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A drop of drive by news…

I’m going to be going to exhibiting at both I Knit Fandango and Fibre East  – both shows are targeted at small suppliers and exquisite yarns, fibres and tools, so I should fit right in! More specific news on these closer to the time.

I’ve also taken the choice to not be at Spring Knitting and Stitching – Baldly put, it’s just too expensive for me to attend for what it will give back to me.

I’m also just getting ready to dye up for the next round of club yarns, want in? Come join here: Fibres Exotica – Club

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[Fibres Exotica News] Season’s Greetings! / Looking forward to WAWS 2015

Season’s Greetings!

Hope that your festive season is going well. Me, I’m a touch “Bah Humbug” about it all; I love this time of year, as these two weeks are generally filled with Time. Time to relax, to see friends and take stock of the past year. The “Spirit of Yule” – the opening of the heart to joy and the return of light, the giving of self to loved ones and sharing good times with people close to you.

However, too many enforced and structured “celebrations” of the day itself (that were really anything but pleasant time) in my twenties and thirties have left me very “Bah Humbug!” about how over commercialised and pressured the concept of “Christmas day” has now become.

So, now that the day itself is done and dusted, I’m enjoying a week off from the day-job and firmly looking forward to 2015; planning dye jobs, doing labelling, yarn prep, website admin, & getting ready for the first show of the year – Waltham Abbey Wool Show

Date: Sunday 18th January 2015
Time: 10am to 4pm
Venue: Waltham Abbey Marriott, Old Shire Lane, Waltham Abbey, EN9 3LX

Tickets: £3 in advance on-line or £4 on the day

In their second year, this show has definitely found their niche, with  luscious hand dyed yarns, beautiful handmade wool and felt items, unique knit and crochet kits, a wide selection of accessories from buttons to project bags for sale, demonstrations of spinning, weaving, rag rugging and crochet plus a gallery of projects on display as well as Workshops, a Best Funky bag competition and Knit & Natter area.

For more information please call 01992 651066 or see their website: www.walthamabbeywoolshow.co.uk

So, I see you there I hope!

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Just a quick “Come see me!” – Festiwool 2nd Nov

Just thought I’d drop in a quick ‘blog to remind everyone that I’m off to the 1st Annual Festiwool in Hitchin on Sunday.

As it’s a table show, I’ve only 6ft of space so my hand-dyed yarns and fibres will take centre stage – If anyone is particularly looking for me to have something with me from the rest of the range, drop me an e-mail – I won’t be bringing any of the Indian Mill dyed silks, Undyed yarns, Acid Dyes, Soak! or Knitting needles/Crochet hooks.

I hope that I’ll see lots of you there, and as well as all my fine hand-dyed yarns, I’ll have a tub of sweeties with me, as it’s also (nearly) my birthday! (That’s on Tuesday)

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Life is good when it has colour in it

If you’ve been looking at my Twitter feed, you will know that I’ve spent the week before Ally Pally throwing colour at Fibres and Yarn.

One of my personal philosophies is that a day where nothing is learned is a day wasted, and I’ve learned large amounts about my own personal dye style, fibre handling, just how saturating my dyes are (very, as they reminded me!), doing much research about how dyeing in general and how fibres are used, developing a sideways want to do nuno and fibre fusion felting projects (not a craft I was previously interested in doing at all!) and how “everything” generally goes together.

I’ve discovered a couple of new techniques that give wonderful results, as well as other techniques that save time and create less mess. As I don’t get to dye nearly as often as I would like, I recalled with joy my particular style & colour palate. I’m a vibrant dyer, and generally find that when I’m making a new colourway that I reach for the red-purple end of the spectrum dyes.

As I was dyeing, I found that I have a real thing at present for Violet with Lime Green, Emerald with Lime Green and Pink with Chocolate Brown. For instance, as I was dyeing the various batches of Mawata, I used these colourways twice over, not realising that I’d already used them with a different dye technique the previous day until I checked my dyeing notebook later!

I also love the dye technique I stumbled on towards the end of the week whilst playing (because, let’s face it, dyeing really is wonderfully enjoyable play) that gives a beautifully “heathered” effect – I’ll be using this much more in my design on both fibres and yarns going forward, both in the pastel tones as I used this time, as well as with my more usual levels of vibrancy.

So, my aim is now to develop a consistent “me” set of colourways (with “guest stars” naturally – after all, the same thing all the time would be dull!) for my base yarns and fibres – and I made some very useful contacts at Ally Pally to give me some wonderful, and more importantly repeatable, rare-breed and luxury fibres and yarns to work on going forward into the latter quarter of the year and onto 2015.

So, big plans ahead! First jobs first however, scanning all the Ally Pally sales through the shop and then buying myself a few new tools to make life even easier and a whole heap of new base yarns! It’s exciting times ahead.

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Come see us at The Knitting & Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, London!

Just thought I’d drop in a quick ‘blog about Knitting and Stitching 2014 – As usual, We are on Stand TGA13 at The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, London.

The Knitting & Stitching Show is the largest and most highly regarded textiles and craft event in the UK.  Whatever your craft passion it is the perfect place to find inspiration, learn new skills and shop for your essential supplies.

We will be taking part in the UK’s definitive event for anyone with a love of stitch and crafts from Wednesday 8th – Sunday 12 October and Twisted Thread have set a code you buy advance tickets for just £11 (normally £13).  Simply quote EX14 when booking online

As I’ve mention previously, there is now an extra day and they are again running late night opening on Thursday 9th so there are even more chances to come and share your love of textiles with others.

So, come see me, fondle my new hand dyed yarn range, chat about colour and cheer my flagging spirits come Sunday!

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[Fibres Exotica News] Off to Warner Textile Archive for the Textile Fair & News about Ally Pally!

I’m heading over to Braintree on Sunday for the Textile Fair at the Warner Textile Archive.

This is this show’s fourth year, as you might know, I sadly couldn’t make the timing work last year to attend, so I’m looking forward to going this year.

Date: 11th May 2014
Time: 10:00 – 17:00
Venue: Warner Textile Archive, Silks Way, Braintree, CM7 3GB

Tickets: £5.50 in advance (plus 55p booking fee) / £7 on the day (Under 16s free when accompanied by a paying adult)

Parking available at various locations in Braintree including disabled bays, please see this map for more details http://www.parkingpartnership.org/braintreemap.pdf
For more information please call 01371 557741, email infoATwarnertextilearchive.co.uk, or visit www.warnertextilearchive.co.uk

I hope you can make it if you are in the area, it looks like it will be a good day out.


Also, some interesting news from Twisted Thread about Knitting and Stitching 2014 – This year’s Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace will open a day early to the public – with five open days running from Wednesday 8th October to Sunday 12th October 2014.

After the event attracted record visitor numbers in 2013 (nearly 33,000), they felt that the show needed to grow, and combined with the late opening evening on Thursday that they added in 2013, they are aiming to create space for new customers and offer a slightly more comfortable experience for everyone.

Opening Hours
The Knitting & Stitching Show / Alexandra Palace

Wednesday 8th October – 10am-5.30pm NEW!
Thursday 9th October  – 10am-7.00pm
Friday 10th October  – 10am-5.30pm
Saturday 11th October –  10am-5.30pm
Sunday 12th October  – 10am-5.00pm

So, start planning for that one now. I suspect that it will work well, and hey, we all know how hot and cramped at can get at its busiest… and apart from anything else, adding an extra day is the only way that this show can expand really!

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[Fibres Exotica News] Hand-dyed yarns online / Upcoming Show (ICHF Creative Stitches – ExCel)

As you all know, I’m a passionate dyer amongst other things, and although I’ve made a great deal of hand dyed yarn, with the day-job, I’ve been time-poor and aching to make the time to take the yarn photographs of all my pretties.

This weekend just gone, I finally found the time to get the work done.
Check them out: http://www.fibresexotica.co.uk/product-category/fluffenstuff-3/

All feedback on yarn choice, style and colours appreciated.

After all, no point me dyeing up colours on on yarns that no-one then wants!

Also, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m off to ICHF Creative Stitches in a 3 weeks time and I’ll be on Stand F74.
This is this show’s second year and there seems to be a nice balance of craft stalls attending.

Date: 3rd – 5th April 2014
Time: 10:00 – 16:30 (Sat 17:00),
Venue: ExCel, London, E16 1XL

Tickets: £8 in advance on-line or £10 on the day

For more information please call or see website: http://www.creativestitchesshow.co.uk/london/

It’s the first show since I took Fluffenstuff to Stitch’n’Bitch day back in 2006 that I’ll have my hand-dyed yarns front and centre, and so I’m very excited about that!

I’m also hopefully going to be popping into Spring Knitting and Stitching on Sunday as a visitor, to check out the revised lay-out and talk to other vendors about how it went. I’m hoping that Twisted Thread have sorted the issues out, so that I can plan to be there next year!

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A very sucessful first Waltham Abbey Wool Show indeed

Oh my , Sunday was a good day.

Lovely people, good friendly vibes, took sales on a par with a Friday at a “big” show, & I was home by 1715! 🙂

From a seed of an idea, Kate & Diana took it, ran with it and made a very successful show, both from my point of view as an Exhibitor and from a customer point of view, as I didn’t meet anyone that didn’t love everything in the room! There were also 4 times the amount of people that attended than Diana and Kate thought they would get, which means that it will definitely be back next year!

The hall was full of very enthusiastic crafters, as always I had some very inspirational conversations. One of the reasons I like shows is that no-one can live in a bubble, and even the most casual of remarks as you are talking to people who are browseing and buying can spark a seed that builds to a new direction to go in, or a different way to make something better. It was nice to catch up with previous customers that also live in that area, who were more than happy to see me and my yarns.

I’ll see you all there again next year!

 

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[Fibres Exotica News] Round-up on 2013 – Planning for 2014

2013 was a good year, all told.

Unlike 2012, 2013 had a great deal of  momentum in all sorts of parts of my life, not just in Fibres Exotica! It’s still stuck in a couple of ways, but I’ve got plans in place to move these on also.

Technically, the change to the back end of this website (after the initial work to get it transferred)  has made life way easier. No longer does the shop break when any form of update is applied and administration is so much faster. I’m also hoping that it’s made your shopping experience easier and more intuitive. If you can think of more improvements, please do let me know

In the real world, the first two shows of the year were wonderful in terms of meeting people but financially? Not so good.
The focus at Five Lakes was PaperCraft and Beading,  not the type of show where my “higher end” yarns sell, so regretfully, I won’t be exhibiting at that company’s exhibitions again. The people that did come fondle, chat and buy from me were lovely though.

The Spring Knitting and Stitching show (previously “Stitch and Craft”) at the recently re-fitted Olympia didn’t quite work either. The new layout at Olympia confused people with people entering the front entrance not realising that there was another hall behind the one they were in and visa versa. Also, some of the aisles were very narrow, causing congestion that could have been avoided. We also found that the attendance was very weighted to people attending on the Saturday, which made some of the layout problems worse and caused problems for visitors and exhibitors alike! As of now,  I’ve not signed up for a stand at the 2014 show, but if they offer me a good last minute deal on space, you never know!

Knitting and Stitching at Ally Pally worked very well all round however; the layout I used made the silks really sing out, the new labeling system worked well and so people could find what they wanted more easily. I actually made a little bit of profit, the first time in 4 shows, and the coffee trolley next to my stand this year was either a blessing or a curse, depending on whether you like coffee or not! 😉

So, looking forward…

I’ve got big plans for 2014. As previously mentioned, I really want to get back into the dyeing and also (finally!) broaden the fibre range I offer. I’ve about 12Kg of hand-dyed that I have to get photographed to upload.

I’ve also signed up for some smaller shows as well as the usual big ones.

Waltham Abbey Wool show – 19/01/2014  10:00 –  16:00, Marriott Hotel, Waltham Abbey, EN9 3LX
This is a brand new show,  Diana at The Crochet Chain approached me at Ally Pally to come exhibit, she’s looking to create a small yet exclusive content show.
Possibly maybe: Spring Knitting and Stitching – 13-16/03/2014, Olympia Central, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX
Notes as above
ICHF Creative Stitches  – Stand C03 – 3-5/04/2014 10:00 – 16:30 (Sat 17:00),  ExCel, London, E16 1XL
This is this show’s second year. I’m really hoping that we fit here, with a new show, you really can’t tell, but there seems to be a nice balance of stalls attending
Awaiting confirmation: Warner Textile Archive – Textile fair – 11/05/2014 times to be advised, Warner Textile Archive,  Silks Way, Braintree, CM7 3GB
Kate from the Archive asked me to attend last year when she saw the stall at Five Lakes, but the show schedule clashed horribly with some unavoidable life. So, I’ve applied to attend this year and I’m just waiting to hear back.
Knitting and Stitching- London – Stand TGA13 – 10-13/10/2013, 10:00 – 17:30 (Thurs until 19:00, Sun until 17:00), Alexandra Palace Way, Wood Green, London,  N22 7AY
Need I say more? 😉

You’ll notice that there is a big gap in the middle of the year,  so I’d love to attend some smaller shows; anything offering a “table” within 1.5hrs drive from SE London considered. If you are having a local craft fair, get in touch!

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[Fibres Exotica News] Knitting and Stitching 2013 is upon us!

It’s the time of year again… Knitting and Stitching 2013 is upon us!

10th – 13th October The Knitting and Stitching Show – Alexandra Palace – Stand TGA13
http://www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/london/

So, as I’m away into the 14th with the show, if you can’t come and see me (or even if you can!) just enter the phrase SHOWTIME at the checkout to get a 5% discount across all products until the 14th of October.

As to what I’m bringing to the show? Well, all the usual silks, needles, dye kits and patterns, and I’m also bringing a much larger selection of my own hand-dyed art yarns. (This is also why there is new stuff with no pictures coming up on the site, I’ve figured out a way to do automated stock-take! So, the stock is going up now, and I’ll sort pictures out when I get back. 🙂 )

If you’ve been following my ‘blog, you will know that I merged Fluffenstuff into Fibres Exotica (hence also the swap over of URL and e-mail from SariSilk.co.uk to FibresExotica.co.uk).

Now my house renovation is over, I want to move back into dyeing more again. It’s very personally fulfilling to dye all manner of non-skinny, luxury and/or rare breed fibre yarn and it also allows me to expand into offering an even more excellent selection of yarns and pretty things based on both companies mission statements.

Talking about the FibresExotica Mission statement- “sumptuous fibres from exotica places” – I’m also working with a Peruvian Spinning collective to get their yarns into my shop. The yarns they spin are to die for, so, as you can imagine, I’m very keen to get them in! I couldn’t quite get them over here for K&S, there has been a huge storm in Peru which has damaged the Alpaca herds drastically, hence little fibre for the collective to spin! So, news on that coming soon.

Well, that’s it from me, looking forward to seeing lots of you at the show!