Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ally Pally

Yep, still catching up. As I had to miss several marathons, I was treated to a little trip to Alexandra Palace for the annual Knitting and Stitching Show which was fab from start to finish. I'm still supposed to be crafting from my stash (hahahaha) but I'm sure you won't be in the least bit surprised to know that I came home with a few bits and bobs - I am weak!!!

It felt like a proper adventure as we take a packed lunch and a friend and I drive to a village nearby whereupon we meet up with like-minded souls and are transported on a coach to our destination. Sometimes I've taken a project with me but everything I'm working on at the moment requires my undivided attention so we just chatted all the way there and back.

Look at that beautiful blue sky

It was quite hazy over London though

I've included this out of focus shot as it reminds me of an Impressionist painting!

The atrium in the entrance hall complete with exotic palms

The cash machines are a great idea as not all sellers take card payments and it's amazing how much cash you can get through!

I don't know why I buy a guide as I rarely look at it and just like to wander round unless I'm looking for a specific retailer 

As always, it was a feast for the eyes and an absolute delight. There were 4 of us in our little group and we split up at the start, went our separate ways and then reconvened for lunch where we compared what we'd each bought.

There was so much to inspire and admire quite apart from the retail side of it. Some of the exhibits were delightful and I'll let the photos do the talking:

Oh the colours!

One of my favourites - the depth she'd achieved with the different layers was very effective

I loved the folded fabric in these 2 pieces and then the contrast with the embroidery.

This wall-hanging was hard to capture as it was so ethereal. The images are embroidered onto net (which can't have been easy) and the muted palette was really striking

It was the concept of this one which attracted me - a map printed onto the fabric with quilting added

Some of the larger wall-hangings displayed a wide variety of techniques, all of them inspirational:

Smaller, framed pieces with repetitive motifs explore colour combinations

Some of the images from this book are shown below. They are often a record/memory of a place seen in a certain light, time of day or season

These colours made me think of a kingfisher!

Machine lace lichen

The top piece is entitled 'Sunflowers' from the book 'Stitch Rhythms and Patterns' and the one below is named 'Red'

I took this photo of a shawl designed by Stephen West just to remind myself to go and check it out on Ravelry (it's called The Doodler and I really liked its construction

So what did I buy? Well, I started out with the intention of just buying a ball of this shade of dark grey wool for another shawl in The Book of Haps named Happenstance which I've been looking forward to starting ever since I took a photo at Samphire Hoe (see below).

I have a variegated grey yarn in my stash for the main body and so I wanted a vivid yellow ochre and some white to finish it off and the dark grey was for the rows inbetween the yellow. That was until I found a store to which I kept returning until I finally gave in and came away with these beauties from Debonnaire Yarns:

Oh my goodness they are scrumptious. I could not make my mind up between several colours - did I want the shawl body to be blue to represent the sky or grey for the seawall? So of course I bought both, as you do! The yellow ochre is even more interesting than the photo shows as it has sparkles running through it - oooooooh!!! That yellow against the grey is swoonworthy and there would be enough yarn left for another project. The white, for the edging would represent the sea foam. Resistance was futile and that Jamieson and Smith will be used in Fair Isle mittens so won't go to waste.

On the same stall I found lots of shades of Mille Colori from Lang Yarns which I'd been searching for. I wanted 1 ball for a specific secret project but was bowled over by the colours and finally settled on this beauty:

This pattern for a pretty wrap caught my eye too but I resisted the cashmere yarn to knit it as I have plenty of Kidsilk Haze to use up

As you can see, I'm having a bit of a shawl phase as I really enjoyed that last one.

Then I came across Verity's stall which was full of gorgeous hand-dyed yarns in some very funky colours. So what did I come away with? A single skein of her luscious 'Sparkle Sock' as an alternative option for the shawl border.

Again, the sparkles don't show up but they are lovely!

Of course, all that changed when I realised my next project is Uncia and I haven't got enough of the yarn I intended to use and suddenly felt the need to make it Christmassy by using a snowy white yarn - so I decided to use this yarn but that meant I needed another skein.

Thankfully a quick internet search tracked down Verity's Etsy shop (she has some very funky colour-combos and is well worth a look if you want something a bit different) and after an email conversation an extra skein is winging its way to me as I type. Hoorah!

After all that excitement I was starting to feel ready for a sit down and was lucky to bump into Gill so we headed off for coffee and cake. On the way to the cafe area we were walking past a stall with lots of beautiful blue indigo-dyed fabrics and I spotted a gorgeous Chinese apron which had just been reduced to half price as it was the last one. Yep, that came home too - well, it did have bunnies on it so it would have been rude not to buy it!

I was instructed to wash it before wearing it as the dye might run otherwise

Which reminds me of the lovely card featuring a bunny that I found for Mike's birthday. I bought it on a trip to Hampton Court Palace with the Garden Society a couple of months ago where we also visited the Royal School of Needlework Shop - so that's another post I've still got to write..............then there's Village in Bloom and goodness knows what else I've forgotten.........

'Igor' by Jane Francis using advanced silk shading

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