A random marketing email recently prompted me to visit the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. I had been once before, years ago, when I was working my way through a City and Guilds in Embroidery, and thought it would be interesting to go again, this time from the point of view of a recently converted knitter. I’m not terribly keen on very busy, crowded places so I only spent a few hours there before my impatience got the better of me, but it was long enough to get round everything at least once and to be overwhelmed to the point of wanting to make ALL THE THINGS.
Rather than bombard you with words, I thought I’d break with tradition and list my show highlights.
1. Celeb-spotting: although I apparently missed Debbie Bliss on the Quadrille Publishing stand, I was apologised to by Stuart from the Great British Sewing Bee who bumped into me on another stand (although I only realised who he was as I walked away).
2. I tried not to buy too much stuff that I wouldn’t use (like I did last time, as my thread/yarn stash bears testament to…)
These were my (considered) purchases:
(a) a bundle of fabric squares as I really want to have a go at making a patchwork quilt;
(b) a skein of sock yarn as I’ve not tried socks yet (beautiful colour, gorgeously soft AND machine washable); (c) a circular needle for my current project.
3. I also bought (d) some chocolate from the one and only chocolate stand, which I somehow stumbled across almost immediately. No photo I’m afraid, as I’ve already eated it (predictable, moi?). I did share though.
4. I honestly saw a teenage boy there with hair that looked exactly like a sheep fleece. Seriously, look at these and you’ll see what I mean.
5. There were a lot of large ladies there. And I mean, A LOT. Getting around without bumping into any was, um, challenging.
6. The amazing textiles on display inspired me to pick up a needle and thread again at the weekend, something that’s taken a back seat to my near-obsessive knitting in recent months.
And the piece I restarted work on was itself originally inspired by a sampler I saw at the show the previous time I went. Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn, eat your heart out.