As promised, my highlights from the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. I went on Saturday, arrived at about 11.30 and spent the day heaving amongst the crowds. Fortunately (and I genuinely do prefer shopping this way), I was alone. Crowds are always easier to handle when you're not constantly worrying about the wearabouts of other people, and you can choose much more easily which stores are worth waiting to see and which can be slowly shuffled past.
This was my first year at Ally Pally and I'd never been before. The palace itself is gorgeous and was a lovely addition to my day;
I spent about 2 hours browsing the Great Hall, where the majority of the shopping was. I didn't buy very much at all, just 3 beautiful skeins of undyed angora blend laceweight from Artisan Yarns and some urea crystals for a dyeing experiment I have in mind.
I had fun all the same, had some lovely chats with vendors, in particular at Jamieson's Yarns where the lady very kindly helped me pick out the perfect colours for a MODO project I have in mind - despite them not having nearly enough stock for me to buy there and then.
I particularly enjoyed the knitwear graduate showcase, if for no other reason that it was only here (and embroidery) where photography was permitted! Highlights include this wonderful cardigan from Jacob Oram of Colchester Uni;
The picture doesn't really do the scale justice, a grizzly bear could have worn it! Normally these "giant knits" leave me a bit cold. They often seem lazy and are frequently stylistically and technically dull. But I rather like this, the purl rows to add a fold up to the armpit are a nice touch, and the collar is awesome. I also like that he's used actual yarn, not unspun roving, which makes it look genuinely like a blown up dolls cardigan.
There was also this great piece of texture from Motohiro Tanji (Nottingham Trent);
Inspired by "gothic-techno", but not looking like it came out of Cyberdog. I quite like it. It was at this point I bumped into Louisa and Emma from Loumms, who liked it even more than me! They make awesome bags and have a great series of patterns (as well as being super friendly people). I first met them at a knit night meeting and was very happy to see them again!
I also saw these two dresses from Amber Hards (UWE Bristol) inspired by jellyfish;
And this awesome knitted plane from Claire Platt (Bath Spa):
After I was done shopping and admireing I attended a truely excellent 1 hour introduction to tapestry weaving class run by Philip Sanderson of the West Dean College. For my mere £8 ticket price I was treated to excellent teaching, wonderful handout material, a free fork, all the yarn I needed, and a loom to take away! I've done a little playing since the class;
I'm quite pleased with myself I must say! I can definitely see tapestry weaving being a really fun way of making accessories using up all the scraps of yarn I've got kicking about. I'm so loathe to throw anything away, it's great to have a use to put things to!