Yesterday I went to the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in London with a friend from work, we went together last year and had a lovely time so made the same arrangements for this year. I love the whole thing, the train ride up to London, meeting a friend under The Big Clock at Waterloo (which is where my mum tells me she used to meet her dates), the tube ride up to Wood Green and the complimentary bus from the tube to Ally Pally which is immediately recognisable for being all steamed up with menopausal like-minded ladies.
I’m going again tomorrow because frankly one day is not enough to see everything properly so I hit on the cunning plan of using Saturday for scoping and Sunday for buying when the exhibitors are surely more likely to give discounts rather than lug all their stuff back home again. There isn’t anything I actually need so I’m happy to chance things selling out before I get back on Sunday. Clever huh?
So this is what I bought:
A knitting pattern but not the yarn, you just need aran yarn for this one, and while I love knitting with self-patterning yarn the horizontal stripes it produces are not at all flattering. I paid only £2 for this one.
From the same seller I also bought this yarn which is a rebrand of the Reflections yarn I bought last year. I made my ‘Hitchhiker’ scarf from this yarn in the white, grey and black colourway and it is a very fine thing indeed. My only gripe with this yarn is it has several joins per skein which have been rather clumsily knotted together. This stand was BUSY but well-staffed so not too much of a nightmare, I paid £10 for these two balls.
I picked up a whole heap of fliers but I’ve only recycled a few of them already, nearly every stall there is interesting. Personally I don’t like to see the retailers selling handbags, wellies and naff mass-produced clothes but the hideous wellie-shoes seemed to be selling well and there’s just no accounting for taste is there. I expect those buyers are the same people that bought Crocs and Uggs but I’m getting off track. This is a flier I picked up for a knitting charity, I’m committed to knitting for Oxfam this year with the Fleet Knitting Group but I will pass a copy of this on to Liz next month to consider for next year.
I bought this fine hand-dyed yarn that came with a free pattern from Cheryl Niamath who hand dyes all her own yarns. She charged £10 for this which is pretty reasonable by show standards I thought. She has an awful lot of very nice yarns indeed which I would recommend checking out if you’re going tomorrow.
I’d forgotten to charge my phone before I left home so there was no opportunity to tweet but I was with a friend so it would have been rude to piddle about with my phone all day anyway.
I only found a tatting stand! I’ve been wanted to get into tatting for ages and ages but couldn’t find tatting shuttles in any of my usual haunts. I managed to elbow my way into the stand after about a lifetime of trying the polite route and was rewarded with two demonstrations from a couple of fantastic women, of course I bought the beginner’s pack and they threw in a free little sample that had caught my eye too. I’ve promised to come back next year wearing a coat made entirely of tatted mini-masterpieces. I believe they also have some sort of organisation I can join. I do like membership of a group. So long as there’s no touching.
Then we found these Russian and Ukrainian women that were selling kits that were a mixture of cross-stitch and beading. A lot of it was very twee and frankly hideous but they had one hanging on the wall that was absolutely lovely, it was an autumn scene of trees but they’d completely sold out of that one. They have a Facebook page and a website so if you’re interested in finding out more, some of the floral bits were nice too and there were some jolly apples but there was a bird in the picture too and I find birds a bit creepy crunchy looking.
I picked up this instruction postcard from somewhere or other to remind me to make a granny square blanket at some point.
This Debbie Abrahams had some lovely work, its a sort of knit-along mail order service. I couldn’t quite work out the pricing structure so all I can say is its beaded knitting kits that work out to be quite reasonable or way overpriced.
Thank goodness I found a Knook kit. £7.99, so I think I could have got it cheaper on Amazon but thats no fun. Its what I most wanted to find. THIS is going to revolutionise the production of Gin Poodles by train. I’ve started having a go already and I love it. Its a combination of knitting and crochet techniques that mean you can do simple knitting with only one needle. How very convenient. I bought mine from The Yorkshire Bookseller who is a bit grumply and a bit overpriced but was the only person stocking it. My friend suggested buying one between us and sharing. She obviously forgot I don’t do sharing. I’m happy to buy presents but I never share.
Look, don’t tell anyone I said this but its rumored that smelly Marilyn who runs the beading group I attend is selling fake Nymo. I’m not going to be sucked in to a life of crime so I’ve bought my own, and some KO thread too to see how that compares.
Ooooh this Jo Storie sells knitting patterns online. Let me tell you she had the most beautiful things. Honestly she was the best pattern seller there for people who have an eye to fashion. I quite literally would knit every single pattern she had displayed.
These fellers are linked to a magazine publisher and claimed this site had only launched on Thursday, I haven’t had a look myself yet but the literature they had on the stand made it look interesting and possibly even useful.
My last pic is to remind me to buy one of these tomorrow, my friend bought one for another woman at work and after a bit of a demonstration I think I’d like one too. This is a very very odd stand though. There is a man and a woman (fear the BO) but only the man is supposed to demonstrate, the woman will demonstrate as long as the man doesn’t find out. Now I’ve outed her.