Somehow, most of my photos are of train stations (I did spend longer on trains that I did at the show...). I can confirm that we have a much nicer train station than Derby; too modern, full of glass, plastic and metal, and Birmingham; seriously, just urgh.
The first bit of Nottingham Train Station.
On the way there I swapped trains at Derby and saw a lovely 'massage parlour' just outside of the station. I went for a quick coffee before the train to Bristol and managed to finish a top secret project (more on that later in the week hopefully) and started on sewing the ends on this monster:
It's my Pansies and, to put it politely, it's taking the mick but I feel like I might actually be somewhere nearing 'there'. At least I only have one and a half repeats of the intarsia pattern to go...
Nearing Bristol, my desktop looked something like this - which I feel is a little triumph.
And Bristol looked something like this:
ALWAYS sunny when I'm travelling! Always. Never sunny when I'm there though...
Bristol Train Station is lovely. Built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it looks like a bloody castle. A castle for a train station!? Lucky Bristolians.
I hopped into a taxi and made my way to the football stadium (happily, the only time I've ever been in one). And look where we were:
The Dolman Stand. Haha! I wonder if they chose it specifically!? On a related note, when I went to sign in I was stood behind a young lad and his dad who both looked genuinely scared and intrigued about all of this wool. Bless.
Aaaaaaaaand then, I pretty much forgot that I had a camera... To be fair, I wasn't sure if I was allowed to take photos of much of the stuff and I can't say I was made to feel that comfortable at most of the stands. The Coats stand was fantastic but I think that was only because Jem had told them to be nice to the young, fat one with green hair (seriously, they all knew who I was!). And the King Cole stand was bloody marvellous! I love my rep! I think he thinks I don't realise that he talks about all of his customers like that when he's talking me up to people but it still makes me smile and I was made to feel at home there. I love King Cole!
I had a bit of a rep meeting with Mark, my rep. And he showed me this:
Apparently a super super chunky... I bought it. But it's not due in for a while. So prepare the 15mm needles - this is going to be a good one!
Which I will only by when hell freezes over. Seriously? Honestly? This has got to be some sort of joke? I wouldn't mind the odd ball for a joke but I'd have to buy a bloody bag of 12 - ohohohohohoh no.
AND THEN HE SHOWED ME THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes! It's the Galaxy in blue and green (and black and white with gold sequins). I can't remember when he said it would be out but it will be and it will be in my shop as soon as humanly possible! I have SUCH an idea for the green that has been in my head for years!!!!!!!!!!
I also bought another yarn from King Cole that, if I remember rightly, had some wool, acrylic and rayon in it. I wasn't sure about the colours at the time (or the patterns...) but it's growing on me - it might have made an appearance in my dreams last night (I really am that sad). It felt divine, quite heavy and silky. I got a couple of bags free because I ordered at the show so it seemed like an appropriate thing to do. Again, we've got a little while for that to actually be in but I'm quite excited.
I ordered another secret surprise too but I've got to keep some tricks up my sleeve haven't I? Treat you mean, keep you keen!
In terms of other companies, I made moves on two of them. One of them I had already been in contact with at the beginning but the rep was a bit awful (kept turning up an hour early on my day off and catching my in my pj's. At one point she said to me 'Are you going to be buying today because my time is expensive?' and I said, 'well, I don't know, I haven't seen what you have to offer' and she said 'okay, well I'll come back another day'. I rang her back later and told her not to bother. Jesus.). Anyway, I spoke to the sales manager at that company and he was lovely and not too pushy (especially when I told him about the rep) but I've got their shade cards and I'm in love with two patterns and one yarn specifically so we'll have to see. And another company, that I'm not as sure about but I think they'd sit nicely with the yarns we've got at the minute - about the same price point but just a bit different, know what I mean? We'll see how it goes - somehow I've got to fill the Woolcraft void. :(
And then, right at the very end of the day I made contact with UK Hand Knitting. I spoke to two lovely ladies, I think one was called Geraldine but I couldn't be sure (still terrible with names...). I signed up to do some advertising with them because it's incredibly cheap and I like what they're doing and I want to support them. She was lovely and she remembered me from when I made a tit of myself in front of her in the early days AND she said she'd had some good feedback about us so she knew or name! Are we getting out there or what!? Dead good.
And then I headed off back home.
I saw this at the beautiful Bristol Train Station:
I love it! It's just my style! When we first opened and we were looking at replacing the sign I tried to explain to a designer that I wanted it to look like a golden syrup tin:
She didn't get it and I couldn't justify paying at much money as it was for something that I didn't love (and now I can't justify getting any sign because we're still looking for the perfect place to move to and shop signs aren't standard so we probably couldn't take it with us. On the other hand, if I just shell out for one then we'd definitely find the perfect place the next day...). What would you call that style? Like Victorian, wrought iron-y? I don't know.
Anyway, on the way back I managed to finish sewing the ends in on one of the arms of the pansy thing (and when I got home, I finished sewing the ends in on the other arm) you'll be pleased to know. I got home at about nine which means that I had been travelling for 12 bloody hours! It was worth it though.
So, about the title. One of the biggest trends that I saw was fluffy (not fun-furry. Apparently only King Cole think that's a good idea...). Mohair-y and brushed effects. I'm a BIG fan! BIIIIIIIIIIIG! And I'm desperate to introduce it into the shop - I tried with the Haze DK and it is popular enough but I've been thwarted by it's discontinuation. There are two yarns I have in mind. One is a definite when I get some space because I know it'll go mental. The other is this: King Cole's Luxury Mohair which retails for around £3.50. There's a gorgeous patten for it in King Cole's Catwalk fashion book (which I really must get on the webshop at some point, along with all of the beautiful baby books). What do you think? Would you buy? Is it worth it? Shall I just give it a go so that I can knit it in? Oh - I have ideas coming out of my ears!
Right, I'm off. I haven't had breakfast yet and I've told myself that I MUST write that blog on steeking. I've started it but I can't seem to finish it. Today will be the day!
Love Eleanor. :)