Monday, September 20

Want yarn, will travel...

There's been a lot of discussion on the Rav boards lately about whether we Brit knitters are prepared to travel a long way to an event. My personal opinion? Yes, we are. I myself have been to Wonderwool (Wales), Woolfest (Cockermouth) and Fibrefest (Uffculme). Probably not a "long way" in comparison to the US, of course. We haven't got enough land, for starters.

That last one was a bitch, though, and it's partly at the root of the problem. I spent more time on the car-park otherwise known as the M5, than I actually did at the event (which was wonderful, what I saw of it). Yes, I *had* looked into getting a train down there - and it sure wasn't easy, even from Birmingham New St. I could have got a coach, but I don't think National Express had a stop very near where I needed to be. In hindsight, I should have gone down the day before and stayed overnight. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

It's not that we knitters don't want to travel. It's the fact that (thanks to Beeching and others) the train system can be rather convoluted and inconvenient for getting to places that aren't metropolises (metropolii?). What might look like a simple route on a map, might actually involve an overnight kip on a platform, because of timetabling. Not everybody can drive, and even then, not all parts of the UK are equally served by a motorway network eg North Devon, Skegness etc

There are other factors, of course. Faith in the event being one of them.

The other discussion that came up recently is that week-long events can't make a profit. Well, I have to disagree on that point. The Metropolitan Dream Week has been running for about ten years now, I believe. Admittedly, it runs at the shop premises, so location is not an issue. But even then, it can't be easy scheduling in such a way as to meet the desires of some 60-odd machine knitters who all want to take different seminars. I can't imagine it would run if it didn't at least break even. It was so professionally done, and nothing was an issue for Carol and Mark. Yes, there were problems. The machines donated by Silver had obviously been languishing somewhere and were in dire need of some maintenance. One of the tutors got a bad case of stage fright when she was faced with demonstrating on a machine she wasn't familiar with. One of the tutors had another engagement mid-week, and got to spend the night on the platform at London Euston because she couldn't get home. We were very late back to the hotel on Thursday because of two road accidents in the Crewe area. But the overriding feeling at the end? One of joy, and of loss, because it was all over for another year. I had so much fun, I wanted another week, haha!

So, it can work. But it needs a lot of organising, and a lot of dedication.

Right, I'm off. I need a bath! :)

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