Thursday, August 06, 2015

One of the highlights of my trip to Europe was a long weekend spent in Brighton, England.  If you've never been to Brighton and are close enough to get there, I can't recommend it enough.  What's not to love?  There's a charming town, a gorgeous beach, a great pier, a pavilion and park, terrific restaurants, bars, and YAK - a fabulous yarn shop.   I had a trunk show and cocktail party there on Saturday, so it was a great excuse to spend the entire weekend in Brighton and get to know both Kate, who owns YAK and Ce, who's the wonderful person behind The Uncommon Thread, a bit better.

We arrived early on Friday to explore. I was hooked the moment I saw the beach view from the hotel porch.

 First things first, though.

It was a gorgeous sunny (very rare at a British beach, I've been told) day on the beach and pier, and after a beer or two on the "sand" (small pebbles), I splurged on unlimited ride bracelets.  Because that ferris wheel was calling.

There is nothing better than bumper cars, a cheesy old haunted house, and a pier roller coaster that goes out and up above the water.  It was a great afternoon with an old friend, before the knitting began.

We met up with Ce and Kate at cocktail hour for some great gin drinks, followed by dinner.  I'd been talking to both of them via the internets for months, but there's no substitute for in person.  It was a treat to spend time with both of these ladies and I'm so happy to have had the chance to be with them in the real world.  Ce knows the town inside out and was the best guide!   Kate does too - she runs YAK and is just lovely. 

Plus, Kate took the time to make these little drink tickets for the bar on Saturday, so she became my favorite shop owner ever in about two seconds.

Early on Saturday, we visited Ce's studio in Hove, which is right next to Brighton.  It was full of gorgeous yarn that I saw and fondled and coveted but have to keep to myself.  New colors, new bases, and the gorgeous ones you already know.  Mmmmm.  Then Ce played tour guide and took us back to Brighton to show us around the Lanes.  The Lanes are a series of charming streets full of of restaurants and shops and murals and quirky flea market tables of vintage finds on the sidewalks. Kind of Haight Street (as it was years ago) meets England.  And murals...  It's seriously my kind of place, but damn that suitcase limit! 

But people, that's exactly where YAK is.  Smack dab in the Lanes. 

If I lived in the UK, I'd be spending my Saturdays in the Lanes and then buying yarn.  And maybe hit the beach afterwards.  Every week. She couldn't be in a more charming spot.

We did pop into YAK early in the day for some pre-trunk show shopping, as Kate stocks so many local yarns that I can't find here. I got two skeins of John Arbon's Knit by Numbers, which I'd heard about at Squam and was dying to find in the UK..  I also scored a skein of Lioness Arts, another yarn I've heard raves about and hadn't seen in person before. 

As for the trunk show itself, I always get distracted and never remember to take photos, but I'll borrow Kate's!  You can see the shop and the awesome little bar she set up, and some of our happy yarny guests (with drinks in hand..). 

Sadly, Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns was a bit under the weather, so we didn't get to see her - although both Dubonnet and Cardamom Rose made a showing. However, Ce was there to represent The Uncommon Thread, and there was plenty of yarn to go around.

It was a wonderful weekend, a great event and a fun excuse to meet some faraway knitters in person.  Now I just have to come up with a new excuse to knit and travel...


Anonymous said...

What a fun post. I definitely want to go to Brighton now! I bought some Uncommon Thread a couple of years ago in London. It was nice to learn the person behind the yarn.

Julie Crawford said...

Looks like this was such a fantastic time! I love Brighton, it's a great place.