A Productive Weekend Part II: K&S Show Review

Jughead and I headed off for the Knitting and Stitch Show bright and early on Saturday morning. Despite waking up at a ridiculous time for a weekend, I managed to make us late and we missed the early train, but still managed to get to Ally Pally within a reasonable amount of time. There were still plenty of people queueing for the shuttle bus from Wood Green station. I was struck by the over-representation of middle-aged middle-class ladies, but I guess that's what you might expect. That doesn't make me one!

There was no queue getting into the exhibition though, which was a relief. The first thing we saw when we got there was this great knitted Ferrari (as modelled by myself):

spinning wheel - just like in Sleeping Beauty!

Gorgeous old Chinese skirt, made by village women who weave and pleat the skirts themselves using ancient techniques. They weave ancestral symbols into the designs and then place them over a bamboo frame and sew all the pleats into position before placing the whole thing in a bamboo steamer until the pleats are set. I saw a silk version of this skirt (above is cotton) and was completely in love...but the price tag put me off being an ex-poor student and all. We spent ages talking to the man who owned the stall, who told us about his travels in China, the Islamic heritage there that he had witnessed, his visits to Rajasthan and his love of textiles from all over the world. It was truly inspiring.

Knitting-wise, there was Rowan, Colinette, Sublime, Fleece Artist, Habu, Cherry Tree Hill, Tilli Thomas, UK alpaca and many other brands. I especially liked Fyberspates and the Silkwood yarns, even though I don't think I would use hand-dyed yarns for big items because the colours jsut form pools. I got some lovely sock yarn though. UK alpaca was great quality stuff and looked very nice knitted up, especially compared to some of the rather rough and ready handspun yarn that was on display. Although I was really there for the knitting, I love textile art as well..I wasn't expecting there to be that much as I read somewhere that there was just loads of cross stitch which is generally very twee and naff..so I ended up buying embroidery supplies too.

Top to bottom: variegated threads; Jughead at her masks for cloth dolls workshop with Barbara Willis; Embroidered Knot Garden by Owen Davies whose workshop I attended - didn't get too far with my garden but gave me some good ideas

I loved Gilda Baron's stall, she is an amazing artist. Have a look at her website it's really cool. In fact I went and bought her book from Amazon and got it today. Her work looks incredibly intricate but when broken down into steps seems doable. I'm going to try out her techniques and see how far I get with them. I also rediscovered by rayon embroidery threads from Morocco ('they're pure silk!' more fool us..but they were good value anyway) and vintage wood pulp and cotton threads I bought in Cornwall which should be put to good use. I also did another workshop on how to use angelina, shiny fibres which you melt with the iron to get all kinds of effects.

There was loads more stuff but it was all 'Do Not Photograph' and 'Do not Touch'. Boo. Some of the graduate pieces were worth a look but to be honest we totally ran out of time what with shopping and workshops. It was a fantastic day though - I think Jug and I will be regulars. Go to the Harrogate show if you get the chance and do all the workshops you can, they are really worthwhile.

Will go to Part III tomorrow: The Stash Enhancement. Also, my new second career!


  1. Helen said...
    Looks like you had a grand day out :)

    Nice blog too!
    tails of a mad cow said...
    wow, the garden looks incredible!

    Btw, are you knitting any hats for innocent smoothies? Look at all the hats: http://www.flickr.com/groups/supergran2006/pool/

    I want to make some!
    warm as toast said...
    hey it's jug- uni knitblog.. is it ok if i link this post?
    Yeah everyone you won't regret if you make the trip to go in november- it's a whole new gorgeous world..
    Atia said...
    yeah sure link away...and Cow I saw the whole innocent smoothies thing a while ago but haven't knitted anything yet..should do one tho...have u seen the tuxedo hat on the innocent smoothies website? it's v cool
    Penny said...
    Oh the knot gardens were lovely. Lucky you to do a workshop on them.

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