin on Friday night - we were all encouraged to tweet with that hashtag, and hence there was this sort of thing happening all over the place (and if you're not following us yet, we're @ThisIsKnit - it's a great way of getting our news very fast indeed).
As the samples of yarn were handed out, each member of the audience got a sheet of paper with ready-attached strands, so it was easy to record first impressions as we knit with them.
As the weights of yarn were distributed and eagerly pounced on, we got to see sample garments made up from each. For example, Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk
is what was used for this garment. If there's a sweeter poncho available, we'd be very surprised.
As you arrived, you received a This Is Knit goody bag, with a copy of the Debbie Bliss magazine and a raffle ticket. Then, right through the evening, tickets were drawn for really excellent prizes, ranging from special skeins of Malabrigo to jumper quantities of Studio Donegal Merino 2-ply. (If you won one, we'd really love to see what you make with your well-gotten gains!)
Then we went downstairs for the second part of the evening: hanging out in the shop, knitting at the tables outside, trying on Carol and Ysolda's lovely garments on the balcony, with refreshments served by RÃ³nan and Liam, our delightful barmen.
In the shop, there were a lot of happy people with wide smiles and arms full of new yarn. It's going to be a very warm and colourful winter.
On the balcony, there were heaps and heaps of the garments we've admired online and in books - lovely sweaters like Ysolda's Chickadee
...and literally piles of mittens and hats and shawls...
And quietly overseeing it all, James McCullagh's breathtaking staircase ceiling in the original Powercourt townhouse. It's one of the world's great Georgian buildings, and we get to have our friends over to visit.
We'd like to say a very big Thank You! to the Pepper Pot, to Jig, and to the staff and particularly the security personnel of the Powerscourt Centre. It was a wonderful evening, and you all made it easy.