It’s been a busy few weeks around here.
In addition to all the usual stuff, there’s been the taking-my-chair-on-TV, plus running the half-marathon, plus organising the twinnage’s birthday shenanigans. The universe rewarded me for all this dashing about by giving me a chest infection, so this blog post is coming at you from the sofa, and may be interrupted by bouts of coughing. Apologies.
COUGH, cough, cough, cough, COUGH! See? Sorry.
But on Sunday, I was feeling considerably better, so I jumped into the car and headed off to London. You see, the organisers of The Knitting And Stitching Show had very kindly given me tickets, and I really didn’t want to miss out. I walked up the hill to Alexandra Palace, admiring the view, and envying all the runners who were out that day.
But that’s not why you’re here, is it? Let’s go and take a look inside. In case you’ve never had the pleasure, Alexandra Palace is rather grand:-
And the Knitting And Stitching Show is vast. I decided to get my bearings by going in search of familiar faces, so I went first to the Stylecraft stall. Look who was there! It’s the thoroughly lovely Lucia from Lucia’s Fig Tree! It was good to enjoy a quick catch-up, as I haven’t seen her for a few months.
But where next? There was so much to explore! As you’d expect, the K&SS covers pretty much everything yarn- and fabric-related, with a heavy emphasis on the fabric/sewing side of things. For a while, I drifted aimlessly, just enjoying the colours:-
Even the building is colourful, with its famous stained glass window creating changing light effects as the day goes on:-
Naturally, my eye fell mostly on the yarn rather than the fabric. There were so many pretties:-
So very many:-
Couldn’t you just knit them all?
But the K&SS is most definitely not just about the shopping. (And as it happens, I didn’t buy a single thing all day. I know, I’m a weirdo.) There are talks and skills workshops, dozens and dozens of them. Here’s the brilliant Kerry Lord from Toft giving a crochet workshop:-
But the thing I loved the most was the exhibitions. I just love seeing the directions that other people’s creativity takes them. For example, Page 17 was an exhibition by the Embroiderers’ Guild, of pieces inspired by members’ favourite books. Here’s Wuthering Heights:-
And here’s The Essex Serpent:-
It was fun to try and work out the novel without looking at the caption card. I won’t pretend that I was always successful!
In a very different vein, Amy Twigger Holroyd has a book out, called Folk Fashion: Understanding Home-Made Clothes. She’s an advocate of ‘stitch-hacking’: re-working garments not so much to repair them, as to re-engineer them into a new format. She produced this wonderful display, which got me thinking about some of my more boring, shop-bought, mass-produced, clothes…
I stared at this display for a long time.
But there was so much else, too. Of course the bits that I’m showing you are skewed by my interests. I’m not going to apologise for any landscape/geological bias. Here’s Sue Hickman’s gorgeous work, inspired by the waters at the foot of Snowdon:-
And I got terribly excited about Sarah Waters’ exhibition, ‘Stone’. Take a look at the textures in these!
There is so, so, much else that I could show you. But mid-afternoon, I began to realize that I wasn’t as recovered as I’d thought I was, so I reluctantly headed home.
The K&SS in London has finished for this year, but there’s always Dublin (9th-12th November), or Harrogate (23rd-26th November). If you’re anywhere near those places, I recommend taking a look.
Happy knitting/hooking, people.
Thank you to the organisers of The Knitting And Stitching Show for the free tickets.