I arrived to an already nearly full car park at Alexandra Palace at 10am as many people climbed up the hill to reach the Knitting & Stitching Show 2010. Having not been to a show of it's kind before I was intrigued as to what I might find there. Lots of older embroidery/knitting ladies seemed to be around and many of the stalls reflected that demographic/those interests - plenty of embroidery tools and devices for making somewhat twee pictures or patchwork, lots of felting and rather old fashioned looking stalls. But, the counter craft culture was definitely there too - Beyond Fabrics (a great fabric shop on Columbia Road in London) was my first port of call as I bought a couple of their designs. I had a good chat with the two Brazilian owners who seem very tapped into this type of new craft audience.
The gallery space also had some amazing pieces - some crazy millinery work by Deirdre Hawken, cool dog textile picture by Peter Clarke, a cool take on flying ducks by Claire Platt with her knitted variety and Lindsay Taylor: My Secret Garden was quite beautiful. The final room (Pavilion I think) had the East London Craft Guerrilla's curated space - I particularly liked Polka Dot Sundays work. This room also had the lovely Selvedge Drygoods stall - too much temptation but luckily (for my purse anyway) I had spend my day's quota by the point I found that stall so purely a window shopping exercise.
So, what else did I like? - the V&A had their stall selling fabrics from their quilting exhibition from earlier in the year and at 25% discount - glad I didn't buy any when I went to the see it! - and I found a new fabric shop, Eternal Maker, who distribute some gorgeous Japanese Echino and Kokka fabrics in the UK - plus a multitude of other beautiful prints. One for the favourites I think. Plus Cloth Kits with some of their cool designs on needle cord - I like!
Last, but by no means least, I spent a really mellow half hour in the Swishing Salon - a drop in and make space for adults and children alike. French knitting on a large scale seemed very popular with the school group that was there when I was sitting down and I joined a group of women making fascinators - courtesy of another great shop Fabrications . I was rather pleased with my bird and flower themed attempt!