Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What a weekend - Part 2

The Knitting and Stitching Show 2014

I was so excited to be going to this show as I'd never been before. It was really rather last minute and lucky that my neighbour Gill, who had already booked tickets to visit with her friend Julie, phoned to say they had spaces left on the coach and would I like to come. 

I've been invited by a friend before but because the coach deals are mostly on the Sunday I hadn't been available because I was off running a marathon somewhere. This year was different as I was running the Fowlmead Challenge on the Saturday. Fantastic. 

The only downside was that I left poor Mike alone all weekend and even though he was absolutely fine about me going off for 2 jaunts (I checked before I agreed to go) I set about 'guilt baking' a couple of his favourite things on Thursday to make up for it so his tummy was very happy about it (lasagne for our evening meal, cheese, onion and potato pies for his lunch, plus Pear and almond tart for pudding and he had football on the TV on Sunday but I can't claim any part in that!).

We all assembled in the car park of a nearby village. I wore my Oregon cardigan (which I still don't like   - I think it's mostly the old-fashioned shape I don't like) which got lots of lovely comments as I was walking round the show. Gill knits and does other crafts, Julie is a keen knitter too and used to teach classes for Rowan. She is an expert needlewoman and you can just see the bottom of her cardigan above my over-excited fingers. Her sister and daughter, both knitters, made up our little group.

They told me that last year they didn't get to the show until about 12pm because the driver set out late and then stopped off at a service station en-route, and then they had to be back on the coach by 4pm which made it all rather rushed. Thankfully, this year the driver arrived and departed promptly and although the journey was 2.5 hours we still arrived by 11:30am.

On a clear day the view must be lovely - that's the Shard on the right hand side

Once inside, Julie went off to find the picnic area and we agreed to meet up at 1pm to eat our lunch. We'd all taken a packed lunch and a drink because Julie and Gill knew how busy it was going to be  whereas I had no idea. I was soon to find out just how busy it could get - it was like trying to fight your way through the first day of the sales! I'd made a note of all the stands I really wanted to visit but once inside I was just swept along in the crowd.

The first thing I saw as we entered the building was this lovely pergola decorated with knitted and crochet flowers.

I bravely announced "I'm not going to buy any yarn as I have far too much in my stash already" but I know you'll be laughing as you read that load of nonsense! For the 1.5 hours before lunch I just familiarised myself with the layout and made a mental note of where I wanted to go back to. When we met up everyone was carrying bags full of yarn whereas I had a modest purchase of some braid, for a crazy patchwork cushion, and some beads. My self-righteous smile was soon wiped off my face so don't worry.

My photos are not in any particular order and I tried to take them when there weren't too many people around.

Seeing the 2014 crochet club 'blanket' on Jane's stand I could see why some people had been disappointed. I know that sounds mean but although there are some lovely elements to it I agree with the view that the components don't gel together very well.

The Stylecraft stand was heaving and Lucy's blanket yarn packs were flying off the shelves!

A sales assistant gave me one of these pretty cards with Lucy's details on. I looked out for her but I didn't spot her and I wondered if she'd had to cancel so she could go and visit her mum who's poorly. Hope your mum's OK Lucy.

I loved seeing the work of design students and these felted wool dresses were stunning (that green one is just my colour!)

These felted pieces screamed "touch me!" but I had to resist. My favourite is the 3rd from the left.

I spent a while studying the tapestry weaving on the British Tapestry Group's stand

This is Lindsay Taylor, a very talented  artist who works on mostly three dimensional forms, and the first thing I spotted on her stand were her fab tights. Then I studied her  pieces which were inspired by the damage done to wildlife by discarded plastic products and I was hooked as that it a cause close to my heart. If you click on the link to her website you can find some of the pieces in her portfolio under the 'installations' section.

The piece below relates to an article that hit the headlines a while back about the amount of rubbish that was found inside a dead seagull. It was a tangle of plastic bottle tops, ring pulls, plastic netting and all other sorts of discarded rubbish. 

When the news was released I was reading a book entitled Moby Duck by Donovan Hohn who made it his mission to highlight the way our rubbish travels across the ocean and damages wildlife. There was a really good review of the book here in the Guardian

We chatted for a while because I have grave concerns about those Chinese lanterns that people release at celebrations. Yes, they do look so pretty as they float off into the night sky but what happens to their remains? They come back down to earth, that's what, and the smouldering remains have been responsible for fires in barns and causing choking, and even death, in farm animals when ingested accidentally whist grazing.  You can read more about them here in a report by the BBC team at Countryfile.

The next batch are from another area displaying the work of various textile artists.

Glorious textures on the cushions & a fabulous felted coat in plummy tomes
This next wonderful creation is by Denise Salway aka 'The Knitting Witch'. She was delighted when I told her how much I loved her coat and I promised I'd give her a mention on here. I remembered reading about her creation of lifelike figures on deramores blog earlier this year and thinking wow!  The Hobbit coat, shown below, is truly amazing but there are some even better photos of it and her characters from Tolkien here on flickr. Can you see the little Gollum hiding in the sleeve and Smaug on the back?

In the same area I met up with Georgina Mae and was captivated by this innovative knitted top she's created. I'd love to have seen it being worn as it must look stunning. There is a knitted under layer and then she's used those loom bands that children use to make bracelets etc as an overlay and it is so beautiful. What a refreshing display there was in that area.

OK now for the yarn I wasn't going to buy. You knew I would though didn't you!

This little quartet of Koigu loveliness is to make a seed stitch shawl. I've seen their version before and resisted it but today I saw all the other colours I could choose and well, you can see what happened!

I did try to resist the massive pile of discounted packets of yarn from Black Sheep Wools, I really did, but in the end resistance was indeed futile!

The 2 packets below of Rowan Summerspun, on the left, (I couldn't help it as those are my summery colours and the top I make will match my shorts) and Rowan Cotton Glace (it's a dirty greeny olive colour and will make the perfect background colour for 'Celeste', the stripy cardigan by Martin Storey I was lusting after in Rowan 55). I already have a bright green summer cardigan so fancied something more muted for the background.

Repeat after me; "Next year I will only knit using my stash……………"

Tomorrow I'm going into London for an exiting meeting with DeNDRoN after which I'm hoping I'll be able to share some very exciting news about a project I've been involved in for so many years.


Idiosyncratic Eye said...

We were there on the Saturday! :)

Susie Hewer said...

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did IE!