Ceiling of Alexandra Palace with streamers of spun yarn descending
Friday I had an unexpected and fantastic treat. I received email Thursday afternoon from Selvedge about the Knitting and Stitching show taking place in London at Alexandra Palace the following day and weekend. As Selvedge were involved I thought it might be good, and through serendipitous good fortune my friend Claudia and I were able to go to it last minute.
She from Kent and me from Hampshire hopped on early trains and met in town. We knew nothing about
the show, had there been more time I'd have researched, though being clueless added to my excitement.
We emerged from the tube station to find a block-long queue for the shuttle service and we realized it was big. Not the patient sorts we legged it up the hill to Alexandra Palace skipping the shuttle, too eager to get there. The entrance to the show hinted at what lay ahead; a full sized knitted sailboat and mountains of hand-spun yarn, amazing! It was enormous, being newbies we didn't know where to start, we simply wandered around the halls in awe. Products for everything knitting and stitching were everywhere, there were workshops and a gallery too.
The day flew by and I feel we only scratched the surface. We didn't even find out there was a gallery until we stopped for a sandwich and met two veterans who told us about it, it was their seventeenth year to attend. Next time I think we'll start with the gallery and see all the artists work, we only saw a tiny part of it.
Hand dyed cotton and silk embroidery floss
I managed to purchase a few special items like some of this hand-dyed thread, Liberty fabric, pretty beads for Gracie and a couple of books. Everything was less expensive than in the shops, special rates for the show.
Mixed-media shoes by Ingried Swan
Here are a couple of the artists exhibits: these shoes and hat were part of a whole outfit made with formed and stitched pages from an Atlas.
Textile themed porcelain
And this very delicate porcelain which is decorated with fabric designs and notions. It's all been fired, there's no actual fabric on the pieces, they just look like there is. Sorry to have not found the artist's name on this one, it was closing time and we were being whisked out the door.
It was a great show and lovely to see the age range attending, from teenagers and groups of school children to grandmothers. Next
year if I have a chance to go to this show again I'll know to bring a
lunch (the food wasn't great,) start with the gallery and try and go
for two of the days in order to take advantage of the workshops.
Window display, characters from Fantastic Mr Fox
The whole day was brilliant and topped off by tumbling back outside in a downpour of rain followed by a sprint straight onto a bus. Then after a quick trip on the underground we hopped off in Covent Garden for a gorgeous Thai meal. While walking to dinner we saw this sweet window display with characters from Fantastic Mr Fox, a favourite Roald Dahl story and soon to be released movie.
The whole day we felt like two kids skiving off school and I can't wait to do it again. If anyone knows of other creative events happening in Southern England please let us know about them. Although I never need an event to go into London, just a willing husband to collect our children from school and feed them, thanks hubby.
I hope you all had exciting weekends too :)