Monday, 11 October 2010

Ally Pally Knitting and Stitching Show 2010

It started off as a military operation. Here’s what I told my bemused friend Sarah before we entered Ally Pally:
“Right, first of all go for a wee. Here’s lunch and a bottle of water I picked up for you earlier. When we get in there we’ll take one room at a time and work from the back of the room to the front making sure not to miss any aisles. You have two choices on how to work the show; either we do a preliminary sweep of the whole exhibition without buying anything and then do a second sweep buying the things you definitely want, or you only make considered purchases as you work your way round, no impulse buys. If you get lost, call me on my mobile.”
She thought I was being a bit over zealous and suggested that perhaps we should carry distress whistles. By the end of the day she admitted that my plan was an essential one as I’m sure many of my fellow Ally Pally veterans will agree.

The plan ensured that my purchases were considered ones; considered but more importantly fabulous! I bought the Bright Young Things pattern book from Millamia Sweden which I’d coveted earlier this year at Knit Nation. As there was 10% off I also bought the yarn for the cutest project in the book; a little stripy babygrow for Florence. The founders of Millamia, sisters Katerina and Helena Rosen kindly let me take their picture with their sample babygrow. I better start it soon before she gets too big for it!

The other hit of the show for me was the V&A stall. They were selling beautiful fabric, printed with designs from quilts in the V&A collection, all for 10% off. I bought two of the same bundles for just £15 each. The price on the ticket was £25, so I reckon this was a serious bargain. I’m hoping to make a quilt with these bundles at some point, but the Christmas quilt really needs to get going first.

I also got some nice needles from The Little Knitting Company.

As always the student and exhibition works were amazing to wander though and take inspiration from. The Black Sheep yarn dive was typically popular and the Stitch London stall had quite a crowd round it. I had a nice chat with Susan Crawford of Knit on the Net, who let me know that there will be a Volume 2 of the beautiful vintage knitting pattern book A Stitch In Time which will be available to pre-order soon.

All my pictures from the day an be found here.

All in all it was a good show. Not the best Ally Pally I’ve been to as I did notice that quite a few regular vendors weren’t there this year. This was most likely down to the more knitting specific shows such as Knit Nation and the I Knit weekender. Stalls are so expensive at these events that vendors are becoming a bit more selective of which shows they spend money on coming to. But for another year the biggest stitching show has come and gone. See you in 2011 Ally Pally and next time I’m bringing distress whistles.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the info about Ally Pally. I have long thought that it would be a good thing to visit this annual show just to say that I'd been but I haven't yet made it up from Hampshire to visit. Perhaps I'll see you there next year!