So on Sunday my very lovely mother and I went up to London (leaving my amazing hubby with Lily for the day). In London was yarn heaven.
The Olympia Stadium in Kensington played host this weekend to the Knitting and Stitching Show. To me, it was like walking into a huge candy store and it was a beautiful experience.
Inside the two large exhibition halls it filled were a wide range of exhibitors. There was stands full of beautiful fabric, stunning yarn, beading accessories, embroidery bits and pretty much most everything a knitter could dream of owning. So pretty much everything for every beautiful one of you.
We arrived – due to a weird route up on the trains – about 30 minutes earlier than planned. This was great as it gave us a bit of time to have a nosy around some of the artwork that was in display.
These jumpers were really beautiful knits and I loved the concept of using your knits as artwork. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the plaque that told me the knitter – so if anyone knows who to credit please let me know! An extension of this could be to frame the images if the style of jumper isn’t to your tastes?
Slighting annoyingly I forgot to make a note of the very clever artist of this piece. But I really wanted to share it as it was one of a favourite pieces on display at the show. Its a fully stitched piece and looks absolutely stunning.
Another beautiful bit of knitting was in aid of the Louise Hamilton Trust (charity number 1106129) Hospice Appeal. Their aim is to raise £3 million to build a 10 bed hospice. There was an enchanted wood, a beautiful garden, a fish pond and a carousel. While they did have donation boxes by the displays you can donate a £1 by texting EKXS31 to 70070.
The garden was seriously impressive. If you are after a size reference, the centre flower bed was over meter wide. Overall, I thought the entire scene was the most amazing knit.
In contrast, the fishpond was a much smaller knit – although no less impressive. To create the effect of the fish being underwater they have been covered with a blue glittery netting.
The final piece, the carousel was also rather beautiful.
This wasn’t the only campaign running at the event. Innocent smoothies were also there to get knitters knitting for their Big Knit for Age UK. Unfortunately we were a bit short on time – so I brought a pattern home with me. It will be another good scrap yarn pattern and I have a local shop where I can drop my hats to.
The next part of are journey through yarny heaven was into the cable knitting masterclass we’d pre-booked (an extra £16 each on top of the £13 entry ticket). This was run by the lovely Monica Russel – who very kindly agreed to take a selfie with me for this blog post.
It was a really fantastic class. I had never even tried cable knitting before and now (even through I need some serious practice) I actually feel confident enough to pick up a cable knitting pattern to have a serious go. She provided 3 patterns for us to work from which covered 3 different styles – which gave us a really broad overview on the topic.
I will admit that the blue one was actually meant to be a fountain pattern… I got distracted by chatting to a lovely lady visiting from Pennsylvania and didn’t read the pattern properly…. But it was so lovely to meet fellow knitters! By the end of the class I’d brought Monica’s book 20 to Make – Knitted Snoods. The book is full of beautiful designs with a huge range of techniques. She also very kindly signed it for me. (Here the link for Amazon)
My first purchase of the day was a pair of serious huge wooden needles (24mm x 700mm type of huge) from Rachel John. I’ve seen this sort of size needles all over the internet, but never been able to find them. At some point it will be awesome to be able to knit a rug of a blanket using them. They were also selling yarn to go with them on the stand – but there was no way I was getting that much yarn home by train! It will be fun to figure that out later…
Although my feeling is that they might get used a a pair of lightsabers by my husband and child when she gets a bit older…. Hopefully I’ll get to use them to actually knit something before then. It’s going to be fun trying to figure out how to logistically knit with something that big!
My next buy was some actual yarn this time. The Trim Wool Shop caught my attention with some gorgeous multi-coloured wool and an amazing design for a spiral hat that they had designed. I came away from the stand £8 poorer, but happily gripping my new yarn purchase (Katia’s Azteca colour 7842).
My other yarny purchase was from Masami Yokoyama of the Euro Japan Trading Co. It features a ball of UK Alpaca Worsted Spun Hand Knit Yarn in Lavender and a Japanese pattern for a baby cape. It’s a beautiful pattern and it’s a different style of knitting that I have not tried before. So I’m really looking forward to giving this a go.
As my regular readers are aware, I do have a number of already yarn equipped projects planned for the year. So I decided to be a little bit sensible and buy some patterns on their own – with the idea of buying more yarn when I’ve made some headway with my other planned projects. I came back with some beautiful projects.
From Mrs Moon I came away with a beautiful project book which has some beautiful knits for babies. She also has some stunning crochet designs as well.
However, some of my favourite patterns where some really classical designs from Purl Alpaca Designs. I came away with patterns for the little grey dress for Lily and the brown dress for me. The plan is to make them in the same colour so we eventually match… It will look adorable.
Now, although I was actually pretty restrained and did not buy much yarn… I did do some research into the yarns available. Now I am starting to progress in my knitting, I want to be able to knit beautiful final pieces with some lovely wool. However, with that comes a price tag and I want to be able to justify that.
One company I was really looking forward to seeing was Wool and the Gang. I’ve seen a lot of their yarns on Instagram and was pretty tempted. Slightly disappointingly, I really wasn’t that impressed with the feel of their chunky yarn. It just didn’t sit right with me – although the colours are beautiful. However, what really did impress me was their yarn made with recycled denim – somewhere between cotton and DK weight. The amount of denim varies depending on the mix with cotton. But it is so soft and I would love to knit something in this.
I also got to have a feel of the yarn from Stitch and Story – it’s so soft and seriously beautiful in terms of the range of colours. Their example knits were also beautiful.
If you’re after some shiny/sparkly but beautiful yarn I recommend Debonnaire Yarns. The yarn knits up amazingly. However, it’s not cheap and that’s the reason why I have not come home with about 6 millions balls of it. To expensive for an impulse buy, but well worth it if you want to knit a beautiful shawl or cardigan. In all seriousness, I did fall in love with this yarn.
The other yarn that now hold a special place in my ‘must have’ list is from Yarn Telier. All the Cashmere yarns are so beautifully soft and are available online . At about £25 a ball I really need to have my heart set on a project. But when I do, it will be completely amazingly perfect.
So overall I did not actually come home with that much yarn – surprisingly. But I came home feeling so inspired and more informed about what I could do with this amazing hobby that is knitting. My project list has definitely grown and I will update the To make list when I have some time.
Thanks for reading and I seriously recommend the Knitting and Stitching Show for those of you who love knitting.
Love to you all, Mummy Brain Signing off,