I had quite a grumble about the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace last year, but the lure of all that beautiful yarn was enough to overcome my reluctance to face the hoards of shoppers again this year. Having been half trampled and totally rushed due to going as part of a coach trip on the Saturday last time (what were we thinking?), this time me and Mum took the train up for the Thursday, and boy what a difference that made! Not only did we have a more comfortable journey, when we got there we could actually walk around freely in what ever direction we wanted without being restricted by the strange currents and tides of the crowd dragging us along!
The only advantage arriving by coach has over public transport is that the walk from the car park is relatively flat, whereas slogging uphill from the station is anything but.
It was insanely windy, so naturally I made Mum stop and pose for a photo.
There are amazing views out over London from Alexandra Palace, although the visibility on Thursday could have been better.
We were already gasping for a cup of tea by the time we made it into the building, and were determined that we weren’t going to let ourselves be distracted… but then we saw this.
It’s a pergola entirely covered in knitted flora and fauna! I assumed I would be able to find out more about who made it on the K&S Show website once I got home so I didn’t take note of any information that was displayed with it, but all the site says is this: “A group of knitters from Norfolk have contributed to a 10-feet tall, six-sided Pergola covered with hundreds of knitted colorful flowers, leaves and wildlife. More information will be listed here soon.” How helpful.
What a shame I can’t tell you more about who made it. I can however show you more pictures of some of the amazing work that went into decorating the mysterious Knitted Pergola.
My snapshots really don’t do this stunning collaboration justice. Each leg of the pergola had its own colour scheme, and every single inch was covered. I love the knitted birds, particularly the pigeons, and there was even a knitted pond!There is such a lot to see, and this year I tried to see some of the work by the very talented textiles artists exhibiting at the show. I even remembered to take a few pictures.
By far my favourite exhibition was the stunning machine embroidery work of Jo Beattie which was cleverly lit to cast these amazing intricate shadows on the white wall behind it.
Jo was only too happy to explain her technique, answer questions and let us all snap as many photos as we liked as long as we put some money in the cancer charity collection tin. Not everyone is so generous spirited. I wish I could have snuck a picture of the fierce old lady displaying handmade jewellery under a sign that said “strictly no photography”. I wasn’t the only one who gave that stall a wide berth!
Here are some of the other things that caught my eye before the urge to shop overwhelmed me completely.
Cute felt bear skulls…
The utterly depraved Seven Deadly Sins (also in felt!). You’ll have to guess which sin is which, but there are no prizes for working out what the red one is! Then there was the largest knitted bear I’ve ever seen.
And I’ve always got room for a knitted seagull!
I took these once things had quietened down a bit, but it goes to show that choosing the right day to visit the K&S show makes a significant difference to the kind of day you have! I felt that this time I got to see all the things I wanted to see, whereas last year I missed out on a lot. On Thursday the show was open until 7pm, and initially we laughed at the idea of staying that late, but then we didn’t see the point in trying to get a train during rush hour, and the next thing we knew we were stumbling out of Ally Pally bleary eyed at half six having gone back for a few extra purchases that we just couldn’t live with out.
I spent pretty much every last penny of what could very loosely be described as my budget. I bought enough yarn for three new cardigans, at least one shawl and several pairs of socks for me and the mister; numerous Knit Pro knitting needles and crochet hooks; as well as buttons and at least 7 metres of fabric.
It. Was. Heaven.
I’ve already started on one of the cardigans, and I also have a sock in progress on some of the new needles, so you will be hearing more about my new purchases very soon!
By the way, it’s not just laziness that is responsible for me writing this blog post three days after I actually went to the Knitting and Stitching Show. It took me all three days to recover!