Monday, 15 October 2012

The Knitting & Stitching Show 2012 - I was there!

I have just about recovered from this weekend's Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace and wanted to share it all with you before I get even busier putting to use everything that I bought!
I went along with my mum on Friday as a regular punter, and as neither of us had ever been before we were exited to see what all the fuss was about. The first thing I should say is that it is big. Actually it's huge! There are hundreds of retail stands, as well as artists galleries, workshops and classes. I had booked mum and I into a 'Give it Back' class where we would have been taught how to make a pillowcase dress. These simple dresses are made for charities like Dress a Girl Around the World. Unfortunately public transport was against us that day and we didn't make it to Alexandra Palace in time. Such a shame.

You could buy pretty much anything you wanted to do with sewing, knitting and other crafts, plus there were some amazing artistic creations. Unfortunately, most of the 'art' was not able to be photographed so you'll have to imagine the intricate quilted wall hangings and the knitted wedding dress and matching grooms suit! But the Knitted Village was brilliant...
At times the day felt like an endurance test: there was so much to take in, look at, touch and so many people to navigate around but regular R&R breaks helped! At the end of day 1 I had actually been quite restrained in my purchases...(Things didn't remain this way though!)

I was back on Saturday and Sunday in a professional capacity, helping to man the Ray Stitch stand. I'll come clean, Rachel is a good friend of mine but even if she wasn't I would still love her shop! She has a great eye for design and style which shows in the products and fabrics she stocks as well as the way it is all presented. This year Ray Stitch was representing Merchant & Mills  - make sure you check out all of their gorgeous stuff too. I want it all!
I had a lot of fun working on the stand - it was lovely to meet so many people and really inspiring to talk to them about what they were planning on making with their purchases. Even though we were rushed off our feet both days I still managed to look round again, and again! and made a *few* (ahem) more purchases. Here is my full haul from the show...
Bella by Lotta Jansdotter - to make a cushion as a housewarming present
Cloud 9 Geocentric - canvas weight organic cotton to make cushions for our hallway bench
Cloud 9 Nursery Flannel - to make snuggly toys for friends' new arrivals
Jersey remnants - only £3 each, perfect for my t-shirt making stash
Gorgeous Robert Kaufman Jelly Roll - for a future quilt, one day!
Hideous Thomas the Tank panel that Wiss will adore! Maybe I'll make an art roll up?
Non-scratchy 100% wool to make Wiss's scarf (and  for Raoul to play with!)
And then there is just one more thing to show soon to be, brand new shiny, fancy pants sewing machine!!! I have been thinking about a new machine for a while and hoped that there would be some good deals at the show. All the major brands were represented and had knowledgeable staff to answer all your questions. It was a great way to compare different makes and models all under one roof. I had demos by Brother, Pfaff and Janome and all had their pros and cons, but I decided on the Janome XL601. They sell their machines through stockists all over the country who are there to help should problems arise and who will take care of the servicing. (Which I will do annually, I promise!) I am SO excited to get my hands on it later this week!
So, there you have my weekend in a nutshell! I bought lots, met loads of lovely people (including some twitter friends @mrsramskill and @missmagpiemakes) and have a ton of new projects to start on a new machine!

Same time, same place next year then?!
If you visited Ally Pally this year, how was it for you? Please leave me a comment or a link to your blog below as I'd love to hear all about it.

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