On June 1st we got up ridiculously early to drive up to Wakefield for my visit to Sirdar Yarns (for being one of the ‘Knitter of the Year’ winners). We had a good journey and arrived in plenty of time. Our day started with coffee (very much needed after our 5am start!) in a room full of yarn 🙂
We were given a tour of the warehouse – this area is where the deliveries are received – it’s massive!
When we were taken into the next area I wasn’t the only one who immediately said, “Oooh it’s like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark”. There’s a lot of yarn in here. I don’t feel so bad about my stash now 😉
It was really interesting to learn about the design process and I enjoyed chatting to a couple of the pattern writers. They were both really enthusiastic and it was obvious that they loved their work. They work in a large, open-plan office, surrounded by yarn. Unlike most independent knit & crochet pattern designers who do the design and pattern writing themselves, at Sirdar they have separate designers and pattern writers. Also pattern checkers who check the numbers and text (what most indie designers would know as ‘technical editors’ – like me!) and graphic designers who do the layouts.
Hmmm – there might actually be a designer lurking under here somewhere!
After lunch we were taken to the show room. Full of finished samples – everything was beautifully displayed on mannequins. As the room was full of designs from the new collections we were asked not to share images until after they have been launched, so – no photos yet.
Kate (editor of Knit Now magazine) gave us a presentation explaining everything that goes into producing the magazine. It was heartening to listen to her explaining the process they go through for selecting designs for the magazine. If you have ever submitted something to a publication and been rejected – don’t be put off! There are lots of reasons why your design might be rejected but it doesn’t mean they didn’t like it.
After the presentation, Kate gave everyone their certificates and we also received a lovely bag of Sirdar goodies 🙂
Oh, and there was cake – look!
It was a fabulous day out and lovely to meet and chat to the other winners too 🙂
After managing to squeeze my goody bag into the van (which was packed full, ready for our trip to Scotland), we made our way to the Helwith Bridge Inn for some dinner and we spent a very peaceful night in their car park 🙂 More about our epic 4 week Scottish trip coming soon…