Knit show extravaganza!

I attended my first knitting show/exhibition/fair thing today! It was Twisted Thread’s Knitting and Stitching Show, on this weekend at Alexandra Palace in Muswell Hill.

It was a perfect sunny day to head up the hill and I managed to get there reasonably early, around 11, so managed to catch a good hour of calm browsing before the bulk of the crowds arrived. This is the view that greeted me on entry:

I have to say, I was pretty excited about the whole thing and was very pleased to be around like-minded folk for a day! The atmosphere (despite the numerous school groups of giggling teenagers!) was friendly and blissfully courteous for London; People saying ‘excuse me’ when they bumped into you – a rarity in London – at least until the crowds swelled and the more typical Big Smoke impatience started to creep in!

I decided to seek out a coffee and then start methodically working my way through the aisles when I encountered this scene:

I nearly swallowed my tongue. Massive mounds of sale yarn bundles…and not one – but TWO! This was the Black Sheep Craft Barn, Black Sheep Wool‘s exhibit. People were calmly perched on the edges, demurely looking at the packages nearest to them in calm contemplation. I was astounded. I think I stood there for a bit with flies diving in and out of my maw until I realised what I must look like! Of course coffee was abandoned while I waded in and rummaged for a bit.

I surfaced with a modest 2 bags of Rowan Purelife, organic wool which is naturally dyed, in a light shade I can overdye if I want. At £14.99 for 10 it was too good to pass up! I have used this yarn before in my Knubby Moss Wristwarmers and a stripe in my Miriam, and it is lovely – dense with great stitch definition and wears very well. Oh and NOT ITCHY. With high abrasion it hardly pills, and with low abrasion, just sits there looking crisp and new.

Here is my hoard of booty from the day:

I admit I went a little overboard. It’s been a crappy health week and have been feeling a little down, so I figured I could justify some retail therapy! Nothing says ‘cheer up’ like stash plumping. (Yes, I know I said I was going to ease off on adding to the collection until I use more of it up…but that’s life.)

I managed to track down the Habu Textiles people and went a tiny bit nuts at their booth. I’ll be doing some more posts on the day, so will explain more on this later. It was amazing to finally be able to touch fabrics knit in their weird materials!!

I finally found myself a knitting basket – Lantern Moon, from the shop Addicted2Knit. I had seen these online a few months ago and googled for ages trying to track down a UK supplier, but no go…and then today she was just there waiting for me. How could I refuse to bring her home with me? (The basket. Not the supplier.)

I have also been looking for a tasteful and contemporary shawl brooch…and at the same booth ta-dah:

They had a few lovely ones. This one is a patina-d brass, embossed with an almost fingerprint, or wood-grain like texture (makes me think of a seed, but I can’t think from WHAT. Think a tree.), and comes with a nice thin, dark wood spike. You can see them all and order from their site, along with the basket above.

Lastly, I got 2 kinds of interesting ribbon for button plackets.

The black peacock one was from an amazing Indian flavoured stall, Aarti J’s, that had some really beautiful mirrored ribbons and beaded embellishments. Some really bling-y and over the top, but others that you could use sparingly to great effect. You can see their catalogue here.

The cheery bottom ribbon is from Textile Garden in Henfield. I have just been checking out their online offer and they have tons of fab contemporary wooden and shell buttons and some super cool ribbon. Hardly a gnome-r in the lot, which is super rare for trimmings in my experience!

Check out the raven wood buttons. I was tempted by these, but have seriously cut myself off from any more button purchases at the moment. So Poe.

Or perhaps a little squirrel ribbon for the an inside detail on a button plackett?
Or maybe, just maybe, you might be the type of person who has a dachshund obsession (ahem. Not naming any names.):
Speaking of weiners…check out the wire haired wein I saw and got to paw!
It really was a perfect day.

**update** I lost the shawl brooch the very first day I wore it. Sadness. Guess I have learned my lesson on shawl brooches with straight ‘pins’.