Saturday, 13 October 2007

Ally Pally!

An exhausting day at the Knitting & Stitching Show today, but oh my it was great fun. Hideous damage was done to my wallet... stash photos tomorrow when the light is better.

Arrived at Alexandra Palace to see a river of women (and it was mainly women; male knitters were seen occasionally but really the place did lack Y chromosomes and the queues for the loos were a sight to steel the bladder) flowing up the steps to the entrance. I hadn't been to the show before and was astonished at the number of people there even at 10am for the start. I knew it would be crowded, but even so... But that's a good thing of course. Bring on the knitters!

Met up with Ting on arrival and we checked out the smallest of the three halls - not much in there apart from Selvedge magazine and a nice woman from City & Guilds - I've been looking for an evening class now I actually have evenings so I might think about it. Stopped for a quick coffee until Tash and Caroline arrived, then it was off to tackle the main hall.

Although sorely tempted by the huge Colinette stall right in front of the main doors (such an obvious marketing ploy), we sensibly chose a systematic approach and started at the far corner of the hall. I will only say that we staggered out five hours later, broken women staggering under the weight of bags and desperate for a sit down. We were barely able to enter the middle hall, and indeed only popped in for Habu to fulfil a request from Gail - admittedly we were then distracted by some truly beautiful cashmere but we did call it a day at that point. We had no strength left.

Tired but happy, we were most grateful for Tash's car to effect a swift getaway rather than having to wait for the W3 bus to turn up, although the trek to said car did involve us trying to get down a grassy slope when we couldn't find the steps, and me skidding on a load of fallen acorns and landing on my arse even as I was warning the others about their existence under the trees and their ball-bearing-like qualities. Luckily no yarn was harmed, and as a secondary consideration neither was I.

Back to mine for afternoon tea and quite a lot of cake, and most importantly the sheer wonderfulness of not being in a room with thousands of rabid yarn-fiends elbowing each other out of the way to grab that last skein of quviut. Our peace was only shattered by the arrival of the boyfriend and seven of his rock climbing buddies, almost as tired as we were. They were useful in polishing off all the cake.

Unbelieveably all that left me far too knackered to go to the birthday party I was meant to be attending in Soho - sorry S! Which was a shame because I had been going to see some of my old university Morris dance team (yes, that is what I just said) again for the first time in a couple of years, but I had no idea yarn shopping could be quite so exhausting. Far better to be sitting here listening to Brain of Britain and stroking my purchases.

Some photos from the day:

Mmmm Colinette...

Stalking some truly horrendous knitwear by pretending to take photos of each other - sorry madam but oh my god, this is what gives knitters a bad name. I know you made it yourself and we respect your craft, but your obvious skills could be better utilised on something else. Perhaps the lovely stock from Get Knitted you are looking at will inspire you:

And the same goes for you, hideous pixie hat woman:

Searing my retinas on some fluorescent yellow yarn, ick:

Cross-stitch - fine. Not my bag but some, including Caroline's favourite the owl, were OK. But please tell me who on earth does a big cross-stitch portrait of Princess Diana?

This glitter stall was just asking for trouble with that martini glass display:

At the last stall before we gave up, where the lovely cashmere stall owner (lovely cashmere and lovely owner) agreed to take our photo in front of his stock. Not least because we'd all spent lots of money there. As you'll see we had lots of bags by this point:

The bags completely filled the boot of Tash's "yarn-wagon":

Recovering at mine with the life-giving power of tea and cakes:

What fun!

P.S. Consensus amongst my fairly large sample seemed to be that the ginger-cashew things were the best baked goods on the table. Thank you Aussie WW!


rebecca said...

I have just come across your blog via Gails and had to tell you I have just had the fright of my life after spotting myself in one of you photos. (I am the one chatting to my friend in the beret whilst spending far too much money at the Texere stand)

It is quite an odd feeling seeing yourself on someone else's blog!

Ginger Lucy said...

Oh wow, that must have been weird for you, hope you didn't mind too much! So you were able to shield your eyes from the glare of the fluorescent yarn long enough to buy then!