5 things about the Swiss Wulle Festival

1. I'm not really a crowd person – actually, let me rephrase: I'm REALLY NOT a crowd person – and expos/shows in general are not my idea of fun. But there's a special magic that happens at a yarn show. The magic of being among my people. Seeing new and old and online friends from pretty much the minute I arrive. Feeling connected again at last, rather than a stranger in a strange land. Just magic.

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2. An overdose of inspiration is all part of the yarn fest package. This time, after a class with Nancy Marchant, it's brioche knitting – delicious, cuddly, intriguing, soothing, colourful brioche – that's taking over my head, and rewriting all my design ideas. This may not be entirely a good thing (quite apart from the dangers of overkill). I seem to be a pretty slow knitter in brioche, because I keep stopping to pet the knitting. So SQUOOSHY.

3. I went on both days – the first time I've ever done that at a fest. And arguably, it was an odd fest to do it at, being pretty small. ("Klein aber fein" is the hackneyed Swiss expression, and it really was.) But I was revelling in the experience, the first chance I've had in two years to attend such a tribal gathering. And it was a big help, shopping wise: I didn't feel so overwhelmed. I knew that, apart from those absolutely unique skeins that had to be snapped up instantly, I could take my time overnight to plan my purchases. Which mostly meant thinking about what would fit in with my immediate design plans, because you know? I Have Enough Yarn. And it worked. I came home with only a few things, but I know exactly where I'm going to be shopping in the near future – and what I'll be asking to have dyed especially. (You'll have to wait a bit for details. The yarnies deserve a separate post.)

4. Ten points to me for starting a German conversation with a stranger. (Knitters are never really strangers. But they can be really German. Or, y'know, really Swiss.) 

5. The organisers had a unique idea: starting a few months ago, they sold kits for a special, custom-designed (and really lovely) festival shawl. I saw those shawls everywhere at the show and indeed around Zug. Another magical tribal touch.