Monday, 21 October 2013

A beautifully packed Knitting and Stitching show experience

As those who keep up with all things LindyD know, I was at Ally Pally recently exhibiting my work as a finalist in the UKHKA's Knitted Textile Awards at the Knitting and Stitching Show; I had a great time at the show itself, alongside a couple of quick visits to central London for museum/gallery visiting and even having a go at ice-skating - yes, it was a varied and busy week!

Outside the Pally after set-up, ready for a central London visit
If I had to use one word for it all ? ... difficult to choose just one but I think 'packed' might do it justice.

Living in the Lake District we do see our fair share of visitors and on occasion in the summer we think our villages and towns are 'packed'. I can say now that in comparison to the K&S show on all four days there's no contest, our villages and towns are busier than usual but they aren't packed!

The area round our stand, late afternoon so a bit of room to move...
This was taken c 4pm on day one when the crowds had thinned a lot...
It was amazing to think that so many people out there love their own particular version of knitting and stitching so much that they can't wait to come to this kind of show; they say 60,000 can come through the doors in the four days it's open. Shopping of course is a serious pastime for some with show bargains to be had (the really serious come with a wheeled shopper bag) and in no time on each day there were visitors bustling around with their bags fully packed with things to keep their hobby going (probably into the next millenium!). The cafes and corridors and every other space were packed, so too were the stands of the stall holders with lots of lovely stuff to buy as they maximised the space available to sell.

But it's not all about retail. For others the attraction is a bit different, for the show was packed with creative and talented people showing their work, demonstrating their techniques and ready to chat about what they'd done and how they'd done it. With the people came the ideas, lots of them, quirky fun, and fascinating - packing the space and permeating the atmosphere.

A creative way to knock out any preconception of a Knitting and Stitching show as dull!
On our own stand the range of hand-knitting packed into one relatively small area was amazing and to think we all started with yarn and needles!  I think this was one thing that struck the visitors to our stand since we had everything from plastic insects wearing tiny knitted jumpers to large knitted garments; from lovely knitted interior furnishings to painterly artwork.

Stand TGQ13 - our home for the week
For people who came to our stand and chatted many were looking for ideas and inspiration, packing the experience of what they'd seen away in their head so they could take it out later and maybe try some of the ideas for themselves.

Finally, for me I met a load of lovely new people. We packed a lot of hopes and dreams onto our little stand and when it came to show close on Sunday, 'packed' took on a new meaning as we scrambled to put our treasures safely away ready for transport to part two when the show moves to Harrogate.

Exhibits came down quicker than they went up!
So, if I had to choose one photo to sum it all up? .... this is it below: taken in the V&A contemporary design area and not at the K&S show at all.  For me it sums up the quirky, varied and exciting time I had and all the lovely and different thoughts and ideas I've taken from the experience, loosely joined together and which will be put to good practical use at some future time I'm sure.

It was described as a chest of drawers...!

photos are a mixture of mine (poor ones) and Dayve's (good ones)

When I can I'm making textile art or blogging about it; here's my web site; or follow me on  Facebook and Twitter for my knitting and textile art news.

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