Friday, 12 October 2007

Stitching and Knitting show

Helllo! I'm back from the Stitching and Knitting Show, held at Alexandra Palace, home to BBC's first TV arial in the 1930s, and a jolly part of London to visit: attractive, with wide spaces and some hills! Surprisingly (or not!) I didn't buy any yarn. Firstly, there was a lot of alpaca, which is a lovely yarn, but I can't really get on with it against my skin. There was a lot of sock yarn (A LOT of sock yarn), and space dyed yarn. I must say, I do like sock yarn in terms of the jewelled like colours and yardage, but enough withthe space dyed yarn already. Most times it looks terrible when knitted up (all. That. Pooling.) . I did not take many pictures because the stall owners didn't like it. A few had signs that discouraged such photography. Fair enough, I guess they wanted to keep their shots exclusive.

I saw the Habu knitting and saw what the hoopla was all about. Knitted steel, silk and figue (a relative of the pineapple plant) make such a lovely drape and fabric! But I didn't like the colours for me (my skin has orange tones, it doesn't get on with muted colourways and the bright ones were too bright). I also felt quivet for the first time. It's so LUSH! Unlike wool, or alapaca or any other animal fibre I've felt. It literally collapses into nothing on your hand but drifts like a fluffy cloud over your shoulders. The trader was Danish, and her quivet gathered from rocks and lichen in Greenland (that's how it's harvested, by gathering the bits of quivet down left on rocks and plants, then spun and dyed). She was selling 100 grams for quivet for £52 (104 US). Too rich for my blood (although I can see why the price is what it is). The quivet is the second picture on the right.

Rowan, Collinette, Get Knitted, Laughing Hens and a lot of other proprieters had stalls. Rowan (third picture) had a stall teaching people how to knit and crochet. So did simply knitting. There were a load of students at the show (quite a few were French) and they got busy with the sticks, to cast on and off.

I also saw a lot of knits on real people from Rowan Studio books 1 and 2. So immensely flattering! Please Rowan Studio books, go back to the fine gauged knits that you started off with. The big, chunky knits by the Royal College of Art and Design people were clumsily executed. I saw the Nora Gaughan knit from VK fall 2007 on a short, rotund woman. I like it! So beautifully skimming the figure and adding length and interest where there wasn't any. It was done in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran however, and as such, it started to pill. Ugh.

The last picture with the glass window is the hall of Alexandra Palace. It will be the last stitching show held there for a while, since the place is due for remodelling. From what I gathered by a stranger (when asking him for the directions of said place), there were plans afoot to tear a part of the building down for a leisure centre. Of course, the local community is in arms, and he thinks that the wolves of overhyped progress will be held at bay. I hope so, I'm all for tradition, it's what gives us identity and keeps us sane in this old world. Why has everything got to be new?

So, what did I buy? Just the Plassard Luminere yarn (reminded me of a Berroco yarn, the same one that Valpuri was done in), and a gauge slash needle sizer slash ruler slash magnifying glass by knit picks from Get I also bought a pattern book by Wear Downey, but that shall be in a different post.

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JayJay said...

Wow, that looks like fun! I haven't been to any fiber festivals yet, but maybe I will make an effort to go to the next one in the area. I'm just afraid I'll spend WAY too much money.

cranberry said...

Honestly? You won't. Too overwhelming ! And if you have too much yarn like me, you'd be honest with yourself and say, "Enough!" I think I've turned a corner. :)