Ravelry group

I am sure that you will be delighted to know that there is now a Ravelry group where you can discuss all things Nottingham Yarn Expo!


Whether you want to share your e-shopping lists, plan those 'must have' additions to your stash or arrange meet-ups with your Ravelry friends this is the place to be!


Why not plan your weekend and find out the best places to stay and the coolest places to eat? Make sure that you introduce yourself on the introductions page :)


We look forward to meeting you!


Rachael and the team at NYE




Exhibitors and tickets update

It has been just over a week since we revealed who will be exhibiting at the first Nottingham Yarn Expo in November, I am sure that you will agree that it is an impressive line-up! We have something for everyone: beautiful hand-dyed yarn, breed specific yarn, spinning, felting, knitwear design, crochet, haberdashery, ceramics, jewelry and much more........ you name it we've got it!

Want to find out more about our wonderful exhibitors? Then click on the exhibitor links to visit their websites and peruse their wonderful wares and designs. I for one will certainly be making a shopping list for the event ;)


Tickets are now on sale, yes that's right, you can now start planning your visit to Nottingham and Nottingham Yarn Expo! Tickets are competitively priced at £8 for a pre-booked day ticket or £14 for a pre-booked weekend pass. Online tickets are limited so make sure that you don't miss out on this preferential rate.


Already booked? Why don't you share this with your friends by posting our "I'm going to" logo on your social media, you can find this by following this link or below (remember to tag us and use #nottinghamyarnexpo).


So what next? We will be revealing our wonderful and inspiring workshops soon (I can't wait for this) and we will be introducing you to some of our fantastic exhibitors too. For regular updates please sign up to our informative newsletter and follow us on social media, we use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (follow the links from our website). 




NYE 2017 update

Here at NYE we have been working hard preparing for our inaugural show in November!


So what is the news behind the scenes?

We are delighted to announce that we have shortlisted over 90 exhibitors, boy was this difficult as there were so many talented applicants! All of the applicants have now been notified of our decision. 



Who will be exhibiting?

We will be announcing our final list of exhibitors shortly, but rest assured you will be in for a treat! We have fabulous knitwear and crochet designers, gorgeous hand-dyed yarn, breed specific yarns, natural dyers, spinning, felting and so much more............. We can't wait to share this with you :)


How can I find out who is exhibiting?

Our list of exhibitors will be revealed on our exhibitors section of our website, so do keep checking back. For regular updates you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, by clicking on the links on our website. Alternatively, you can sign up for our newsletter.


What are we doing now?

Our vision is that NYE is a destination and we will be ensuring that visitors have a fantastic experience here in Nottingham. To complement this fabulous venue there will be inspirational lectures, wonderful workshops, live music, great food and more...


Ensure that you keep up to date with our latest developments and look out for our advertisements in the knitting press.


Rachael and the team at NYE



An interview with Marie Greene of Olive Knits


Marie Greene is a super-talented knitwear designer from the Pacific North West, her philosophy and ethos fits beautifully with the vision for Nottingham Yarn Expo. Marie has been involved with many knitting shows in the US and we are delighted that she has chosen NYE to be her first European yarn festival. This will be a fabulous opportunity for knitters in the UK to meet Olive Knits and attend one of her inspirational workshops. Here's our interview :


  • What is your earliest memory of knitting and designing?

My grandmother Margery taught me to knit when I was a child, and one of the gifts she gave me (besides the joy of the craft itself) was freedom from a pattern. She didn't teach me with patterns. She scribbled informal notes on scraps of paper that provided a place to start and roughly where to finish, but most of the process was intuitive. I don't know if it was just a matter of convenience or if there was a method to the madness, but it gave me the ability to understand the broader concept of knitting without getting stuck on minutiae. From very early on I was able to create my own "designs" for Barbie Dolls and baby booties without a pattern book, because I'd been taught to be fearless with my needles. I can't think of a more wonderful way to teach a child to knit than to empower her to take charge of her tools and learn along the way. In fact, even my knitting style - the way I hold my yarn and needles - is different from the way my grandmother knits. She showed me to hold the yarn in my right hand and throw it around to the left to wrap the stitch, and I remember stubbornly saying, "It doesn't make sense to have the yarn over there if you need over here. Why can't I just hold it in my left hand?" My grandmother, a trail blazer in her own right, said I could hold the yarn however I wanted to. It made such an impact to be taught by someone who was not attached to "one right way" of doing things - it's had an enormous influence over my knitting style and the way I teach.


  • You talk about slow fashion, can you explain what this means to you and why it is important?

I think we live with an interesting dichotomy: we want to slow down, embrace the process and pay attention to quality, while at the same time we live in a mad rush, and often default to what's convenient, even when it means choosing things which go directly against that desire for mindfulness and quality. It's this tendency toward convenience that leads us to fashion and style choices (among other things) that often highlight the worst parts of our culture: fast fashion that is made in questionable, if not worse, conditions, and materials that are not designed to last and/or have a negative impact on the environment where they are produced. Slow fashion empowers us to make thoughtful choices about the source of the materials we choose to work with, and gives us an intimate connection to the pieces we create. To me, slow fashion means a process that allows us to take our time and be intentional about the clothing we wear, whether it's clothing we create ourselves, or clothing created by others using that same process. Artisans and makers have established a completely new paradigm about handmade clothing; it's no longer kitschy to wear a handmade dress or a hand knit cardigan - it's a celebration of the art form, an acknowledgement of every stitch. Slow fashion is a movement that has reconnected to the process and the quality, not just the end result. 


  • Your designs are classic, stylish and very wearable, who or what have been your main influences on your designs?

What first comes to mind when you ask this question are characters played by Katharine Hepburn and Rosalind Russell. I grew up admiring strong women in Hollywood who had minds of their own, played clever female roles and looked great while doing it. I was really drawn to those older black & white movies, which was a little strange because that wasn't my era, but there was something about what I saw in movies from the 1940's that really resonated with me. Maybe that's why I love black, white and grey so much! As I grew older, I was drawn to the clean lines of Japanese design and clothing makers like Eileen Fisher, whose timeless, practical style reflects a very clear intention in every seam. Over the last few years I've designed pieces that I look back on and think, wow - this is not really me. Where did that come from? It's an evolving process, and every day I am discovering new ways to express my creative vision and hit the mark for the kind of intentional style I'm looking for. I also really love architecture, so when I travel I like to take photos of bridges and buildings and use the lines and features as inspiration for my work. 


  • You live in a beautiful part of the world, how has the Pacific North West influenced your style?

You are right - this is a lovely place to live. I'm just an hour and a half from the coast, and this convenience is not lost on me. I love to take my knitting and a sketchbook and sit on the shore, drawing in ideas for new pieces. The landscape is an inspiration in and of itself, but there's a real sense that creativity is magnified here. I look around me at the wealth of amazing designers, dyers and fiber artists in this area and it leads me to think we're all very lucky to live somewhere that seems to so beautifully support the work we want to do. 


  • This is the first opportunity for knitters in the UK to meet you and see your designs in person, what should they expect?

In all honesty, I'm a people-person. If you ask those who know me or who have taken my classes, I want knitters to feel comfortable and have a wonderful time, so connecting is really important to me. I'm chatty and outgoing and I think it's easy for people to feel at ease with me pretty quickly. Knitters at NYE can expect that I'll be talking "shop" with anyone and everyone I meet, answering questions when knitters come to me to say, "Would you mind looking at this button band and giving me suggestions?" or handing over my sweater samples for knitters to try on. 


  • Who would you most like to knit with in the 'break out' area of NYE?

Oooh, this is a good question. Sarah Hazel, Hanna Lisa Vanderkamp, Verena Cohrs, Erika Close, Rachael Cook ... 



NYE supporting creative talent - Woods Making Stories

Here at NYE we are delighted that the creative talent behind the Woods Making Stories will be showcasing their fabulous project at the opening of our inaugural show. We have managed to squeeze in an interview with the super busy Verena Cohrs and Hanna Haferkamp, who are crowdfunding, co-ordinating European yarn companies and international designers and collating all this wonderful wooliness into a book (oh yes did I forget to mention that they both run their own individual successful companies too?!!!)

The energy and commitment demonstrated by these two amazing ladies is inspirational and best of all you will get to meet them in person in November.


Here is our interview with Verena and Hanna:

  • Can you tell us what the ethos is behind the Woods, Making Stories project?


WOODS - making stories is a new knitting book that we created to celebrate knitting and the amazing makers that enable us to create with 2 sticks and yarn. We loved the push towards being more transparent, local and sustainable in yarn production that’s happened in the US in the last years and felt there was a lot of white space regarding this in Europe so we decided to found making stories to showcase local, sustainably made European yarns paired with amazing indie knitwear designers. 


We deeply believe in a slow living lifestyle and a new ethos of care - caring for our environment and for each other. We love to support small, ideally female run businesses who are transparent in their operations and pay it forward to the women’s business community. It's extremely important to us to take care of everyone who is part of WOODS - from the designers to the videographers, from the writers to the amazing making stories community. 


Being able to give back to the community while at the same time building our business based on our values and making decisions that we feel proud of is just wonderful.


  • You have used crowdfunding to fund your project, how close have you come to achieving your target and can people still become involved with this?


As of today (Feb 25) we’ve reached an incredible 70% of our funding goal! We started the campaign on Feb 9, and being over halfway there already after 13 days is just mindblowing. A HUGE thank you to everyone who has backed us already!


The campaign is still running until March 14, so there’s more than enough time to get involved! You can pre-order your copy of the book or choose one of our reward packages - all of them include the book, and a range of really beautiful WOODS goodies like stickers, a tote bag (hello new project bag!) and even knitting webinars! You can back the campaign here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/woods-making-stories-book.


The Indiegogo campaign page is also a great way to learn more about the book - like which patterns will be included and where the funding money goes.  


  • You have chosen some fabulous yarn producers to be involved, what things were you looking for when you were choosing the yarn?


It was really important for us to showcase local, sustainably made European yarns. The amazing push for transparency and sustainability in yarn production that has happened in the US in the past years inspired us to fill this space for Europe as well. This is why we were looking for yarn companies that have the same values as we do, that are transparent in their sourcing and production processes and that really care about all the amazing makers involved in bringing a yarn to life. 


We were super positively surprised at how many yarn companies wanted to partner up with us on the book! In the end, we selected yarns that fulfilled our criteria of sustainability, European production and transparency, and worked great with our designs. Yarn weight, colours and availability were major decision factors when pairing up a yarn with a design, and we are super happy with the choices!


  • Why is this important to you?


Europe has such a rich yarn history - especially when it comes to wool yarn -, but we felt no one was really showcasing the amazing yarn companies that we have here. We love sharing the beautiful European-made yarns we discovered, and enabling knitters to buy yarns that are local to them and sustainably made. 


  • You have chosen some fantastic designers for Making Stories, what was the brief they were given for their designs and what types of garments will be in the book?


For WOODS, we asked designers to send in submissions for modern, minimal autumn and winter knitwear designs with interesting texture or construction that show off natural yarns beautifully. We were looking for designs that would evoke words like cozy, warm or woolly - knits you would want to wear on long winter walks or curl up with in front of a fireplace. The book includes different types of garments, from accessories like socks, mittens, a hat and a scarf, to garments such as sweaters, a vest, a cardigan and a tunic dress. The patterns feature different techniques: there are colourwork and cable designs and lots of beautiful textures. Our two bonus patterns, the Gascogne Scarf and the Picos de Europa Hat, are already available through our crowdfunding rewards, and we also just started sharing sneak peeks of the designs that are going to be in the book on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_makingstories/.


  • Was this a difficult choice?


We were absolutely (positively) overwhelmed with the large number of beautiful design ideas we’ve been sent. Narrowing down all submissions to a coherent collection of 11 patterns for sure was a difficult process with the different types of garments, design features, compatibility with the yarns we wanted to include, knitter’s skill levels and overall style consistency to consider. But it was absolutely worth putting that much time and thought into the design selection process - we love the designs WOODS is going to include and can’t wait for all of you to see them!


  • What can we expect the book to look like?


Hard facts first: It’s going to be at least 148 pages long, full colour, printed in Berlin with an amazing eco-certified printer on really good paper. Aesthetically speaking, we were inspired by all things nature and woodsy, natural fibers, and colours that evoke a weekend in a cabin in the forest near a lake - greens, greys, heathers, purples, pinks, and the occasional speck of bright sunlight. 

All of the patterns will be accompanied by modeled photos and detailed shots of the designs - we’re so looking forward to the photo shoot already! 


But there’s more - in addition to the 11 knitting patterns WOODS is going to contain we also have four long-form tutorials (everything from heel construction to seaming a sweater), beautiful articles about yarn production, and interviews with Clare Devine on heel construction and Karen Templer on sweater construction. Last, but not least, it was really important to us to spread the love of the making communities into the book which is why we’re going to include a special feature article by Francoise Danoy on her making story as well as showcase quite a few of the beautiful Instagram posts that keep popping up under our #mymakingstory hashtag.


  • Where can people find you?


You can find us through:

Our crowdfunding page: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/woods-making-stories-book 

Our website: http://www.making-stories.com/ 

Our Instagram: @_makingstories

Our Ravelry Group: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/making-stories