I only took one class this year, since last year I was so tired from all the learning that the social part was a wash. Not this year! The marketplace opened for the preview on Friday night, and from Friday til close on Sunday I was chatting away and shopping.
The preview was an absolute zoo. I didn't even bother with the camera, as I was busy minioning for Vet Friend while she braved the scrum for Wollmeise. She is a braver woman than I, I'll tell you that much. I only went in to buy my Juno fiber, which was thankfully well away from the crazy and not too crowded. After I got fiber, I headed outside with Weaving Friend to sit and chat with people while the shoppers filtered out. There was a brief librarian-ish moment - a classmate wanted to buy some yarn that lacked a proper label, so I borrowed an iPhone to open Ravelry and look it up for her. Reference librarian to the rescue! She ended up scored two sweaters' worth of yarn for £12.50!
On Saturday I had a good lie-in before heading in to meet the ladies for lunch. Lunch this year was made possible by my mother, who gave me an awesome bento box for Christmas last year. It kept me well fed, and sparked many conversations with other attendees who had never seen a bento box before. We had to retreat inside for lunch, though, as Saturday and Sunday were absolutely filthy with rain. And cold. Vet friend sent a message that she needed an additional bag for a non-knitting friend, so I spent the afternoon minioning again. I also had a chance to meet Ysolda Teague, designer of the Ishbel shawl, and to try on some of the sample garments she made for her books. The Vivian cardigan is amazing. It's incredibly flattering, and I've purchased a copy of the pattern so I can make one of my own now that I've finished the dissertation.
The evening was a charity bingo session. No prizes for anyone in our impromptu group, but it was hysterically funny. The MC was the 15-year-old son of one of the event organizers, and he was amazing! He had a fabulously dry sense of humour and a knack for banter. It was really lovely watching people win prizes, too. Everyone was really happy for the winners, even the ones who got multiple prizes.
I spent Sunday in the cafe with endless cups of tea and cake, gossiping with assorted new friends from the bingo. It was amusing watching people come upstairs from the marketplace. I saw so much yarn being purchased! Weaving Friend and Vet Friend had an all-day spindling class, so I just curled up with my knitting and relaxed while they were doing their thing.
All in all, it was a fabulous weekend. I got to catch up with old friends and meet new, learned lots, shopped lots, and had a jolly good time. Sadly there is no Knit Nation next year thanks to the Olympics, but I can wait until 2013. Maybe I'll even have used some of my purchases by then...