Well after looking forward to it for months today was my visit to Ally Pally. I've not been able to visit before but have heard so much about it.
There were quite a few coach trips going from this area but I managed to book onto one with several friends from the local knitting groups. I was one of the last of this group to get on (there were several pickups) to find that the back seats upstairs had been nabbed for our motley crew. Memories of the naughty kids always sitting on the back seat lept to mind and sure enough we were the loudest bunch on the coach.
The journey went smoothly and we arrived just before 10 o'clock. Soon we were in and mooching about. Unfortunately many of the stalls and exhibits had signs up asking people not to take photographs so I couldn't take piccys of all the lovely yummy things we found. I did take a few shots and hopefully none were of things people didn't want photographed.
This is the most amazing miniture quilt. It was part of an exhibition stand and was no more than 18 inches or so across. The detailing was amazing. I really admire quilts and maybe one day I will have enough spare time to have a go. There were certainly many wonderful examples there including the most beautiful teddy bear one. I really wanted to take a photo of that but the lady whose stall it was said no. That sort of thing was disappointing but fair play I certainly understand. It was a little harder to understand with the exhibition stalls, kind of seems to defeat the object of exhibiting but I suppose people are worried about copys being made or something. Anyway I can away with the details of the lady with the Teddy bear quilt and maybe at some point in the near future I'll persuade one of my quilting friends to help me get started.
Now these beautiful baubles were really eye catching. Again beading is a craft that I've not really explored much but these really stood out. I didn't price them as I don't decorate my home for Christmas, between 3 cats, 2 dogs and a tendancy to visit family anyway I don't really see the point. However if I did I could so easily see these gracing the lounge and flickering in candle light.
Now this huge, errr, white thing was on exhibition. It caught my eye from a distance although I'm not entirely sure what it was. It reminded me of a cross between a snowflake, a net curtain and a stencil. I suppose it was a wall hanging. Regardless I stood staring at it for quite a while.
Some of the big names you'd expect to see were also there. The two photos above were taken on the Rowan stand. I have a strange relationship with Rowan. I really want to like it, especially the yarn, but invariably I'm disappointed. If you get a good batch then it's great but I find a lot of balls have knots. I once bought a 50g ball and it had three knots in it. So now I tend to admire Rowan and but buy it.
So what did I actually buy? Well a beautiful leather handbag for my mother, some yarn to make a knitted Bagpuss and some wonderful hand dyed worsted weight silk. The Bagpuss is an Alan Dart pattern and when I saw it I just knew it was going right to the top of my list of projects. I don't really remember the tv program much but it must have made an impression on me as a child. Whenever I see a photo of Bagpuss I always want to reach out and cuddle him. So now maybe I'll get my own Bagpuss to cuddle. The pattern calls for Aran yarn but I couldn't find any of that in appropriate colours anywhere so had to settle for it in dk. Still I can't see why it shouldn't work in dk provided I'm consistant throughout. Fingers crossed....
Well like many knitters and crafters who were at the show today I'm now at home, drinking a cuppa and wondering if it's to early to sneak off to bed. Perhaps there will be wolly dreams of all the lovely projects I can make out of all the yummy yarn I bought, all presided over by the comforting presence of a Bagpuss......