Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Knitting and Stitching

I went to the Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate on Thursday - a good day.  I have been once before, two years ago, and wrote about it here.  The show was, as usual, very busy - there were two knitters I know on Huddersfield station, the Leeds-Harrogate train was full of knitters and stitchers,  and by the time we got to the exhibition centre in Harrogate, we were following a crowd.  I went with a firm intention not to buy any yarn, and I didn't, although some of it was hard to resist.  (I may want more yarn, but I don't need it, as I keep telling myself.  And even though I don't need more yarn, I seem to have acquired quite a lot recently.) 

Of course, I bought lots of other things.  A while ago, a friend sent me a pattern for a traditional Japanese cloth bag, after I had admired one that she made.  (I think it is for carrying your bento box.)  I have been looking for suitable fabric to try out the pattern, and found some on a stall selling Japanese textiles.
Fabric from Euro Japan Links

I bought a few small Christmas presents around the show, and some Christmas decorations made by Nicola Flint, who was one of the designers chosen by the Embroiderer’s Guild for their Graduate showcase and the knitting and stitch shows this autumn.

I also admired the work of some of the finalists for the UK Hand Knitting Assocation's knitted textile awards.  I especially liked the work of Naomi Partington.  There was a 3-D collar/scarf/necklet that she had made that intrigued me. It seemed to be a collection of small overlapping pieces of knitting, all curling independently and joined together to form a circle round the neck. I'm not sure how she had stiffened the pieces - maybe she knitted it with a combination of wool and wire?  Beautiful, anyway.   

I also enjoyed an exhibition of embroideries by Anglia Textile Works.  There were several pieces by Sara Impey, who seems to specialise in text-based quilts and embroideries. My favourite of her pieces in the exhibition was Roadside Litter.  Her introduction says "Tattered sheets of polythene and plastic bags can remain trapped and visible in hedges, as if they were absurd fashion accessories.  The British hedge could use some fashion advice." - which starts off as a not very startling observation, and then veers off into the surreal. Her embroidered text includes the lines, "You edgy hedgerows know your special forte/ Is styling garments from unwanted junk./ Plastic bags come almost pret-a-porter,/ Ideal for looks like vintage, grunge or punk" and finishes "In Springtime this advice will go to waste/ We're expecting a return to pretty florals." 

And - a great extravagance- I bought a subscription to Selvedge.  The price was reduced for the show, and you got a free back issue of your choice and a free gift as well.  So it was a bargain really. 

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