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Friday, 18 July 2014

UNWIND - Brighton

The Brighton Dome - home of the marketplace at Unwind
Once in a while, an epic event grows from a set of simple ideas. The ideas being those of collaboration, inclusion, fellowship of like minds and wholehearted immersion in something you love. It grows in the mind of a special individual who has a vision for something spectacular - something that provides the most incredible platform for all of this to happen. It evolves quickly and organically and before you know it, there is a venue with vendors, workshops, teachers, designers and many, many excited people eager to come and be a part of it.

Dani Sunshine (also known as Lioness Arts) had such a vision last year and took on the mantle of organising the mammoth event that soon became known as 'Unwind' in her home town of Brighton, which took place just last weekend. I cannot even begin to fathom the level of dedication, organisation, and sheer hard work that Dani and her Unwind team put into every single aspect of this incredible event, but I do know that their commitment to making this THE best fibre/knitting show of the year was tangible in absolutely every part.

From the highest calibre of workshops and designer-teachers, to the stunning array of yarn available in the marketplace courtesy of some of the premier indie dyers of the moment; from the beautiful location to the fabulous Seaside Shindig party splendidly organised by the girls from Pom Pom Magazine - this weekend provided full sensual immersion and complete enjoyment for every knitter and crocheter that attended!

We discovered that knitting goes with practically anything!

I, along with Sue Stratford and my knitter friend Caroline, attended for the entire weekend, having booked workshops, our place at the Shindig and with a not inconsiderable list of desirable items to purchase at the marketplace. We threw ourselves wholeheartedly into the experience from the beginning - scouring the Lanes for delicious cake, cocktails and jewellery on the Friday before the yarn market was open and then each of us attending various classes on the following 2 days.

The beginning of my Brioche knitting and Sue concentrating very hard on hers

Sue and I had the privilege of attending the Windrow Cowl Brioche knitting class with Bristol Ivy. Bristol was the most patient of teachers and took great pains to show us the trick of knitting in Brioche style - her Windrow Cowl pattern is very beautiful and I really wanted to learn how to make it. I think I have grasped the technique for knitting Brioche flat, but let's just say that I need quite a bit more practice!

I may be undoing some of my stranded knitting here . . .
Ann Kingstone was the most patient and knowledgeable of teachers

We also went along to learn Stranded Knitting at the hand of the mistress of colourwork - Ann Kingstone, who was equally engaging and demonstrated some techniques that both Sue and I will be forever grateful for. There really is nothing quite like learning these skills directly from the hands of these super talented designers, and I am already wondering what new technique I can learn next year . . .

The Seaside Shindig was great fun - a knitty quiz with yarn tasting, live music and John Arbon spinning the decks - perfect!

The pictures of this awesome event don't really do it justice - but we were often too busy knitting and laughing to remember to take any! I'd just like to add an addendum for any Unwind organisers that may come across this post . . . looking forward to Unwind Brighton 2015!!

Bekky, Me, Sue and Caroline - a Brighton Dome selfie!
(posted by Max)

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