Rocking Knit Nation

I promised you a post with more on Knit Nation, so I have gathered some photos for you. The event though officially only 29-31 July started a wee bit earlier, on the Tuesday when all our teachers started to land in the UK. This was in Clara’s passport – and I totally love it! I wish I had one in my passport too!
Knit Nation visa!

Cookie & I arrived to the residences to see if we could get rooms for the first arriving teachers. It was rather early (730am!) and we were told that the rooms weren’t ready.  I find in these instances where you get stonewalled, that a well pitched hissy fit peppered with minor hysterics (it does make me giggle to have someone tell me ‘mam, please calm down’) can turn the ‘no rooms ready before 2pm’ into ‘all rooms bar one ready now’. Yay! First to arrive was Anne Hanson, who sat with Cookie and I on the steps, enjoying the cool sunny morning. Clara & Judith arrived next, then Beth and JC, and before we knew it, everyone had arrived safely, with all their luggage (it was touch and go for a second there for one of the teachers whose luggage wasn’t where it should be, but it worked out in the end).

The next day was our teacher’s ‘ease into London’ day. We arranged a private tour of the V & A for our tutors (though I heard that Judith really could have given the tour herself!):
Us with the KN tutors

Then we all headed off for an afternoon tea with the Knit Nation tutors, along with Jess & Casey of Ravelry, Ysolda & Sarah, and Katie of Hoxton Handmade. The afternoon tea was really lovely -we all got a chance to chat and very importantly – eat cake. Twas lovely! Over too soon for me as it was back home to help Kerri who, behind the scenes had been working her butt off to get all the class orders ready for registration pick up.
Tea with the tutors!

Sooner than I imagined it could come, suddenly it was Thursday morning. We got to the college, with our fab Knit Nation Crew out in force to set up the registration desk.

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The vendors worked all day to get their stands ready for the 5pm Preview. And they did a great job. You can see loads of photos here.

B got me to sit down and eat just before the Thursday Preview opened (B thank you! I wouldn’t have had anything to eat otherwise), and this was the queue from the hall outside at 445pm!
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I wish I had taken the video I meant to take of the people cheering when the Marketplace opened, and running in! Sadly when I checked my camera later, I had managed to turn off the camera instead of turning it on at the critical moment.  Doh!

The energy and buzz was awesome. Here is the crowd around the Wollmeise stand:
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Crazy as it was, the three hours were gone in a flash. I was a menace with the PA system – giving the vendors a heart attack when I announced “8 minutes to door”… at 422pm. Oops. I had to get back on and sheepishly announce “er, sorry folks, that’s 38 minutes to door, er not 8”.

Friday morning we had our first full Marketplace day. Again there was a queue out the door, which was really exciting and the Marketplace was buzzing all day. Jess & Casey gave their Ravelry talk that evening.

Saturday was our last day. More classes, more Marketplace. Funnily enough it was the first day I felt all stressed out! I have a severe case of delayed reaction. 🙂 Anyways I was really really looking forward to the Ravelry Party hosted by Jess & Casey. And true to form, Jess & Casey throw a great party. It  was AWESOME!

First up, the collectable, covetable Ravelry bags. These are the best ones so far (IMHO). Julie the artist who created the images, is a genius! How many knitting things can you find? Crochet hooks, knitting needles, balls of yarn, stitch markers, are all cleverly part of the design.

Knit Nation bags- front!

Knit Nation bags- Sponsor logos!

And Ysolda’s photo booth. So much fun!

Great photos. Here are the College bar staff who manned the party.  Here’s a chap I don’t recall seeing at all, and boy he’s a cutie!

ahh the lure of the photo booth.  we’ve all been there (and you’ll see I was too!)

This is Marc (blue shirt) who was one of our three Imperial College angels (Marc & Jaoa being the other two). He was literally at our beck and call and helped us sort out so many of the little things that needed doing. Big shout out for Marc, Michael (who I in my tired and bamboozled state called honey at the end of Saturday) and Joaoa (sorry! I can’t spell your name!).

Here is a selection of my favourites:

More photo booth funMore photo booth fun
More photo booth funMore photo booth fun
More photo booth funMore photo booth fun
More photo booth funMore photo booth fun
Dear Carrie who I met in person for the very first time!! Ain’t she cute??
More photo booth fun
As the night went on, the photos got messier… and merrier
More photo booth funMore photo booth fun
Easyknitter Jon (newly and happily married to the dishy Roy!)
More photo booth funMore photo booth fun
My ever patient hubby
More photo booth fun
And me! Not entirely sure what I am doing there, but the lure of the photo booth was too much. I guess this is my dramatic flourish to the end of Knit Nation 2010… and a little cheeky hint to watch this space…
More photo booth fun

Thank you to Ysolda & Jess Marshall Forbes for use of their photos!

Pamplemousse

Phew!, Cookie, Carole and I went to Paris for a little post Knit Nation break. We caught the Eurostar bright and early and headed to our hotel in the 1st arrondissement right next to the Jardin des Tuileries. The first day we blundered into a french cafe bar and were kind of bullied (in a very nice way) into ordering lunch. Madame la proprietaire made us put on their napkins which were these big aprons. No one else was wearing them but we put them on and wore them happily (well, I tried to take mine off but she appeared over my shoulder tsk tsking. Reprimanded I sheepishly put it back on, much to Cookie and Carole’s amusement). Still the gratin dauphinois was delicieux!

We swanned around, drank and ate to our heart’s content, and even chanced upon Sly Stallone at the Ritz (he was getting out of his voiture and being greeting by paps). We felt rather glamourous!

We saw the Eiffel Tower

Wee little piggies

And very large fruit

Norah joined us for the day, and hid with Cookie under their umbrella, oops I mean parasol.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather. Cookie finished her book (yay!). We missed Susan and thought of her lots. The girls learned more French (attention! oui oui! pamplemousse!) and Carole even got to kiss our charming french concierge.

We even were privy to the secret of French glamour: fashion mangetout. Who knew?

More in the next post on the Isle of Wight, my parent, and a knitter I met at Steep Hill Cove who had been to Knit Nation!

Knit Nation, over

It’s over. A year’s worth of work culminating in the 3 day extravaganza that was this year’s Knit Nation. The combined knowledge of the teachers was mind blowing – these ladies are international treasures and just the sweetest people. And our marketplace – I have to say all the vendors who came were just AMAZING. When Cookie first came through the set up marketplace, she was astonished to find that each booth was a work of art. Each one. Kind of like opening a luxe box of chocolates in which each one is crazy delicious, and yet different from the next. Definitely agree with her.

It’s a total whirlwind, and I will update with a more detailed post later, with photos (we have some great ones from Ysolda’s photo booth), but I wanted to jot down some things that stand out in my mind:
-a senior knitter who came by to tell us how much she enjoyed the show. She’d read about it in a magazine and got on the internet to find us.
-All our sponsors: Ysolda, Knitting Mag, Purlescence & the Knitting Hut. Especially Rhoda Barker and her team from Knitting Magazine who really went out on a limb to support Knit Nation. Ever ever ever grateful
-every single person who came by to tell us that they enjoyed Knit Nation and to thank our crew for a stellar job. THANK YOU!!!!
-our volunteer crew – up at the crack of dawn, without coffee, to get to the show early to set up, doing everything that needed doing. Keeping me sane and vertical and then letting me sit on the floor with a bottle of beer at the close and not laughing at me too much. I love you all so much.
-all our teachers who kept thanking us for asking them to come teach. That totally boggles my mind because it really is me & cookie who are so grateful that they wanted to come to Knit Nation to teach, and even happier that they enjoyed themselves! We kept thanking them in return! Reminds me of how Chinese people fight for the bill – we are thank you sparring – who can thank each other the most!
-Copy that. Over. too much fun with the walkie talkies!
-bing bing bing! bong bong bong! too much fun with the mike.
-Michael, Charlotte, Joao, Marc of Imperial College: love them all.
-Luke, Sandy the new Luke and Paul the new new Luke. Someone told me they wanted to take Paul home as he was a great breakdown shepherd. I said no, sadly, as I think B would have my head.
-the vendor’s big thank you at the close of the show. makes my heart swell and sing!
-Jess & Casey and the Rav party. Awesomeness in one room.
-Koki winning 3 skeins of Wollmeise. Koki who doesn’t really knit…
-me winning a bottle of Soak.
-David making friends with all and sundry at the Rav party… and definitely drinking mucho mucho. a bout of praying followed when we got home
-having the best time.

Now for some fun in Paris and catching up with my knitting!

Knit Nation signing off. Bing! Bing! Bing!

Over…… until next time. 😉