Last night I got a call from a friend of mine, a knitting instructor and a friend of a yarn shop owner, who happened to have free tickets to the H+H Cologne, a huge, international trade fair, ans asked me if I would like to come along tomorrow (that is, today, Saturday). I was thrilled and of course agreed.
So this morning we took the train to the Cologne fair and entered the fair with little expectations.
What was waiting for us? A huge hall full of yarn and knitting accessory stands! It was an amazing sight, and even lovelier after we got down to business and started fondling all the yarns! Of course, as this was a trade fair, there was nothing to buy, but that wasn't bad at all. I think I would have bought more yarn that I could carry.
We got in at around 10:30 am and left the fair at about 16:00, completely beat and with aching feet. But it was so worth it - I got so much insipration, new ideas, learned of new yarns to try and got an insight of how the industry works. What a priceless experience!
Here are a few of the impressions I got in photos:
1. I-cord yarn is in. I saw it again and again! It's so funny because I just made i-cord yarn and knitted a few cowls with it - I will be blogging about those soon.
2. A dress on the Lang stand with their yak yarn. I saw lots of yarns with yak wool on the fair - seems to be a new trend, too.
3. A coat with the same yarn and the same interesting pattern
4. Gorgeous sock yarn by Regia in the colorway "Aquarius"
5. A Regia Smart car you could win - what an idea!
6. The newest creation by the German designer Tichiro, or Martina Hees as she is called outside the blogosphere
7. These mannequin puppets have the perkiest boobs I have seen on a mannequin! The designs were pretty nice, but the boobs just ruined it for me.
8. A gorgeous knit dress on the Järbo stand - with a knitted crown! I guess this is a Winter Queen of a kind.
9. Knitted pants on the Schoppel stand - they looked and felt so comfortable!
10. A lovely coat from a stand I can't remember anymore - and in the background the shame of the knitting industry that just doesn't seem to go away! I am of course talking about the real-fur accessory thingies that you are supposed to sew on hats and caps. Many people seem to think they are fake fur but they are not - they are most often made with Finnraccoon, which is nothing else than a raccoon dog. It's pretty much impossible to grow raccoon dogs for fur in any way that could be described as humane, that's why they are only grown in three countries in this world: China, Poland and Finland. To sell fur from these animals is morally questionable to say the least, and I personally refuse to buy any yarns from companies selling these blood-stained and plain ugly "accessories" - Schulana for example was very proud to present them on their stand, as did Pro Lana. No way I will be buying yarns from these companies unless they get rid of the fur and commit to a fur-free policy.
11. The goodies I got: a ball of My Lana yarns (possibly I will pass this on or knit something for charity with it - see my comment above on fur and Pro Lana); an Addi circular needle, a Tulip circular needle and a few Filati pattern magazines.
All I can say - what a day! I hope to get a chance to go again next year and see new yarns... but no fur anymore.