The Yarningham Story – Part 1

This is the tale about how I met Helen, V and Lil and we started a yarn festival.

I met Helen Winnicott through Stitches and Hos, a monthly knit night I set up in 2007.  Helen came along by accident with a friend. I clearly remember watching Helen knitting socks on DPN’s on one of her first visits.   She made it look effortless. We hit if off and I asked Helen to help me with a commission I had for Bullring Birmingham.  Helen brought her daughter, Lilith (Lil), who had also been attending knit nights, for moral support. Lil had just finished her degree in Costume Design and helped with the production and installation of the final commission. 

Helen and I sewing up my commission for Bullring Birmingham, Woolly Bully 2011

Helen, Lil and I then met Venetia (V) whilst working on K2TOG, a participatory knit graffiti project I created as part of the Cultural Olympiad for London 2012.  I had secured a pop up shop in a shopping centre in Birmingham that acted as a central hub for the project. Venetia came to visit, as she knew someone who was working on the project from when she worked at Stitch Perfect, a now defunct independent yarn store.  With these kinds of credentials I asked V if she would like to work with us on future projects.  Luckily the answer was yes!

Myself, V, Lauren, Lil and Helen in the window of our installation A Knitted Harvest, 2013

Stitches and Hos now had a core group that worked on several projects together including a window display competition (We came second). We talked endlessly about wanting to open an independent yarn shop.  We had seen a couple of independent yarn shops open in Birmingham and then unfortunately close.  Our shop would be full of all our favourite dyers, our own space that we could host knit nights, workshops and trunk shows and create fantastic window displays.  We talked about it so much that eventually it seemed like a good idea to try and get it off the ground. 

The story continues in Part 2 coming soon…

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One thought on “The Yarningham Story – Part 1

  1. Pingback: The Yarningham Story – Part 2 | stitches and hos blog

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