Once upon a time in the earlier internet days and the rise of independent yarn dyers and a new generation of knitters caught the bug there was a move to create events where people could gather together, squish some yarn, and maybe learn some new skills. Unwind in Otepoti Dunedin was one of those events.

multi coloured dyed wool roving.

Back in October last year when Tash first suggested we head down to the first post Covid Unwind I mainly agreed as a way of getting back out into the world and as a way of catching up with a lot of people I hadn’t got to see for some time.

Having been to many yarn events I have a few skills in not being overwhelmed by all that is on offer. While I am trying not to add to my stash that seemed a bit unrealistic so I decided I would aim for some Vintage Purls Tannahill for Thistle (ravelry link) which was the pattern which made me lust after a copy of Strands of Joy. And I was also looking forward to seeing Frances again and quietly hopeful she would bring along some of her tear drop bangles which was an IOU from my husband for my last couple of Christmas and birthday presents.

Fortunately I was able to accomplish both those missions but who are we kidding – there were a couple more. Again the yam purchases were quite specific to projects on my list where I had a gap. And there were multiple birthdays and Christmas opportunities to catch up on.

Skeins of yarn and two bangles on a bed cover
Clockwise 3 skiens of DK Dye Studio 54, 5 skiens of Vintage Purls Tannahill, 2 skiens of Dark Harbour Merino singles and 2 Frances Stachl bangles

One of the most satisfying things about an event like Unwind is the time away from everyday life. There are the excellent talks and classes. I only got to attend Rebecca’s talk on inclusive sizing which was brilliant and triggered lots of discussion. And then there is having the time to help people put together yarn for projects – so many different colour options for the 2023 Shetland Wool Week Buggieflooer Beanie and to share the story of Lantern Moon Needles.

Fair isle knitting in shades of green and coral

I also managed to impress myself and the watchers by making quite significant progress on Eunice and along with a bit of extra effort once I got home am now half way up the body.

But far and away the best part of the weekend was the people – our wonderful housemates at the incredible AirBnB Tash found for us and catching up with so many in person. It is a different world but there is still much to share in the yarn world.

Book of the week

Book cover with chinese wonan

I am so glad I picked up this book before Christmas – it was next on the pile for recommendations and seemed appropriate following some of the discussions over the weekend. Since living in Malaysia and amongst such a diverse community I have made an effort to reflect that in my reading. Lady Tan’s Circle of Women is actually based on a true story of a Chinese woman doctor and midwife in the fifteenth century. It is a totally engrossing story that is in one sense challenging to the western world view while also having familiar themes about women holding their space and reality within a patriarchal society. I loved it but as some of that enjoyment was based on immersing myself in the culture of the story it may not resonate in quite the same way for others.

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