Sunday, October 10, 2010

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Here I am in Dublin at my mother in law's house. The children have gone for a sleepover at their cousin's place and husband has gone to the pub for a drink with his brother. I opted to stay at home and upload some pictures and knit a little.

The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace was fantastic, although I do admit to feeling a little lonely while I was looking at the exhibits and textile art installations. At times I found myself talking to no-one in particular, and then feeling a little sheepish when nobody answered me back.

The venue itself is spectacular, and I was lucky enough to go in the morning of the first day and the crowds weren't too bad. Maybe a few more schoolgirl groups than I'd like, but not a jostling crowd like I've seen at the Darling Harbour shows.

The huge popularity of knitting and yarn was clear - most women were talking about only being there for the knitting - and there were many many yarn stands. I was particularly starstruck by the Jamieson and Smith display - the whole range, all the colours, and the lovely scottish women working there. The Rowan stand had the lot; fabric, patterns, buttons, yarn - it took up four spaces. I met the koigu people (who were lovely), the habu people (from the New York store), the Buffalo Gold man (with his £30 a skein bison yarn) and saw lots of yarn I'vee never seen before; like Spud and Chloe, there was also some fibrespates, and a beautiful English longwool with the most gorgeous lustre that I'm kicking myself I didn't buy.

One of the busiest yarn stalls was a pretty rudimentary affair, presentation wise anyway. Piled on the floor were bags and bags of discontinued Rowan, Sublime, Debbie Bliss, Mirasol and many others. I picked up two bags of Sublime baby cashmere/merino/silk dk for £22.99 per bag.

From another stall I got two zauberball - one lace and one fish - and from koigu, two skeins of koigu in the most amazing purple and gold combination.

I also picked up some fabulous buttons with bees on them, but I didn't take a photo of them.

The textile art installations and exhibits were out of this world. I didn't have a lot of time to really look at them, but they were like nothing I'd ever seen before. And there was an entire wing of artisans chosen by a group called 'craft guerillas' - I haven't done any research about them but the stalls in that wing were the most innovative and fresh textile wearable art peices I've ever seen or imagined.

But, dear readers, I have a confession to make. I've left it right to the end to say it, in the hope that not all of you have read this far.

I succumbed to the lure of a novelty yarn.

But can you really blame me when, just hours after casting it on (you just push the needle through the yarn in a few places to cast on) I had this gorgeous thing?

Ridiculous, I know .. But I love it anyway ..

And, last but not least - do you want to know what everyone is wearing? One of the big trends is - not only in clothing but evidently in everything including yarn in the UK - it's vintage/my fair lady style (or military) - kind of post-war fifties British style of making do - which includes knitting. Everyone is all over wool - they've even yarn bombed Browns Focus!

All the high street fashion shops like topshop, h&m, zara - even M & S - the whole range of clothes have been made made to look old and second hand - it's all crushed velvet, aged denim, tiny floral patterns on dresses, lace up brogues. And chuck out the ghd - straight hair is dead.

Anyway, I'm off to the Irish countryside tomorrow for a pub lunch with the rest of my husband's big family. Sorry about the long post!


MadMad said...

Oh, that sounds awesome - though I imagine it's tough not having a friend/fellow knitter to share with! I would totally talk to myself, too, and not even worry about it. I CRACKED RIGHT UP about your novelty yarn; it is quite a "controversial" item at the LYS where I work. We can't keep it in stock - even in the most atrocious colors, people just can't seem to get enough - but one of my co-workers hates it so much she tells everyone "not to smoke near it," and that "it's so gross!" Even with all that, people just can't help themselves, and buy it right up. It's fun and it's cute, and hey, it's not furry, right? Enjoy the rest of your trip!

LynS said...

Thank you for your long post - why apologise? I love long posts. I'm envious of your visit to the Ally Pally - but I really sympathise with that feeling of just wishing you'd bought something you worked so hard to resist while you were there. Thanks for the fashion observations. I like the sound of oxford brogues, though the rest of your descriptions are of clothes that would make me look even more like the grandmother I am. Please keep posting.

Rose Red said...

mmmm Ally Pally - like all the best experiences, they are even better if you've got someone there to share it with. Lucky you can sort of share it with us!

(I'm quite taken with your novelty yarn purchase too...)

NessaKnits said...

Put me in your pocket if you ever go again!

drkknits said...

the best thing about this post, apart from the post itself, is the bit about straight hair being dead. thank f*ck for that! and for a novelty yarn, thats really bloody nice! i wish i had been there to help with your aloneness (i hate that feeling). next time we should organise that a bit better. miss you xx

travellersyarn said...

I love the long post and fashion tips. Thank goodness for the end of straight hair, and I would be quite taken with the novelty scarf.

1funkyknitwit said...

OMG... I LOVE that growth around your neck, I so want one!

My ghd's I'm afraid died when my hair got lopped, and my hair now has a mind of it's own regardless what the fashion is.

This post is super and long but terrific, I hung off every word, so envious right now and wish I were there!!


Katriona Robertson said...

Oh, I wish I could have come and listened to your mutterings, but we were down in Kent until late that night. Went on the Friday, lots of school girls that day too. Looking forward to catching up soon!
It's Wool Week here, and all the shops are proclaiming that Knits are IT

Naomi said...

I have been to Alexandra Palace to one of the stitching shows and it is a lovely place, i went alone to as i had nobody to go along with. but still enjoyed myself.

That view in your photo is not far from where i work.

No need to appologise for long posts it is your blog post as you please :o)

Sheridan said...

Sounds wonderful! I agree its always nice to have someone to turn around and talk to. I am finding it hard to feel sorry for you though, LOL!

Keep the long posts coming. I am loving hearing about your adventures! You are so lucky!