I had a couple of good days out this week - on Tues I went to the V&A with my cousin to see the exhibition of wedding dresses - not the most inspiring exhibition I'd seen there, to be honest, but we both enjoyed our visit, and agreed that we preferred our own dresses to any of those on display.
On Wednesday I went to the Knitting and Stitching Day at Alexandra Palace. I'm not sure if everyone realised it was on for five days this year - but it was certainly less crowded than usual, and there was plenty of room to move around and see things - and blissfully no queues for refreshments or toilets.
I used to go the the show to spend, spend, spend, and then, if there was any time left at the end, I'd go and have a quick look at the exhibition section. These days, however, I think I have more than enough 'stuff' so I spent the greater part of the day looking at the various exhibitions. I love seeing the Graduates' work - the knitting and crochet section was really exciting - certainly not the "old fashioned women's hobby" that non-knitters seem to believe.
I especially loved the designs of Nicky Barfoot who specialises in 'knitted doggie taxidermy'!
There was also work on display from several of my friends, who work with different textile groups, including Gina who was exhibiting (and selling!) with Prism
Anyway, the exhibitions were wonderful and made me want to get the next train home and start stitching. I resisted though, and having perused all the exhibitions, there was still time to go and have a little spend. A few ribbons, a little bit of fabric and three indie dress patterns.
Even my coffee stops were interesting - in the morning I shared a table with two ladies who didn't know one another. We got chatting about the show and one of the ladies - Jean said that she comes over from New Zealand every year to go to K&S for all four, or in in this case, five days. She mentioned Art Van Go and when I told her I used to work for them, she said "Oh, you're not vintagerockchick are you?" Small world, eh?
And then in the afternoon, I was having coffee with Caroline from SewLaDiDa and we were joined by an elderly lady who was rather eccentrically dressed (yes, even by my standards - she topped off her handmade outfit with a pink crocheted hat which had silver lurex crenulations around the brim!)
She turned out to be a retired doctor from Russia who was over here to learn English, and who was fascinating to talk to.
All in all a very good day.
I've also managed to fit in a bit of making in the last few weeks - we had Jamie Malden from Colouricious come to our Embroiderers' Guild to take a workshop on block printing, and apart from lots of textile pieces, we all went home with a printed personalised apron
I'm at the back of that picture, so here's a close up - with a rather jolly face!
I've also made another Coco dress. I narrowed the pattern a bit and judging by this photo, I may have narrowed it a bit too much.
and finally a red Laurel dress
Photo taken yet again in Creative Sanctuary in Hertford . In case you think I spend all my spare time lurking there, I should tell you that I'm working there occasionally, just a few hours here and there, so it's a good place to wear my me-mades and get a picture taken.
She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult