A week ago I blogged about the tragedy of loosing my knitting bag on Oxford Street in London. Such a tragedy was difficult to face in that big ole hectic city, but I managed to soothe away my grief (and replace my needles) at The Knitting and Stitching Show. How on earth I managed to live in London as a knitter for more than 4 years and not attend this show before is truly beyond me. And I'm so glad I made the effort this year, despite now living 150 miles away.
Now, we usually stay with my brother-in-law when we visit London, which means coordinating coming and going and juggling only one set of keys between a scatter-brained knitter and a band of five boys. So naturally I left my camera locked in the house as I made my way to Alexandra Palace. Damn. But the truth is that a knitting show needs to be experienced first hand. The colours of fabric and textures of tapestries and laughter of friends and the occasional waft of lanolin just won't come out in pictures. Still, I managed to capture a few snaps of the knitted village with my camera phone. And I think it's really sweet!
It's difficult to sum up a whole day at a convention, but there were many personal highlights. I came across a stall by The Village Haberdashery and actually squealed with delight out loud. I've been following Annie Barker's blog for most of the year, and I felt a little star struck! Her online shop is full of the most beautiful and up-to-date quilting fabrics, and I've already requested this Anna Maria needle point cushion kit for Christmas. My poor husband!
The swooning didn't stop there. I picked up 200 grams of tweed sliver (rhymes with diver) from the Bronte Glen Craft Collection. My attempt to learn to spin is coming along slowly and definitely isn't deserving of their 100% cashmere fluff. Maybe next year. Speaking of luxury fiber though, I was really impressed with Cashmered, a labour of love that supplies 3-ply cashmere milled in Italy to make up vintage patterns that require this yarn weight.
I spent a good piece of time browsing the books at St Cyr Vintage, stockists of old crafting and sewing patterns. I would definitely love to visit them in the Camden Stables on my next London trip. I picked up a leaftlet for Knit for Peace and bought a set of sweet Christmas gift tags that feature a knitted Christmas pudding! Of all the stalls holders, I spent the most time talking with the WI. I'm tempted. So tempted. Are there any of you WIers out there who want to tempt me more?
After a lovely 30 minute workshop on the art of batik, I set out to find knitting for the long bus ride home. A major mission was to replace my Knit Pro interchangeable needles in 5mm and cable, which I fortunately found at the Knitting4fun stall. As I mentioned last week, I selected a skein of Black Hills New Zealand wool, grown by Penny Cole, which I used to knit up a bubbly hat. It's not quite cold enough to enjoy the fruits of labour yet, but I suspect we'll be pumpkin carving in hats and scarves this frosty weekend!