Bye bye Wool Week

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Wool Week is nearly over. As anticipated, I spent much of it knitting, talking about knitting and lusting after other people’s knitting.

Much of this indulgence went on in a couple of visits to the Oxford Street branch of John Lewis, which has been playing host to five days of knitting workshops. What a wonderful event! But woefully under-advertised by the store. Their beautiful and entertaining ‘live knitting’ window would have surely attracted many extra customers both into the haberdashery department and the rest of the store if displayed up front. Instead, it was relegated to the far side of the building, where few but staff on their fag break got to see it.

Ah well, at least I can show you here.

Tuesday

I bounded up the escalators with great zeal and camera/ knitting needles at the ready; slightly nonplussed to discover, on my arrival at the haberdashery department, a distinct lack of Wool Week activity. Shop assistant not sure where it is. Am I in the right store? I wonder on way back down to the information point on ground floor.

Directed up to first – through shoe section and into ladieswear, round to the right – and eventually find the woolly haven. It’s an admittedly intimate spot, squeezed between clothes rails; browsers step over balls of wool and beanbags, knitters make friends fast as they rub elbows on squashy sofas. I meet today’s knitting gurus – Norwegian duo Arne and Carlos  – and get to work on Magnus Mouse. Having expected a variation on the beginners staple garter stitch square, I’m pleased to discover Arne and Carlos’ mouse cuts an elegant, elongated figure, knitted in the round on double-ended needles. After nearly two hours I am still working up Magnus’ ankle and am well into a continental style (left-handed) vs English (right-handed) knitting debate with Arne, Carlos and accomplished Canadian crafter Natalie Selles. Time to go, unfortunately, but will return – soon.

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Thursday

I return on Thursday night, armed with a better camera and greater resolve to use it. Meet the designer of tonight’s workshop and pattern, Sarah Hatton, who kindly demonstrates her extremely efficient underarm knitting technique. Her design for Rowan’s workshop this evening cleverly comes in garter, stocking stitch and cable options for all knitting levels. DSC_4874

DSC_4877DSC_4876DSC_4880There was some awesome cable needle accessorizing on the part of fellow knitter/ blogger, Snowfox of I am Snowfox.

Look, look!

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We wrap up the evening snapping away at the Toft Alpaca team in their glass tank of yarn. I leave with a warm fuzzy feeling.

Goodbye Wool Week! Until next time..

next week: Wool Week

Somehow, knitting season has taken me by surprise all over again.

You might say that the wool has been pulled over my eyes (if you were a desperate blogger after any opportunity to throw in cheap and cheesy cliches to appear effortlessly silver-fingered; not a writer feeling laboured and awkward, spending an inordinate amount of time nose-deep in the thesaurus).

Nevertheless, I’m pretty taken aback to discover Wool Week (14th – 20th October) is here again. It seems like only last week that the beautiful Wool House was on display at Somerset House, but, in fact it’s been a full six months.

© 2013 Campaign For Wool

This time, the Campaign for Wool team have hooked up with John Lewis to host a week of FREE knitting classes. Each of the six classes is run by a different supplier, ranging from Christmas jumpers with Sue Stratford to snoods with Rowan (full timetable below). You can either secure a place in the morning or afternoon sessions, or drop in anytime in-between. There’s lots more info here on the Campaign for Wool website.