Over the past two weeks I’ve visited two great yarn festivals: Unravel and Knit & Stitch Show Olympia.
Both are quite different shows with something else to offer. Unravel is definitely yarn only orientated while at Knit & Stitch show all craft lovers will find something for them, from sewing, knitting, card making and much more.
It was my first time to Unravel so I really didn’t know what to expect, and boy what a treat it was! The festival lasts three days and is held in Farnham Maltings, spared over three floor, with little rooms going off main halls ending with The Long Kiln Gallery at top of the building. It felt a bit like being Alice in Wonderland, with every room holding different adventures.
Every room was packed full with the most delicious hand dyed yarns, a true visual treat. I was absolutely amazed at the quality and luxury of the yarns on offer, the most stunning colours in silks, wools, cashmeres and so much more all from indie yarn dyers, and of course all complemented by  the beautiful designs on show. 
The sparkly delight from Spin City
My favourite yarns were from Natalia Steward whose lace weight gradient silk yarns were just made for shawls, and Whistlebare-NorthumberlandFinest Yarns who produce hand dyed mohair and Wensleydale yarn from their Angora Goats and Wensleydale Sheep. Their yarns are all dyed using natural sources such as vegetables and come in 3 weights: 4ply, DK and Aran, all of them are just lush and begging to be knitted.
 Faux taxidermy knitted fun from Sincerely Louise
Of course not only ready to buy yarn was on offer, there was also stalls with ceramics, felting, machine knitting, textile, even a charming stall with gorgeous wicker baskets. Lots of workshops and talks such as shawls/shapes by the fab Veera Valimaki and Bavarian Twisted Stitch with Fiona Morris. I was particularly sad to miss ‘The Making of The Vintage Shetland Project’ with Susan Crowfordand film screening of ‘Yarn’, they were both on Saturday and I was there on Friday. 
And if all that wasn’t enough you were treated to the colour festival that are Amanda Perkins’ blankets. Displayed in The Long Kiln Gallery, they were truly a visual delight.

 Amanda Perkins’ gorgeous blankets
After all this crafty goodness you were welcome to grab a coffee and join ‘cast on, pass on’ bunting making in the foyer with the Surrey Knitting and Crochet Group.
In comparison The Knit & Stitch Show Olympia is very different, purely because the building has no character or old charming history, but the show itself offers delights for all craft addicts. Sewing addicts would find the festival a dream come true, there was everything from patch working to garment sewing. My most favourite stall was by Sew La Di-Da Vintage who makes stunning vintage patterns. Not only that, but there were great stalls with knitting and crochet accessories such as needles, stitch markers, you know the cute stuff, especially buttons from Kate Holliday which I’m addicted to! To be honest whatever craft you are into you will find something there for you.
As at Unravel there was lots of workshops on offer from jewellery making to felting. Also absolutely adorable hubs with drop-in knit sessions held by LoveKnitting and Toft. And an exhibition of dresses from National Fashion Textile Competition.
Both show offer something different and both are great, but what I liked the most is that both had displays of amazing knitted items.

                                        My girlies and I at Knit & Stitch Show Olympia 🙂

Anna xx