Monday, 14 October 2013

The Knitting and Stitching Show 2013 - Alexandra Palace

Ally Pally is always a delight, so I thought I'd share with you some of the amazing suppliers and artists I saw there. This post will be mainly photos, and I will try to include links to the people I am talking about.

My Best supplier find was Tendence Ruban, a french company who seem to be the European arm of American ribbon manufacturer Renaissance Ribbons. You can very rarely find these supplied in the UK, so to find the whole range available on line and without humongous US postal charges is amazing.

They make Jacquard woven ribbon in incredible designs and have well known names such as Tula Pink, Kaffe Fassett and Anna Maria Horner on board, producing ribbons that complement their fabric ranges. The ribbon is not cheap, but is well worth it as a special finish for a project. I was particularly pleased to find the Kaffe Fassett Teal & Yellow clouds!

Another amazing find was this lace zip from the Eternal Maker stand (I admit I've never really bothered to look at their web shop properly). Super cute and in loads of colours, I bought this cream one, and will find something super cute to put it on.

One yarn manufacturer I have never looked at before was Uruguayan spinners Malabrigo.

I bought a couple of skeins of their beautifully soft Baby Merino Lace, although I could have easily bought more! (I was muttering to myself "I must have some restraint..." whilst browsing their stall, and the woman standing next to me said "Restraint? Then why come here!!").

So Soft......... I shall knit myself something beautiful and stroke it all day!

It's difficult to show you how intense these colours are on a computer screen, but the 2 shades are 'Fuchsia' and 'Intenso'.

I fully intended to visit Eden Cottage Yarns, in fact I had a shopping list as I'm going to knit Kate Davies Designs 'Paper Dolls' fair isle top (Image below) and knew that their gorgeous semi-solid colour hand dyed 4 ply would do the job perfectly!

See this link for some amazing paper dolls pattern customisations.

This is really not a good photo of the Eden Cottage stand (I should have taken more), but it was lovely to see (and feel) their whole range, and it was great to meet & talk to Victoria (the designer), who even remembered me from a brief facebook conversation we had once!

I bought Tempo 4 Ply (75% wool 25% nylon) in charcoal for the main part of the top, the dolls will be done in the natural yarn (Tempo again), I already had a skein of Pendle 4 Ply (100% Superwash Merino) in Hazel colourway which I will use for the waist, neck & sleeve ribbing, and the Plum MiniPendle skein will be for the classic fair isle OXO pattern. I don't think the above photo does the colours any justice at all, but I'm sure I'll post something about the finished top at some point.

Last but not least, I had to include some photos of the Jamieson's of Shetland stand simply for the way they displayed their amazing range of DK & Spindrift yarn!

They had some gorgeous shawls on their stands, I rather like the black lace (I must have a go at something similar myself).

Now on to Designers & Textile Artists I found:

Kate Morris from Bedroom Factory Knits

(click on the link for her website - I thoroughly recommend you do!)

She had these two amazing jumpers on show, I love the lobster and flowers still life (I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to wear it, but it's an awesome take on the picture sweater theme). These are hand made on a vintage knitting machine, not made by some amazing computer programmable machine, so I'm sure you can appreciate the cleverness and complexity of these multicolour designs.

However, I WOULD wear one of her Creature Knits, for example this Amazeballs Giraffe scarf, and If I has the £££'s would love to commission her to do a dachshund or a black panther (in the style of my little House Panther Herman!)

 On the stand next door was Olivia Hunter who didn't have any business cards left, but I have found a site featuring a wide selection of her designs here.

Called 'Oodles and Oodles of Poodles' her cute and witty work featured lots of PINK 

Poodle Jumper & Poodle Stole.

Poodle Bomber Jacket.

Some very talented Inner City London school children had work on display as part of a FAD (Fashion Awareness Direct) competition. The work had been shown on the catwalk during London Fashion Week and was now on display at the show.

This unusual feather trimmed dress was by 17 year old Beau Scarlett Pitt.

This Red & Black 60's Inspired dress was by Rebecca George, also 17. I wonder where these two will be in 5-10 years time?

I had never seen the work of  Dutch Cat loving Textile Artist Tilleke Schwarz before, and definitely approve of the feline theme running through most of her work.

Used Cloth, 1995 (click on images to enlarge)

Deer, 2007

Australian Dreamings (this one made me chuckle)

On the theme of Chuckles, Embroidered Sally Hewett had some cheeky (excuse the pun) work on display. Click on the link to see more. These reminded me of an idea I started to pursue but dropped whilst at Art College. The embroidery hoop as presentation device theme was also something I used. I think some of these were stitched with real hair (or they certainly looked like it).

Bernard, 2010

Josephine, 2012

'Our World of Make Believe' was a stunning Freeform Crochet exhibition by Japanese Artists Mitsuko Tonouchi and Sonomi Tanimoto. Utterly Stunning, my pictures do not do the work justice at all!

Click here for their blog to see more images of their work.

 Gorgeous crochet Bullion stitch!

The variety of yarns & threads used next to each other was inspirational.

If you have read this far, WELL DONE! You are nearly there!

Jan Beaney's multi-layered embroidered applique pictures were sumptuous and so texturally interesting.

 'In Anticipation'

'Purple Hedgerow'

Jan Beaney & Jean Littlejohn's website 'Double Trouble' can be found here.

The Materialistics group from South Shields had Yarnbombed this London Taxi which was parked outside the entrance.

'A Cosy for a Cab' (click images to enlarge)



PS: Did you know Alexandra Palace had an Ice Rink? I didn't.

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