Wow, what a day.
For those of you not in the UK, the Knitting And Stitching Show is the yarn-related event of the year in this country, held amidst the splendour of Alexandra Palace on a hill in London. It started today, and runs until Sunday. May I just at this point thank Stylecraft Yarns for my complimentary ticket – very much appreciated, you kind people.
Settle in, my friends. This threatens to be a long post. With many photos. Help y’selves to some of that wine. There will be moments of amusement, I promise.
So. It might be argued that I walked the twinnage to school with just a little more haste than usual, before running back home to jump in my car and begin the 72-mile drive to north London. Given that it’s a knitting event, it seemed reasonable to apply quite a lot of knitwear to my person:-
Now, it takes a lot to tempt me into London, given my feelings about the place. I really struggle with the concept of London. But in case I offend any Londoners who are reading this, I’ll just park that thought there, turn the engine off, and move on.
Except… I can’t find a parking space: because it’s London.
Anyway, to the show. Alexandra Palace is rather splendid:-
…with its views across London:-
And inside, the grandeur continues:-
Clearly they’re more efficient about watering their houseplants than I am about mine.
Would you like to see inside the show? You would? Well, there were many, many stands:-
So I went to the Knitting And Stitching Show and the biggest surprise was that nobody was knitting. Or stitching. Or even crocheting. Is it me, or is that weird? Following your lovely responses/comments to my last post on knitting and walking, I imagined that at least some folks would be wandering around, needles in hand, click-clicking away. But no.
Anyway, the quirkiest thing that happened was being recognised via the bag I made for the Stylecraft blog tour! Lovely to meet you, friendly people! Thank you for coming up and saying hello.
Of course, the whole thing was a festival of colourful loveliness:-
And did I mention that Arne and Carlos were there? ARNE AND CARLOS!!!!!! My stranded heroes!
There were walls and walls of tempting colour:-
…but being the sort of weirdo who isn’t into stash, I didn’t buy any. My only purchase was a pair of oversized knitting needles. And lunch.
There were so many little details to see. This security guard on the right seemed fascinated (for ages) by the woman teaching a customer to use a drop spindle:-
And then I went to a brilliant talk by Michele Turner of the Association Of Guilds Of Weavers, Spinners, And Dyers, all about spinning. This is a woman who can make a drop spindle out of a banana!
She said it wasn’t quite the right kind of banana, but I was too shy to ask what could have been improved on the fruity front. I’ve been holding out on learning to spin for a long time, because I know it would eat up what little non-yarn life I have left, but there is a bunch of bananas in the fruit bowl not ten metres from where I’m sitting, and it’s very tempting to try this new skill. She also made a more conventional spindle using two CDs, a length of doweling, a hook, and a rubber band. Oh, and she spun some rather fine (in both senses of the word) dog hair:-
There were exhibitions, too, of designer knitwear:-
…And stunning fabric art by DAMSS:-
There is so much else that I could show you, but time was ticking. I popped in to say hello to Annabelle, sales director at Stylecraft. Here she is, getting into the spirit of the event. It was good to see her again:-
In all, it was quite overwhelming. Oh, and I was glad to see a massive range of ages attending, although it seemed that most of the youngest folks were there for the stitching rather than the knitting. But for all that the popularity of knitting is increasing amongst men, it was a heavily female-dominated event. C’mon, blokes: pick up your needles!
Far too soon, it was time to go. But if you’re somewhere near London some time between now and Sunday, I thoroughly recommend the experience. Enjoy!