Thursday, 17 October 2013

Ally Pally 2014

It's that time of year again when The Knitting and Stitching show rolls into Ally Pally and empties our pockets, but leaves us with a ton of inspiration and a big smile on my face. 

This year I went on a Sunday for the first time and it was no more or less busy than any other time I've visited the show during the week, so tactics for trying to visit during a quiet time should be thrown out of the window from now on. It was just Mum and I trawling the halls this year but I had such a great time catching up with some of the stall holder and meeting some new ones too. Here are my show highlights.

Rowans ball gown/ knit wear mash ups were beautiful and a really nice way of showing off the knits in a high fashion and sophisticated way. It's a look I'd love to rock to the office, but perhaps I haven't lost enough of my marbles yet. 

Eljo's were a newcomer to the show this year and people seemed to love their coconut buttons with a cute, shiny, enamel finish. The colours really popped and you could have found a shade to suit anything you were knitting. It's a wonder I resisted buying any! Must have been the fatigue setting in late in the day.

Bessie May were also being talked about quite a lot this year. I have to admit that I'd hadn't seen them at the show before, but their stand this year looked great with lots of bright colour choices and items knit up to their cute kooky patterns. I stood talking to the guy at the stand for ages, he nearly offered to get me a cup of tea at one point! Top marks for customer service.  

It was great to catch up with old friends like Dixie from Nichols buttons who hasn't been to the show in a few years. She had a great stand right by the coffee place in the smallest hall. All her wears were delicious as usual. 
The Milla Mia girls were showing off their adult collections at the show for the first time and it was great to hear from them how well received these have been. I have yet to invest in making myself one of the adult designs but I will one day. In the mean time I'm still totally in love with everything they do for little people!
I bumped into Sharon from Taylor Made Yarns who looked like she bought a whole bundle of beautiful things. 
And Purl Alpaca Designs had a gorgeous stand which really showed off their latest collection so well. The ladies were all very busy so I didn't get to chat for long but my collection highlights have got to be their Icon dress, the Esme jumper and Isis Tailcoat. Please go check them out they are lovely!

I went with the mission this year not to buy any yarn as I have so damn much of it sitting at home. The sign above (that I saw at the show) really is my mantra at the moment. But guess what? I failed. It was just one (bag of 10) for a too-good-to-miss price as usual. And it's in my colour of the moment BLUE! My subconscious must be on a real downer at the moment with all this blue. 

I also bought some buttons for a specific project or two and a Sublime pattern book for just £1 which i couldn't pass over. So it was a rather restrained year really. I mean this could have happened:

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Baby Blue

My friend Nina is most fabulous, she needs no help from me for that. However, when she couldn't find the perfect fitted, cropped, baby blue jumper she wanted and asked me to make her one, I agreed to help her to reach her next level of fabulousness. 

I really enjoyed knitting this; mostly as it was the project I took with me on holiday to Cornwall in August, where everything was extremely relaxing and suited to a knitting mood. The yarn is Rowan Soft Knit Cotton which was lovely to work with and easy to wash, which I feel is important when you're making something for someone else. You don't want an embarrassing felting issue, ruining the item and possibly your friendship.

The pattern was heavily modified from a basic top down jumper pattern to include a wide ribbed neckline, cuff and hem. I also created waist shaping front and back to keep it fitted to the waist. It was all a bit of an experiment but after some tinkering it came together and I was really pleased with the result. Nina also loves it, which is handy!

And so my blue period continues! I'm still working on the blue Fieldwork cardigan for myself, but the lace pattern on it hurts my brain from time to time so that's why these other projects creep in so easily. I also have a baby project on the needles which is actually in RASPBERRY PINK! It's crazy times when a change of yarn colour elicits that kind of a response, but perhaps the blue period is coming to an end?

I'm off to Ally Pally tomorrow for the Knitting and Stitching show. I'm super excited and have no idea what I'll buy, if anything, but I'll be sure to report back.