Friday seems to be the day where I do all of my extra-curricular activities, resulting in another one of those creative/inspiration/knitting posts for you. I honestly didn’t think the Knitting and Stitching Show (a massive craft fair, with a lot of grannies and baby knitting patterns) would be anything to write home about. Although I’d been to the event last year and found some interesting yarns and patterns, I wasn’t sure how an event popular with the older generation would appeal to me apart from a few interesting stands (there were even free samples of Wellwoman 50+ capsules at reception). The main reason for going, was to hunt for the perfect black yarn to re-knit the circle scarf I stupidly lost in a bar earlier this year, as I had a very specific type in mind and wanted to visit all of the UK’s yarn shops in one place. Of course, with the amount of stalls there, it was easy to get sidetracked, and I just had to get a closer look at some giant, chunky knit dresses reminiscent of something Giles Deacon might create.
The bold colours of the giant Woolfish knits drew me to the stand; I was fascinated by the garments that are literally knitted by hand, meaning no needles are necessary. Simple yet voluminous shapes can be created, so anyone can try their hand (no pun intended) at being a wannabe Sandra Backlund.
I just had to try one on (I don’t really know why my face is doing this expresion). There is another picture floating around of me in the full ensemble, complete with hat and bag, which makes me look like a bright knitted creature. Let me know if you want to see it.
This lady literally knitted a hat in 3 minutes.
I tried to have a go at this ‘hand’ knitting. Got totally confused.
Another thing I wasn’t expecting was this small yet fantastic graduate exhibition, sponsored by Knitting magazine. I believe they are competing for one of three cash prizes, which is always useful after the crazy amount of debt a student course can rack up. I think I’d previously seen some of the entrants work on Fashion 156 (and posted about a few here) so it was great to see them up close. plus sketchbooks. Some of the students were even at the stands and available for a quick chat. The above close-up is by Beatrice K Newman, who was inspired by the opulent Russian Royal family. I remember reading the interview on Knitkicks, and being amazed by the amount of techniques that she used in combination to manipulated the knitted pieces.
I was also glad to see this installation of Georgie Strood’s work, with all of the styling details included. I think a knitted bracelet is something I should work on…
Trent graduate Georgina Bavalia is also in the running her futuristic, LED infused designs
Harriot Smith’s collection was inspired by teacups
Jenny Postle also did a placement at Cooperative Designs; I really liked the unusual shape of this jumper as part of her ‘Illusions’ theme
Te-Chien Chen looked at industrial landscapes
My small haul; I’m glad I have some new yarn shops to visit
As I write this, the show is almost over (though it’s in Harrogate next month) and although it can be a pricey day out and a bit of a mission to get to, I’m glad I went. I treated myself to only a few things, as knitting can be an expensive business (I seemed to naturally gravitate to the alpaca wool which was £11 a ball). As a grey obsessive, I had to get the really nice wool mix that was £2 a ball for a future hat project and some Appliglue to embellish some (probably grey) tights with crystals, Doo Ri style. I’m slightly regretting not buying a pattern for a really chunky cable jumper, but I do have a slight backlog of knitting projects, so will try and complete these first (the cricket cardigan is being knitted in all my spare moments) before attempting something new. Unfortunately the black yarn I wanted for my scarf wasn’t in stock at the show, but I’ve ordered it online, so hopefully I can knit it soon and my neck will stay nice and warm this Winter!