Monday, October 23, 2006

Bitch'n stitch'n

I had a crafty day off Friday 10 days ago.

I made my way to the Ally Pally (Alexandra Palace) for a day's browsing, buying, getting inspiration and generally indulging myself textiles-wise.

As the tube train neared Wood Green (NE London) gradually the commuter-types got off.
Then the tourist-types. And the student-types.
Then the shift worker types got off to go home for a sleep.

Leaving me.

And "women of a certain age".

I was surrounded by grey hair.

All on its way to the Knit and Bitch Bitching and Stitching Twitching and Snitching Knitting and Stitching show.

Fortunately the recently-trendy reputation of knitting and hand-made-felt and stuff ("stuff" is, of course, a technical textile term) has had an impact on such events. When I got in to the exhibition, I discovered that the demographic has really shifted since last time I attended the show. There were plenty of younger people there, school and college groups, and young trendy people. Almost all female, obviously - but as many under 30 as over 40.

Phew, relief.

(By the way, why couldn't we do such interesting things as part of our creative school curriculum? Our school sewing class involved making bookmarks and gingham skirts. It put me right off for years. My finger got caught once in/by the sewing machine needle - I'm sure it was a freudian slip of reaction against the tedium and lack of creativity.)

The Stitchy Witchy Knitting and Stitching Show is partly exhibition space - including textiles graduate shows and work from a range of textile artists and groups - and partly market place.

There is, admittedly, a bit of this:

in the market place.

Click to enlarge if you have the courage.

And even worse - look at this below -

No, better still, don't look.

Hah! you couldn't stop yourself, could you?

But mostly it was interesting, creative, inspirational and/or lovely work and/or supplies.

This was from the Debbie Bliss (knitwear designer) exhibition stand. All knitted. Fab.

Below is work from one of the textile graduates shows:

work by Laura Baggley

and I'm so sorry I didn't get the name of the next designer - she had some great conceptual pieces to do with motherhood. Those are feeding-bottle teats embedded in the knitting.

There is always a quilt exhibition, and here are some of the ones I particularly liked:

"Darkness at Bay" by Christine Restall

Winter Wheat by Elizabeth Brimelow

"Tutti Fruiti"



both by Janet McCallum.

One of the best things about the whole day was Rachel John's Extreme Knitting - see my other blog for more detail about that.

The market place had lots of scrumptious buttons and beads for sale.
I thought of Dons more than once during the day - in fact, Donna, why don't we make it a date for next October? (then we'll meet in October and November) (and theres always Spring CL) (hee hee)

And here are my purchases, some gorgeous (and cheap!) hemp, and in the bag silk noils (raw silk to most of us - the type of silk with bits in it) - for spinning. Actually, the hemp and silk would be gorgeous used together. When/if I get around to it....

and in the meantime, they are lovely to gloat over.

And a selection of bits and pieces - mostly buttons and beads...

I was very restrained.

I also bought a couple of presents for other people.
I am not willing to admit that these gifts are in any way connected with the approaching festive season, which I will not WILL NOT think about until we have got through at least the rest of October and November.


Anonymous said...

The quilts are lovely..especially the Fruit and Tutti Frutti...but not so sure about a titty top...

My ex-MIL is a quilting whizz and has exhibited her work a lot - she does truly wonderful African and abstract designs..we had a quilt for our bed once, that she was fab..then our house was burgled and it was stolen. I loved it and cried for it...ptb...

I wouldn't go ga-ga at a craft fair..but put me at a DIY/decor fair and I'll go wild...I love door and drawer handles...have a growing collection.

PG said...

AARGHH!!! I clicked on the naff pictures, be afraid, be very afraid.

Joyce said...

Oh. My.
What a feast for the eyes.
visually orgasmic.

Anonymous said...

That knitted sofa cover is tops too..just been looking again..I COVET it!

Bring it on baby!

Molly Bloom said...

Oh, that is so very strange. All day long I've been thinking about you and buttons and now I've come here and there *are* buttons. How lovely. I just kept thinking of those lovely buttons you have. I was going to write a story about them. Please remind me to - my head is like a sieve.

I just loved this. My smile got bigger and bigger as I went along. I do have to say...I really like those knitted dolls. It just reminds me of my nan so much, because she would always knit them for me. And make knitted clothes for them. So, I always smile when I see them. So, I might be in a minority...but I think they are lovely.

The teat one is fascinating isn't it? Wow!

Molly Bloom said...

I'd agree with Wendz as well..that sofa is divine!

Pod said...

goodness! of course i loved the titty top. i bet it turned a few of the old biddies stomachs. i bet some of them looked awaty and mentally spat! i also refuse to think of christmas. three, yes THREE weeks ago, i spotted a santa claus walking around the city advertising the xmas shop. aside from being way too early, can you imagine seeing santa in the sweltering heat. it just doesnt work....

Anonymous said...

I checked out this blog and your other. You are AMAZING! Simply amazing! I wish I could take your classes (but you're in the UK and I'm in San Diego).

Athena Aurelius (a nom de plume)

Calamity Tat said...

Hi letty, oh don't look at me don't look at me etc.... Well I, as you know started textiles when Floss was a baby, did 4 years of it as you know and quite often went to Ally Pally.. I found it on one hand inspirational and the other revolting !! a mixture.. yes there were women of a certain age and there was us... I started a quilting course also but had to give up as everyone bar me was retirement age plus, nothing wrong with that, only I hated everything they were doing and couldn't cope with it.
I am glad it's all trendy now...I love that sofe, it would last 5 mins in my house... don't you think my house is always that clean Letty??
so, donc, a plus baby...

grumpy old woman said...

Thanks for this entry. Some fab stuff (meant in the non-technical textile sense!).

lettuce said...

Glad you all enjoyed this. And thanx Anon, how nice of you to say so.

I like hand-knitted dolls too Molly. LG had some, knitted by a friend, which she'd have parted with long ago, but I've kept them ....

Anonymous said...

Will you be bringing out your cheap hemp tomorrow I wonder?


Sorry - I know! It was a terrible thing to say, but I just couldn't help myself!? :O)

Donna said...

Great loking show Letty. Yes I would love to come it looks heavenly :-)

It's a shame that there is always nasty crafty stuff in amongst the really creative stuff but I suppose it appeals to some (well many really otherwise it wouldn't survive).

I am nearly always the youngest by far at my courses but I don't mind at all. I do my own thing and we end up learning from each other. I was once described as 'that little blonde girl who sits over there'. Hehehehe I'm forty bloody two for goodness sakes!

Donna said...

Oh and I meant to say, love your purchases :-)

lettuce said...

hello little blonde girl - I'd love you to come on my outing next year!

And as for you Trac - hahahahahahahahahahah.

(will you be bringing any less cheap hemp with you?)

Bird said...

what an exhibition.

harumph. "women of a certain age." harumph and argh and ack and blech!

the pic with the dolls is entirely too SCARY for me.

love the quilts -will have to send my sister over your way to look - she is an accomplished quilter and will quite enjoy these pics.

lettuce said...

hahaha - maybe i should have made it clearer that I am myself "of a certain age", strictly speaking, if not willing to think of myself in those terms.

Molly Bloom said...

Just managed to get into the comments...I had such a lovely time. Thankyou so much. I shall do a button post in a minute. It will be a live post, so I'm not sure how it will come out. But it will be for you and trac.

Molly Bloom said...

Part 25

Nancy tried to sew all of her thoughts together. The sparkling light led her on and on until she found a hollow in a tree. It was lined with crochet-dreams and silk-cushions filled with honey.

Now go to part 26.

Anonymous said...

Oh Molls - you are class!

Jay said...

I always associated the needlepoint stuff with grandmothers or maiden aunts, but recently I was at an art exhibit that featured needlepoint that was provocative, sexy, obscene...the contrast was startling and effective.

Carlotti said...

A feast for the eyes! I have to say I prefer the feast right here on my computer, where I can enjoy while sipping my coffee and wearing my cozy housecoat. Those places are so overwhelming. So much stuff.

Count me in on the "I love knitted dolls" club. I even made a few when I was a geeky teenager; knitted elephants in knitted outfits. Hmmmmmm..... where would people like THAT fit into the spectrum of folks who go to those places?!

Janet McCallum said...

I can't believe it! You liked my quilts enough to take pictures and put them on your blog - thank you thank you
thank you!


Janet McCallum said...

I can't believe it! You liked my quilts enough to take pictures and put them on your blog - thank you thank you
thank you!