I’ve just got back from knitting festival (so to speak) Knit Nation in London and in order to explain my conclusions, I want to compare it to Unravel in Farnham.
Unravel is a festival held from saturday-sunday in February. It allows you to break your New Year’s resolutions not to buy yarn and gives you something to look forward through drab january. Knit nation is held for 3 days in July in London and clashes with a lot of summer events.
Knit nation had prestigous guests Cookie A, Ysolda, Skein Queen, Easyknits, Habu, Loop, Selvedge, Susan B. Crawford, to name a few knitting, crochet and spinning is catered for and there are masses of workshops (we chose not to go to but there were loads). Unravel had a few workshops, exhibitions and some big names such as Skein Queen, Fyberspates, Susan B Crawford, Easyknits but also big talks with guests such as Perri who writes for the guardian and making magazine and the knitter.
At Unravel the layout sprawls across a massive hall with stage, exhbitions everywhere, 2 cafes, four rooms for shopping (plus the hall) and two exhibition rooms. Everywhere you go you can actually get to the yarns and talk to the exhibitors. At Knit nation there was one hall (although i believe multiple workshop rooms) and one cafe. The university facilities were closed as it was a weekend and every booth felt cramped. Especially when the workshops let out for lunch. I know I’m not good with crowds but i was just made to feel uncomfortable. And when I wanted to spend £90 on yarn at Old Maiden Aunt she only wanted cash and told me to buy online when I got home – er I wouldn’t have come if I wanted to do that!
We paid £32 each for the train, and £10 each just to get into the marketplace – in order to spend money – at Knitnation. At unravel we used half a tank of petrol between us and the tickets were about £8 max we can’t remember exactly. Could have been less, and it included the exhibitions. We didn’t even know we’d arrived today until we got there, unravel welcomes you with knitted lampost cosys from the carpark to the door, signs everywhere from the roads and sheep outside the door!
At lunchtime we thought we’d treat ourselves to a jacket potato and something naughty for dessert. All that was available today was paninis and sandwiches at an explosive price and we’re both doing slimming world which basically excludes bread. At unravel we had a choice of two cafes and they made me a fresh jacket potato with salad and any filling i fancied.
and some yarn from easyknits
and chatted away to lovely Debbie from Skein Queen and Easyknits lovelies.
But although I’m glad I’ve been Unravel will be my regular knitting trip hands down.