Getting up on a Saturday morning earlier than I do for work can only mean one thing – another trip to the Knitting and Stitching Show.
I arrived not long after the show opened and it was already busy, with a queue forming outside. I made my way to The Creative Living Theatre, the part of the show where free demonstrations take place, and watched Debbie Shore teach the audience how to make two fabric gift bags. Definitely something to try in the future.
I looked around the main hall, mentally taking note of the stands I would return to later to purchase a few goodies. It was so busy, uncomfortably busy for my liking, and I was getting increasingly frustrated with the ladies who kept stopping in the middle of the narrow aisles to have a conversation with their friend, oblivious to the queues forming behind them!!!
I escaped to the Textile Galleries where it was a little bit quieter. If you’ve read previous posts about my trips to the show, you’ll know that the exhibitions are one of the highlights for me. Two of them this year had particularly powerful messages.
Caren Garfen’s installation – What’s Going on Upstairs – depicts the world of eating disorders. It was a really well thought out, accessible, exhibition and very different to anything that I had seen at the show previously.
The dolls’ house illustrates the feeling of being oversized, as does the tiny, intricate, hand stitching in many of the pieces.
I had seen Jenni Dutton’s Dementia Darnings on social media a while ago, and really admired them, but nothing could have prepared me for the reaction I had when I saw them in person. Having cared for my dad, who had Alzheimer’s, it was an exhibition very close to my heart. We lost him last year, and my feelings about it are still very raw.
In a sequence of large-scale, woven pieces Jenni perfectly captures her mother’s decline as the disease progresses. The images looked all too familiar. I wasn’t the only person whose eyes suddenly got a bit watery.
They are truly stunning and if you get the opportunity to see them, do.
After I’d pulled myself together, I looked around the rest of the exhibitions and the stands in the west hall. In the main corridor, there were some beautiful quilts on display from the Studio Art Quilts Associates. The theme was concrete and grassland.
The entire Edward’s Menagerie collection from TOFT, featuring over 300 amigurumi creatures, was on display in The Palm Court Foyer. TOFT always has a good stand at the show. There is usually a huge creature on display, waiting to pose for selfies. This year it was a lobster!
Having seen everything that I wanted to see, and after buying some Christmassy fabric, which I’m going to use to make a bag, it was time to leave. All in all it was another really good show and it was nice to see a few changes and additions.
For the first time, I had a wander around Alexandra Park, something that I always intend on doing every year I visit the show. It was looking very autumnal.
There are lots more photos on my Facebook page.