The doors opened to the public at the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace today……..and it was busy, busy!
I spent the day ‘cuddling’ balls of yarn and talking knitting with lovely creatives from ALL over the planet…..Denmark, the U.S., and closer to home.
A fashion show of the latest Rowan and Patons designs was popular with visitors to the stand.
There are pattern books to compliment all the yarn on sale, two limited edition yarns on offer and a 15 % show discount (yarn only)! You can meet the designers too! Dee Hardwicke ladies and gentlemen! http://www.deehardwicke.co.uk/
Well that is what it felt like when I left Alexandra Palace this evening. Today was set up day for the Knitting & Stitching Show which opens to the public tomorrow and for the next five days! What was the ‘knitting trucker’ doing there I hear you ask. Well there has been an extraordinary development in my portfolio career. It is a long story which I won’t go into now but suffice it to say this is all thanks to my GP and a plastic bag!
I have been recruited to work for Rowan Yarn http://www.knitrowan.com (Mez Crafts UK) as a brand account manager for independent purveyors of fine yarns…..I added the last bit 😉…….but it is the most important sounding job title I’ve ever had! My first official day in the job was yesterday and today I was to help with the ‘load in’ for the Rowan Stand at the show. #knitting&stitchingshow http://www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/london/
I thought you might like to see a bit of the behind the scenes action. Before……
…….and some more……
If you are going to the show I’d love it if you came and said hello. I’ll be the one doing the ‘kiddy let loose in a sweet shop’ impression! We are located in the West Hall at TGB18. Over the five days there’s opportunity to meet the designers and book signing sessions.
There always seems to be an air of calm at this event set in the parkland around historic Hatfield House. It is a showcase of the ceramic art both established and up and coming.
What always strikes me as you wander through the marquees is that it all begins as that one lump of clay. The eminently practical stands alongside the purely decorative.
For me, it is the opportunity to meet the makers. Often they have a wheel or work table set up beside theirs stands for demos, or sketchbooks laid out. They are always happy to talk to the lay person about their techniques and inspiration. Overheard conversations between ‘potters’ about slip combinations or firing temperatures can also be fascinating. It is a social ‘get together’ for them too in what I’d imagine could be an otherwise solitary work life. Nowadays however, the existence of shared studio spaces goes some way to bring artists and crafts people together.
The Eider duck wanted to come home with me but I’ll need to save the pocket money first.
People watching at Art in Clay is always fascinating.
I had a lovely chat with Daphne who we discovered works in the same studio as one of my basketry tutors Polly Pollock. Small world!
Well, it had my name on it!
Fascinating to see the sad boy as I followed his creation from clay to kiln on the Singing Soul Facebook page!
These pieces has a rich ‘fabric’, costume quality to them. It turned out that Pam spent her childhood watching her father at work as a bespoke taylor.
It was great to meet Mark as earlier this year I was thrilled to be the winner in his ‘giveaway’ on Facebook and a magnificent Pelican winged it’s way to my house! I have to admit the Pelican is not alone now…
I’m not sure if above my desk under the stairs will be the final home for these but they are safe there whilst renovations continue!
Saturday saw my third visit to the Shuttleworth Collection in as many months……I think I’m a tiny wee bit hooked! So much so that I’ve sent in my form to volunteer there!
This time I spent the afternoon visiting the house. Built in 1875 and designed by the architect Henry Clutton, it has an impressive collection of paintings and was once the home of the Shuttleworth family.
Having enjoyed one’s afternoon tea in the house you could climb aboard one of two vintage buses that were running a service between the mansion and the airfield and hangars.
Then it was off for a wander round the hangars for me before meeting up with friends for the flying prom.
Take note; an oil bucket with class!
‘Dorothy’ the steam engine in the background
A balmy summer evening it was not, but it takes more than a little wind and rain to dampen the spirits of promenaders at the Shuttleworth Flying Prom! As champagne corks popped and everyone held onto their hats we we treated to an impressive flying display by the Shuttleworth pilots and visitors, and concert given by the National Symphony Orchestra http://www.nso.co.uk
I defy anyone not to be moved by the sight of a Spitfire soar to ‘Reach for the sky’ or the mighty Lysander to ‘Where Eagles dare’. Truly breathtaking aerobatics both with an engine and without, to ‘Those magnificent men in their flying machines’. We enjoyed a ‘Teddy bears picnic’ and a visit to Ambridge before the traditional finale of ‘Land of Hope & Glory’ and fireworks!
When I was little my Dad used to take us the Strathallen Aircraft Museum and the Lysander was amongst my favourites. The Airfix model ‘flew’ above my bed and a poster of it was pinned to the wall. When the museum was in financial difficulties I put all my pocket money in their collecting tin. Sadly my contribution didn’t prevent the eventual closure of the museum and dispersement of the collection. It was only recently that I discovered my beloved Lysander is now homed at Shuttleworth. A happy ending to what to me, at the time, was a tragic story.