Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Parading our jewellery in Birmingham tomorrow evening

Tomorrow night we launch the Midlands branch of the Association for Contemporary Jewellery.

21 of us will be parading our wares in the foyer of Symphony Hall before and during a Lesley Garrett concert.
We all have a box to sling around our shoulders.
We can fill this as we want, and will carry them, thus forming a mobile display.

So no knitting tonight, just the final planning for the event which kicks off in a few minutes less than 24 hours!


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More from SP11, and a new friend

My upstream Secret Pal has spoiled me again.
I found this lot waiting for me when I got in from Nottingham this afternoon.
It was getting dark, and even with flash this picture doesn't do my latest goodies justice.

There are two hanks of merino for felting (or spinning) in a fantastic cerise shade; two lots of dark chocolate; PURPLE sock needles and the cutest little sheep keyring.

What a pity that I have too much going on at the moment to try out the merino.
There are too many deadlines looming for the end of the month in various parts of my life.

Today I had a great time in Nottingham after the ceramics class.
I didn't need to rush back home to Long Eaton, and despite the half-term crowds was able to do some shopping. Popping in to the John Lewis store in the Victoria Centre for some glass headed pins, I paused in the knitting section. I was hoping to chat with Helen (the Rowan rep) .

While waiting for her to be free I got into conversation with a girl working on some lace knitting.
Jazz turned out to be having problems making sense of some of the instructions at the start of a shawl. I took a look, and talked it through with her. So now she is going to start afresh with different needles as the ones she had with her were pulling on the yarn too much.

I've checked out her blog and Ravelry entries, and hope to get together with her again soon.
That might be a bit hard with all I've got on, but it was so much fun talking knitting.
Eventually, I had a brief chat with Helen before making my way to Primark for tights on the way back to the station.

Last night I went "shopping" for yarn in the loft, and have a project in mind.
First I have to do some sampling, and then settle on a sweater shape.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

"Knit with us" and Ally Pally

Some months ago, Pauline Fitzpatrick suggested that we should hold a National Knitting Week event in the Art Room. After lots of thinking, we decided to call it "Knit with us", and settled on Saturday 20th October as the date. As we are running children's workshops during the half-term break, we put a note on the flyer to help advertise it.
I also e-mailed as many knitters/crocheters as I could think of in the area.
Miss Bell posted to the Notts Ravelry group about it too.

We had a small group on the day. The largest number of knitters at any one time was seven. The nudge of a special event made a couple of my friends finally venture out to find us.

All of this adds to local awareness for the Art Room. During the afternoon, Mary Hawkins and I went to hear Joni Bamford talk to the Trent and Erewash Valley branch of the Embroiderers' Guild about baskets as textiles.


And now to Ally Pally!

It was a long day for me at Ally Pally.
I got up at 05.30 so that I could catch the first train down to St Pancras.

When I arrived, I made good connections to Alexandra Palace station and stopped off at a nearby newsagent for a litre of apple juice.
Then I strolled up the hill, and arrived shortly before 09.00.
Yvonne arrived just as I finishing the complicated formalities for being on a stand, but only for one day. They no longer issue exhibitors passes for people such as me.

Yvonne, and I sorted out some of her paperwork, and then round about 09.30, I set off to look around the show.
I passed by the stand round about 10.30, and stopped for a bit to help out, before continuing to look round.
By that time the few volunteers already there were busy teaching youngsters to knit.

By 12.00 the stand was heaving with teenagers, and I barely drew breath before 15.30 came around.
At that time I went for a bit of a wander, and fetched a cup of tea for John Gillow who rarely has a chance to get away from his stand.
Typically, I didn't have time to catch up with his news, or tell him more than the bare bones of news about mutual friends, who like me no longer live in Cambridge.

For me, the best newcomer at the show was Alice of Soctopus.
I came across her when it wasn't too busy, and we had time to chat briefly.
Later in the day I dropped by again to show off the knitted wire piece that I had finished during the show.

My purchases were not many.
Firstly I don't need anything much, and secondly I wanted to spend as much time on the stand as possible.
I bought some wonderful multicoloured carded fleece from Piiku, a Finnish company (colour 102).
For the past two years I have seen their stand at the show, but it was too much of a crush to get to it.
This time there was a little gap, and just enough time before I was due on our stand at 12.00.

I had squeezed in at Habu earlier, and came away with some paper yarn, in charcoal, wine and green.
Paid for on my credit card with US $, this will be cheaper than their sterling prices.

Just before I left, I stopped off at the Natural Dye Studio where I bought a few buttons.

I then found my way back to Jeni at Fyberspates.
I love the lace weight yarns that she has, and bought a skein.

I walked back down to the station and found a friend of mine there, so had a good chat while waiting for the train. Earlier in the day, Heather had passed by the stand, but I was so busy, I barely had time to say hello to her.

So that was Ally Pally for another year.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Last week, this week ... next week, maybe!

Last week was pretty busy.
Tuesday morning was the first of eight weekly ceramics classes I attend in Nottingham.
Then I rushed home to have my hair cut.

Wednesday was an ordinary Art Room day, except that I was there for all three sessions.
Thursday was an Art Room day also.

On Friday I had a fairly early start, as I went to Harrogate for the stitching show at the Yorkshire Showground. In fact I only caught a train at 07.16, and was at the show by 10.30.

This time the Knit'n'Natter was the location of the Shaun the Sheep Picknit project.
We seemed to get a lot of response to both parts of the stand.
I ended up sitting on the floor when teaching teenagers to knit, as we hadn't enough chairs for the volunteers and learners.
It is a smallish show, and predominantly sewing rather than knitting.

As far as I know, we were the only people promoting hand-knitting there.
There were a few stands in the Hobbycrafts section selling yarn etc.

On Saturday it was back to the Art Room.
We were fairly quiet, with a few people dropping in for a bit, but only one client staying for a full session.

On Sunday, we slept in, gardened etc.
We have picked most of the remaining french beans to keep for seed, or cook up during the winter. A few plants are still producing new beans.

Tomorrow I will finish in the Art Room at 16.00, and then need to be on the train to Birmingham for a meeting of the Midlands group of the ACJ.

On Thursday I will be travelling down to London pretty early to go to Ally Pally.

As usual I am volunteering on the Relax and Knit stand.
I go on the first day, and cover the lunchtime period (12.00 - 14.00 plus some more time which I fit in during the day as necessary).
Although it can be hard to hear them sometimes, I love being there for the school groups.
We get enthusiastic teenagers wanting to learn how to knit or crochet.
It is tiring, but very rewarding.

It seems that the Relax and Knit will be in the Great Hall this year.
At least there will be a chance that we will be away from the noisy fashion show that has been the bane of our lives for so long.
So there was a quick rundown of what I have been up to, and will be up to in the near future.
The rest of the year looks nearly as busy.

In the meantime, our mystery courgette (?) is starting to produce fruit in October, and they are round. I've never come across them like this before. Have any of you?