Monday, 15 October 2012

Ally Pally 2012

Yesterday was my first visit to the Knitting and Stitching Show, which is held at Alexandra Palace each October. Just out of interest, you can read about the history of the building here.

The inside of the show was vast, with two large (mahoosive) rooms and then further stands and displays in other smaller areas. The picture doesn't convey the scale of the area, the size was almost overwhelming.
From talking to other members of my knitting group who have been to the show before, I was expecting to want to spend lots of money, so had been saving in anticipation. I wasn't let down on the shopping front, there were LOTS of things I wanted to buy, but I had gone with a list of things I really wanted, which I stuck to, allowing myself to choose a few skeins of yarn too.

I have been looking at interchangeable knitting needles on line for a while and found this set for a good price, with no additional postage costs of course. Instead of buying a larger set, which I had considered, I decided to get a smaller starter set and bought additional needles in the sizes I know I will actually use as the bigger set had lots of larger sizes that I wouldn't use at the moment, given that all my latest yarn purchases have been 4ply and lace weight.

Mostly, I used the day to visit retailers I have previously bought from on line, so that I could get a feel for un-tried products in the flesh and also make some postage-free purchases. I visited Blooming Felt to stock up a little.

The Eternal Maker was selling Sherbet Pips fabric for a massively reduced £3 per meter. I stood patiently waiting to add to my collection but two ladies in front of me had also spotted the bargain, so by the time my turn came I only got one meter. I was still pleased. I love this fabric.
One of my favourite stands was Fyberspates. I have long admired and coveted this yard when I have seen it being knitted up by SnB members and I made three separate visits to the stand before deciding on a couple of skeins. This picture does the yarn no justice, especially the colours. The bottom one is a really gorgeous kind of racing green with beautifully rich and deep tones. It is soft and lovely too.

Another lovely stand was The Crochet Chain. I have looked at their website a few times as they sell Drops Alpaca at a really good price. It was good to have a squish.
As the name suggests, the show is not just aimed at knitters and crocheters; there is also plenty to tempt the sewer. Lately, I have got my knitting head on and I really don't need any fabric but inspired by the quilt that Fiona made for her daughters sixteenth ( read about it here) I had decided that I will make my daughter a quilt for her birthday, which is in December.
I had already stared a quilt for her, using Clarke and Clarke fabric which she had chosen before the current Goth, sorry, 'Emo' phase but that has now been discarded as being too pink and flowery. Considering her current colour of choice (note, singular) and her love of horses, I chose these fabrics to try again with.
I couldn't resist sneaking in some Summersville
By the early afternoon, I was getting uncomfortably hot and was really rather shopped out, so I had a little stroll around the outside of the palace, which has the most amazing views of London sprawling away to the south.

I returned inside for the last hour and wandered around the exhibition pieces, which we were politely asked not to photograph. We were allowed to take pictures of this knitted village though, which was brilliant.

Whilst outside, I had a quick look at Twitter to see if anyone had mentioned the show. Angela from This is Wiss had tweeted to say that she was helping out on the Ray-Stitch stand so when I went back in I went along to meet her which was lovely as I have been reading her blog for some time now.

Overall, I was pleased to be able to stock up on such lovely yarns and supplies in one place but was rather disappointed by the lack of inspirational content; it seems unfair to ask people to pay £15 to shop when you know that it would have cost the stallholders a small fortune to be at the show.

Travelling home on the coach, I managed to finish the shawlette I stared in this post. It needs blocking to finish it, which I have never attempted before, but I will poop back again soon to show you the results.

I can't wait to get started on my next project now that  have lovely new needles and really lovely yarn so I will be getting lost in Ravelry for a few hours to decide on a project.

What are you working on at the moment?

Thanks for reading,
Beth x


  1. The yarn looks gorgeous! I really wanted to go to the show, but it was just too far to manage what with juggling the three children.

    I'm working on some knitting too at the moment, but also being sidetracked by looking at new yarns rather than just finishing what I've started!

    1. You probably saved yourself a small fortune though! x


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