So the London Knitting and Stitching show is over for another year. I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy going to this show and last week’s offering didn’t disappoint. The autumn show is held at Alexandra Palace, or Ally Pally as it is lovingly known. The venue is a short distance north of central London and, with it being up on a hill, it has a spectacular panoramic view of the city. It’s set in 196 acres of parkland, which every year I promise myself I will go and visit. I was lucky enough to be able to visit on two days this year, which meant I could take a more leisurely pace looking around everything.
Pieces from the New Embroidery Group and winners of the 2017 Festival of Quilts competitions were displayed outside the main hall. There was also an exhibition of Hand & Lock’s collection of embellished handbags, made in collaboration with some of the world’s most renowned designers.
The photos don’t do the pieces justice – they are stunning. You can see all of the Festival of Quilts winning entries here.
Presentations took place all day in The Creative Living Theatre and this is where I sat in on a talk from Jamie Chalmers (aka Mr X Stitch). Jamie is a manbroiderer and his enthusiasm is catching. It’s years since I’ve done any cross stitch but Jamie really inspired me to pick up my threads again, especially when I discovered that there is software you can use to transform photos into cross stitch patterns. After the talk I looked round the exhibitors in the two side halls, saving the main hall for my second day at the show.
The rest of the textile galleries were located in the second hall. I particularly liked Haf Weighton’s work, the Royal School of Needlework exhibition and Fi Oberon’s needle felted animals.
But by far my favourite part of the entire show was the Embroiderer’s Guild ‘Page 17’ exhibition. Members of the Guild created individual works, with each piece taking its inspiration from a book. Any sort of book could be chosen but the piece had to closely relate it. I am in awe of the creativity and work that has gone in to these pieces.
There are more photos on my Facebook page.
After looking round the other exhibitors in the second hall, I returned to the Creative Living Theatre to listen to Kerry Lord from TOFT, who was giving a talk about crochet. Although it was aimed at beginners I still learned a few tips that I’ll be able to put into practice. Kerry was a great speaker and while I’ve enjoyed looking at the crocheted creatures on TOFT’s stand at previous shows, I was never tempted to make one. Well, after the talk I definitely wanted to make one and buy all of her books!
The final talk that I attended was from Emma Fairall who was demonstrating how to make festive woven wire light catchers. I’ve discovered lots of coloured wire while clearing out the shed this summer so I was looking for ideas as to what to do with it. I might attempt something similar but I have a feeling that this is a craft that will leave me frustrated. Back to the drawing board with this one I think.
After an early start I was completely flagging by this point so decided to call it a day. I’d managed to not spend any money but had seen a few things that I was tempted to buy so I had a couple of days to mull over whether I actually wanted or needed them.
Needless to say, I decided that I did!
Read about my second day at the show here.