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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