Monday, 17 October 2016

The Knitting & Stitching Show 2016

The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace is such an inspiring event and I really look forward to going every year. This year's Show was on from Wednesday 5th to Sunday 9th October. For the the last few years I have been volunteering on the Knitting & Crochet Guild (KCG) Stand and I am very proud to represent the Guild at the Show. 

The entrance at Alexandra Palace
Our stand showcases items from the Guild's Collection and this year we had seasonal display boards with motifs made from stitch patterns. The stand featured the Autumn and Winter boards with their gorgeous colour palettes. We were also able to show visitors designs from the Spring and Summer boards plus all the amazing background work in an excellent display folder. 

KCG Autumn Display Board

KCG Winter Display Board
A selection of lovely sample knits were also displayed on the stand and we had some interesting discussions about stitch construction as visitors looked through them all.

KCG Collection Knitted Samples
Visitors also stopped to chat to us when they spotted us in our smart new aprons: what an excellent idea by Tricia! The aprons were in white cotton with the Guild logo at the top and had deep front pockets for our yarn and needles. It was great to be able to stand and knit while talking to visitors. I was delighted to find that lots of people were interested in my short row shaping sample. One visitor from Melbourne, Australia even came back to see me on Sunday for another demo!

Short Row Shaping sample

This year the Guild had a whole afternoon slot every day for "Crafters in Action". We were able to demonstrate all kinds of knitting and crochet techniques as our volunteers had brought along lots of exciting projects to share. The table was decorated with beautiful knit and crochet designs and we had many visitors stopping for a closer look. There were plenty of questions and comments about crochet techniques and we had some great discussions, especially about Tunisian crochet. There were several happy visitors leaving with a successful sample. 

The Guild's stand at the show relies on members volunteering their time and skills and this year we had lots of helping hands. This meant there was time for everyone to have a look around the show! I was able to attend two excellent Japanese design events. On Saturday afternoon Katie from Japan Crafts demonstrated how to put on the many layers of a kimono. Katie dressed a tailor's dummy to show us the stages involved. Kimono dressing is a much more physically demanding process that I could ever of imagined, designed to firstly turn the wearer into a cylinder shape with many layers and much padding, then to precicely fold and drape the kimono over these layers. Finally a stunning obi is arranged and folded to compete the dressing. Katie's descriptions and commentary were fascinating and the kimono and obi were very beautiful. 

Kimono and Obi
Japan Crafts
Detail from Obi
Japan Crafts

On Sunday morning, I attended Katie's Sashiko workshop in the Learning Centre. Sashiko is a traditional Japanese stitching technique and the beautiful designs are very inspiring. It was great to actually try some stitching. Katie is an excellent tutor and explained clearly how to tackle these complex patterns. I'll be looking out for more talks and workshops from Katie and Japan Crafts (although Katie is in such demand that she is fully booked through 2017!). I can't wait for next year's show already!

Sashimi Stitching Samples
Japan Crafts

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