Yesterday I went to the hotly anticipated (well in my world anyway) Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. Well worth the early morning, the delays and the £14 entrance fee it was like the best slice of retail heaven for a crafter. If a little overwhelming.
Look at this lovely knitted bunting. Knitters out there will understand just how many hours worth of knitting this represents!
If you've never been to this show and it's reasonably easy for you to get to you must make sure to put it in the diary for next year. There are 3 spaces - the main hall which is mainly comprised of retail stalls. There you'll find stands from almost all the crafting publications you can think of, usual sewing suspects like pfaff, brother, janome and singer. Fabric being sold by Ray Stitch, Fabrics Galore, Sunflower fabrics. There are stalls of books with a huge selection of crafting titles. Specialist supplies on sale for knitting, crochet, embroidery, cross stitch, origami and the list goes on. It really is a complete treasure trove. Then the smaller rooms comprise exhibitions, textile artists and guilds/clubs mainly although there are also plenty of other shopping opportunities and Coats craft have an enormous display in one of those rooms. Frequently it felt like you'd been spun around, it was fairly easy to lose your bearings after trawling packed walkways of crafty women with a glazed (albeit content) demeanour.
Some stands were really beautifully staged. These bird cages and liberty bias binding were on the Selvedge stand.
Where there were also these gorgeous crochet scarves from Sophie Digard. Extraordinary colours and so detailed. Just amazing.
Another stand I really liked for its sheer bang of colour was the African Fabric Shop
Look at these beautiful colours. I bought myself a little pack, my only tangible bounty aside from ideas and inspiration that I bought back from the day alongside an issue of Cloth that Kate is in.
As far as exhibits go (although a bit avant garde for my wardrobe) crochet fans take a look at this dress by Katie Jones who studied at Central St Martins:
Kate has some photos of 'scary' jumpers exhibited alongside this textile designer in her blog post on the day and you can also see a photo of me playing around on a knitting machine. That was one of the main intentions of my day, to learn about how they work and though I was sorely tempted I think I'll benefit from a bit more research.
I also made an exciting crochet discovery which I will share with you tomorrow. Crochet lovers - warning - you will be tempted.
I had a wonderful day though it was absolutely exhausting, a complete assault on the senses! It was made all the more brilliant in the company of both Florence and Kate. Having never met Florence before I can confirm she is really just as lovely as her blog suggests she might be. We headed to Covent Garden afterward to relax with wine and minimal food which leads me to think we may have peaked with our Saturday night a bit early and after an X Factor session with poorly George I've stayed at home today to recover. Gardening, films and crochet. It sounds wonderfully relaxing but with two snotty, irritating children it was pretty fractious. They were intent on bickering about everything and even now I am at 9pm wiping snot from my son while he hammers away at a keyboard. I don't know where he's got his second wind from after a listless whingey day but he's so hyperactive tonight!
Hope you've had a great weekend
Florence's post here
Kate's post here