What a week!  It is hard to believe that XpoNorth and Cr&FT2015 has come and gone.  The week went by in a bit of a whirlwind, and I arrived home late on Friday afternoon exhausted, but buoyed up by the experience of XpoNorth 2015.

Wednesday evening found me, along with 10 other designers from the Highlands and Islands setting up our showcase tables at The Iron Works in Inverness.  The evening was busy, loud and very tiring, especially given I was in a frock and heels!  When you work on your own all day and almost every day, in a quiet shed with perhaps just the radio for company,  it is a real shock to the system to be launched into a noisy, busy environment with 250 other people and live, loud music.  It is quite disorientating and unnerving.  But it is good to change your environment like this from time to time, if only to confirm that you're happiest in your own environment.

We only had a small space to showcase our work, and the focus was on collaborations and collections, so I chose to showcase one of the yarns from the Yarn Notes in Assynt yarn club, a collaboration with Stevan which is being received so well by club members, and the Orkney Collection from a couple of years ago, but which is still popular among knitters.



This wasn't the final layout of the table, but I forgot to photograph it once I had finalised the layout and was happy!

Thursday was a more "normal" day for me, where we were able to set up a small stand and sell our wares.  I'm much happier doing that, and a pleasant day was had chatting to folk, and getting to know my fellow makers who had been selected for the event.  I was placed between Niella Nell and her absolutely gorgeous knitwear which she designs and makes and Melanie Muir and her stunning jewellery and it was lovely to spend time talking to them about their business and how they coped with some of the challenges of working in the Highlands and Islands.

On Friday I was able to go to the Colour/Style Trends seminar presented by Anne Ritchie, sadly for the last time as she is due to retire later this year.  As usual her information was helpful in thinking about the coming seasons and the styles and colours that are predicted to be popular.  We were looking at trends for Autumn/Winter 2016/2017, and I'm pleased to say that it is forecast that knitwear will still be a popular trend, especially large, chunky knitwear.


So today was a day for fresh air and walking.  We headed up to a super secret location (!) to do some research for the site we will cover in the July edition of Yarn Notes from Assynt.  We were looking for a specific site, and so there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing while we searched and searched, and once we'd found the spot we had two very tired, hot terriers, so a dip in the burn was required.


It has been a cold, wet start to the summer (the temperature went down to 4 degrees last night), but the marsh orchids are abundant this year, and were everywhere.


It is difficult to give you scale for these orchids.  But they are really small.  The flower head is probably not much bigger than my thumb knuckle.  But so pretty.


There were some gorgeous lichen to be seen today - I wish I were better at identifying the different lichen, but here were two that caught my eye


A lovely walk, and we were treated to sunshine most of the time.  We even managed to get down to t-shirts at one stage!


Next, Woolfest!  I can hardly believe it is only 11 days away!  So much to do still, but I'm looking forward to meeting up with friends old and new again, and to show my yarns to the visitors.  I will have plenty of my new yarn base, Suilven, as well as all the other bases.  Will I see you there?