Just back from a fabulous day at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace.
It was packed full of great stuff as usual. Here are my highlights:
There are some great fabric suppliers at the show but my favourite was MÂ RosenburgÂ & Son, found in the Main Hall. Not only do they have a fabulous range of really great quality fabricsÂ (oftenÂ ex-designer stock), but they are super-cheerful and helpful. It’s been a family business for several generation and is now run by father and daughter. I know they are just in the process of moving premises to a massiveÂ warehouse AND their website is being updated as we speak,Â so it is one to keep your eye on and definitely pay a visit to if you are in the London area. (Yes, that is wool cashmere for Â£10 a metre.)
Here I am on the Bernina stand catching up with people and watching demos of the overlockers. Thinking about upgrading mine. Such great machines -Â the quality is just the BEST. I love myÂ Bernina!
The Innocent BIG KNITÂ campaign was great. Knitters were invited to knit little hats for Innocent drink bottles with Â£1 donated to Age UK for every one sold with a hat on. Knitters could submit their own designs or there were free knitting patterns for some super-cuteÂ little hats. Â Â Great seeing people sitting around knitting teeny weeny hats,Â chatting and raising money for charityÂ at the same time.
There were some amazing trims, laces and buttons at the show, but this stand,Â Aarti J Trims, (left) particularly stoodÂ out for their great range of pom-pom trims and metallic ethnic braids. There were some amazing bead stalls too. This one,Â Ilona Biggins,Â which specialised in semi precious stones looked great with an amazing range that made you want to pick everything up and touch it – really reasonable priced too.
InÂ the WestÂ Hall the Fine Art textiles were great and I was particularly drawn to this exhibit of fabric portraits. I’ve done many portraits of my own, thoughÂ usually in acrylic paint,Â but these textileÂ portraits by artist Sue StoneÂ look great .
This beautiful one-off piece (right) by artist Charlotte Derby, is a digital print with mixed media and embroidery on cotton satin. I love it and it reminds me slightly of the work of Grayson Perry. Look at theseÂ great (and slightly creepy) embroidered tubes – love them, but afraid I didn’t get a reference for them.
Perhaps my favourite thing in the Fine Art section were these very beautiful concrete bowls with frills of fabric, lace and embroidery set into them. One alone would have been lovely, but the sight Â of a whole display was breath taking. The InterlaceÂ collectionÂ is collaboration partnership between textile artists Bethany Walker & Ruth Singer.
This stand of Shibori fabrics was packed full of beautiful things and run by 2 great ladies who managed to stay upbeat and funny all the way to the end of the late night opening on Thursday. Phew, long shift! The stand was called Changs and combined hand dyed indigo fabrics from China and IndiaÂ withÂ exquisiteÂ matching ceramic buttons.
One of the biggest fabric merchants there was Fabrics Galore. They had a great range of Liberty fabrics Â and a lot of the amazing Alexander Henry ranges and LOTS of quirky extras like this Roy Lichtenstein style sewing themed cartoon strip. How great would this be for curtains in your sewing room?
I’m not a knitter but for those of you who are, there was yarn in abundance. It made me want to knit too!Â There were some beautiful fancy yarns on display like this scarf on the Colinette Yarns stand as well as MANY chunky and handcrafted and dyed yarns.
And finally, here I am with my Mother-in-Law, treating ourselves to afternoon tea in the amazing setting of the Londesborough Room. Floor-to-ceiling naked men and raspberry macaroons. What more could you want!