On Sunday, I went to my first Stitching and Knitting Show at Ally Pally and had a wonderful time. I don’t know why I’ve never been before, they always seem to fall when I have lots of other things going on, but this year, I pencilled the show into my diary and made everything else fit around it. I car shared with 3 other Guild members whose company I enjoyed both there and back (long journey back with several delays but that gave us more time to talk about the exhibits we had seen and the goodies we had purchased).
At the show we went our separate ways as we each had our own agenda. In the morning I spent a couple of hours looking around the exhibits before meeting up with a Japanese Embroidery friend. There was not an exhibit that I did not enjoy but for me some of the highlights were:
Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn, particularly seeing Jan’s work in person, there is so much detail and texture that is not evident in the photographs I have seen.
The Royal School of Needlework – no revelations here just superb workmanship of traditional embroidery techniques.
Ruth Issett who understands colour in a way I can only dream off.
Barbara and Roy Hirst – incredible raised work embroidery, the exhibit included some of Barbara’s step-by-step teaching examples. From the work I say, Barbara was an exceptional needlewoman and my feeling is that she was probably an exceptional teacher.
Takako Sako, Japanese bead weaving. Wow, wow, wow, I thought this was fabulous. I loved the whole exhibit but the kimono was incredible. A life size kimonmo made entirely of beads, it took 4 women 2 years working full time to create.
I took a shopping list with me and mostly stuck to it although I didn’t find everything on my list.
From my list I bought a reel of bright red flat silk (for a Christmas ornament swap); silk wadding (for mounting my Japanese embroidery); white/neutral threads in a variety of weights and textures and white/neutral bead mix (for the online class Sumptuous Surfaces – I don’t have the supply list yet so I took a stab in the half light).
Off list I bought 3mm sequins in pale gold and perlesent white; tiny mother of pearl buttons; two fat quarters of silk tussah; a white sewline fabric pencil.
At the end of the day my feet were killing me, but if we had more time there was still so much more to see (and buy!).