The alternate title to this post is “What I Would Do if I Won the Lottery”. Recently I started listening to the New Hampshire Knits podcast (which is really charming so check it out) and it is hosted by Claire who is from Scotland but now lives in New Hampshire. In the first episode I listened to she was interviewing the organizers of a new knitting festival which is taking place in Iverness, Scotland (you know, home of the Loch Ness monster ) and I was totally sold by the end of the episode. Only a lack of Internet access stopped me from buying a ticket to Scotland! This may be due in part to my lack of travel in the past year and also, in part, to the genuine excitement the nice Scottish people had about their country.
This got me to thinking about all the knitting related festivals that are taking place all over the world. My plan is to make it back over to Europe sometime next year. I would like to schedule my trip around a knitting festival but there are so many to chose from and I thought listing them all out, including location and time of year might help me when I’m ready to make a choice. As I wrote up this list, I realized it would be my answer to “what would you do if you won the lottery?” If I won the big prize I would take along all my best knitting buddies with me on my knitting trip around the world!
So, here’s my dream year of traveling (note, lottery must be won first!)
Unravel – takes place in Surrey, England. Many of the British podcasters I listen to talk about Unravel and it sounds like a great festival.
Edinburgh Yarn Festival – in Edinburgh, Scotland of course! It seemed liked everyone was there this year and Edinburgh looks like a great little town.
Wonderwool – held in Wales. I went to Wales many years ago and would love to revisit it. This is another one I hear about on the the British podcasts I listen to.
Knitter’s Frolic – just a few short hours from me in Toronto! I almost took a last minute trip up there this year but found out just a little too late to make it happen. This one is definitely doable for me because it is a car ride away so maybe next year (we say this a lot here in Cleveland😦 )
Woolfest Auckland – Of course, every great list must include New Zealand – all those sheep and I love Zealana yarns!
Australian Sheep & Wool – It would be nice if this was closer in time to Woolfest Auckland but if I’m off traveling for the year it will be fine! The show takes place in Victoria which is one of the places I did not get to on my first trip Down Under so I’m ready to go back!
Le Lot et Le Laine – takes place in Lot, France and is held every other year so 2017 will be the next festival. I first heard about this one on the Fluffy Fibers podcast and she does a great recap in Episodes 31 and 32. In the real world, I think this might be my next destination because France is my favorite place and I would love to experience a French festival!!!
Jyvaskyla Summer Knit Fest – held in Jyvaskyla, Finland. My apologies as I have no idea how to add the proper “a’s” in the name of this city. This is another new festival that somehow popped up on my Instagram feed. I would love to hit up Finland, Norway, Denmark so this could be a starting point. But, July is looking to be a pretty full month!
Wollfestival – held in Cologne, Germany and it looks like this one is held every other year as the next festival is set for August, 2017. I’ve been to Cologne but did not get to see much of the city so it would be great to go back, check out the sites and check out some yarn!
Drakensberg Mountain Knitter’s Retreat – I’m not sure if this will be an annual event but I had to throw it in because – South Africa!!! I can check off another continent, take a safari and play with yarn. I saw this on Instagram as well and it was being promoted by Wool Diaries who has a video podcast and hosts #blanketmadness.
Great London Yarn Crawl – this is hosted by Yarn in the City (they also have a great podcast!) and will be taking place in September this year. I believe Loop in London is on every knitter’s must see list!
September/October (these festivals span the last/first weekends)
Shetland Wool Week – this might be the Holy Grail, because, Shetland! It’s the home of sheep and lace and all things knitting.
Iverness Loch Ness Knitting Festival – It will be the first year this year, it would be ideal if I could hit up this festival and then continue on to Shetland Wool Week – what a great trip that would be! My favorite thing about this festival is that you can knit your own Nessie – that would be ideal for photo ops at the festival!
Swiss Wulle Festival – Fall in Switzerland, yes please!!! This is held in Zug, Switzerland but who cares exactly where it’s held I just want to go to Switzerland!
Given this calendar it looks like I might have a few months that need some filling in – January, June, November and December. I did see a knit under the midnight sun tour in Iceland in June so I think I could pencil that in. Iceland is quite the knitting destination and experiencing the midnight sun would be pretty cool. In December, I would love to check out the European Christmas markets. And, I don’t want to forget South America and the fiber tours of Peru and Uruguay which could fill in January or November. I believe the seasons down there are opposite of ours so summer in South America works for me!
I did a Google map to see what this might look like!
I did not even include all the US events, highlights of which would be Vogue Knitting Live, Stitches, Rhinebeck, Maryland Sheep & Wool and Knitting Camp. But really, so many events, so little time here in the US. I could do a whole other blog post on US events (and maybe I will)
Now, if I just played the lottery it might help!!