Yesterday I ventured to London to The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace...
...where I nearly went into craft overload! There is too much to condense into one blog post, so today I’ll focus on the stitching side of the show, in keeping with Stitching Sundays. Yarn love will follow!
I boarded a train nice and early with a very dear friend, had my compulsory chai tea latte from Starbucks at Waterloo (part of my “letting go of real life” routine every time I arrive in London for fun) and hopped on the Tube to Wood Green.
Interestingly, as the Tube came nearer and nearer to the destination, the ratio of female passengers carrying crafty-looking shopping bags and wearing colourful, artsy fashions increased substantially...snippets of conversations about sewing and craft kit drifted through the car...and seated across from us were two older, colourful ladies who we figured were us in a couple decades (and I’m sure some young gals standing by the door were thinking the same about us!).
We were already having fun and we hadn’t even arrived! Ah, how a little “me” time works its magic.
What a show! Inspiration hit as soon as we crossed the threshold
And skyrocketed as we wandered through the exhibition
Within ten minutes of arriving, we were seated at Rowandean Embroidery’s Make & Take table...
...trying our hands at embroidering over organza. We were supplied with a pre-printed fabric square, then given free rein to choose organza scraps and colourful threads to layer on with easy stitches.
|Pinning on the base organza square|
|Layering the tiny organza scraps|
|Adding the stitches|
The long, straight stitches for the flower stems secured the organza to the fabric. How do ya like those French knots? I learned some good tips, which I will share very soon...
This took about half an hour, then we bundled up our projects to finish at home.
Here is my finished piece – with my feeble attempt to take a photo in the in the grey light of a rainy English autumn day (I really must find some tutorials for taking photos during dark winter months, or everything will have this dull cast until spring!)
We walked and walked, admired and shopped
|I love the 3D birch tree|
I bought this fabulous spring-loaded embroidery hoop – no tugging fabric and tightening screws here!
I bought a little cross stitch kit from The Cross Stitch Guild.
It is high time I learned to cross stitch (all that counting and following of a pattern intimidates me!). I was so keen to buy about half a dozen beautiful, complicated cross stitch projects here, I’m a sucker for natural linen tones and soft thread colours, but luckily my friend encouraged me to start with a beginner’s kit and work my way up. I tend to put the cart before the horse with a lot of projects...
In addition to all the exhibitors selling their wares, the show highlighted artists’ work with threads and yarn.
I was very intrigued by these mini galleries, and it set this exhibition apart from other craft shows I’ve attended. It was wonderful to see the crafts on a contemporary, truly artistic level.
One mini gallery showcased historical and modern crewelwork. Unfortunately, photography wasn’t allowed, but I was able to speak to a woman who was working on a piece of crewelwork, and after our conversation I was inspired to try my hand at it!
This little kit is from Sue Hawkins – her beautiful stall was chock full of tapestry, cross stitch, crewelwork, stumpwork...all in subtle shades and lovely fabrics.
And speaking of stumpwork, our favourite little stall, from the Embroiderers’ Guild, enchanted us with the most delicate stumpwork flora and fauna from this book
I was gutted that photography wasn’t permitted, because these were the most beautiful, perfect, delicate stitches I found at the show. The woman who created them was there, sitting at a table with tiny stumpwork acorns and leaves that I very nearly begged to take home! So I simply must buy this book and learn to do stumpwork.
Hmmm, I really am living up to my tagline, aren’t I? Life is most definitely one big WIP...
Thank you for reading my very lengthy ramblings today - time for a nice hot cup of tea!