Up Knit Creek

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Birmingham Goodies

I have heard/read a fair amount of disappointment with the Knitting & Stitching Show at NEC Birmingham last weekend and it's beginning to get on my nerves.
This year was only the second year that the show has taken place in Birmingham so it is bound to take a while for it to become established.
People seem to forget that it is called the Knitting and Stitching show for a reason, that reason being that there will be stitching stuff on display! Knitting has first billing purely because it sounds better and rolls off the tongue more easily than "Stitching & Knitting show" in my humble opinion.
True, there were not as many knitting-yarn vendors as last year, probably due to the cost of the stalls which I believe cost thousands of pounds, but if you want Colinette or Get Knitted they have well-established and efficient websites.
What I like about the NEC show is that there is plenty of opportunity to see fantastic exhibitions of new and upcoming textile artists/designers as well as smaller, independent retailers who have goods for sale that are not available elsewhere.
Suffice it to say that Mum and I both liked it enough last year to go again this year and Sandy (SIL) was very impressed with her first visit, enough to go again next year. (Yay! I'm converting her slowly too - she bought a kit for a knitted felted bag!)

OK, onto purchases:
First up was this

Wool for felted honeycomb bag

which is to make a new version of my Honeycomb bag (which I can't find a picture of at the mo). I wanted more contrast between the colours so this should fit the bill nicely. It came from Knitting4fun, where mum purchased some gorgeous silk yarn in a beautiful old gold, and Sandy bought her knitted bag kit. I also got this bit of loveliness from them

mohair&silk mix
mohair and silk for me

Spinning supplies were obtained:

wool batts for spinning
wool batts for spinning

sparklies for spinning
sparklies to add to spinning

hand-dyed silk hankies
hand-dyed silk hankies for spinning

and also a little tool for measuring it all up when it's done (in about 2015 at current rates of progress)

WPI kit

The wool batts, silk hankies and Angelina fibre all came from Crafty Notions and the WPI tool came from Knit'n'Caboodle (who were selling the most gorgeous sock yarn - merino, silk and real sterling silver, heavenly). Unfortunately, I have completely forgotten where I bought the three reels of silver-grey machine embroidery thread.
The final yarn purchase of the day was some of this
Ganpi abaka

Not entirely sure why I bought it, to be honest, but it has very er...interesting texture and might make a nice little insert in something else (maybe) or go in a stash swap. It's Noro Ganpi Abaka, if you're interested.

The other big highlight of the day was meeting a fellow-blogger, Kate, from Knit the Knits. I accosted her as she was taking a well-earned rest from the poking, prodding and fondling of all that yarn and we oohed and aahed over each other's purchases. I almost fainted with delight when she showed me her Kauni sweater - the pictures on her blog do not do it justice. I also met the famous Ann-at-work who features regularly in Kate's blog and is a novice knitter herself. I'm so pleased to see that Kate is pushing enforced indoctrination guiding and advising her so well.

OK enough is enough - see ya on Ravelry!

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm in!

Finally got my Ravelry invite so I've been playing on there the last couple of days. My user name is UpKnitCreek (what else?) so come and play, it's huge fun.

PS I promise that this weekend I will take pictures of the stuff I bought in Birmingham and post them on here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Catching up

and lots of it. Where on earth have the last three weeks gone?
First of all though, I must say a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Lucy for yesterday. 19 years old and every inch the perfect daughter [if you are prepared to overlook the *ahem* somewhat dishevelled *ahem* appearance of her bedroom, that is! ;)]. I can't believe it's 19 years since I held her in my arms and gazed into her big blue eyes for the first time. Tempus really does fugit.

Well, the bank holiday weekend (remember that? It was about a million years ago) saw the girls and me stuck in traffic on the motorway as we journeyed northwards to my parents. There was the obligatory trip to Borders where Bethany conned persuaded me to buy her some books as a reward for her exam results and I drooled over the knitting books [only bought one, and it was actually a crochet book so it doesn't count. The dark side is calling...]. We then spent Sunday en famille with my brother, sister-in-law and nieces, and inadvertently formed our own Stitch 'n' Bitch group. There we were, sitting in the garden, in sunshine (on a bank holiday weekend? No, I didn't believe it, either), Mum, niece#2 and I knitting, SIL crocheting. I felt all warm and glowy inside ... until I dropped a stitch, that is.

The following week saw a return to work and of course the weather changed for the better, humph. Having spent most of my two weeks leave dodging the showers I was less than impressed to be driving around all day in high heat and humidity. Still, I did get to meet the oldest man in Britain.

Last week, I was lucky enough to be given two tickets to a talk by Kaffe Fassett. The talk was the official launch of his new book, although "new" is something of a misnomer. The patterns are all old designs that have simply been reworked in new yarns/colourways, with a few slight changes to some of the garments - the words "old rope", "for" and "money" spring to mind. The talk was illustrated by some beautiful, colourful slides which demonstrated very well where Fassett finds his inspiration. I persuaded Bethany to come with me, as she will be using textiles as part of her Art(mixed media) "A" level, but she was less than impressed - "so far up his own a**e" was the exact phrase she used, if my memory serves me correctly.

This weekend, I am off northwards again as SIL, mum and I are going to the Knitting & Stitching show in Birmingham. Mum and I went last year and although there were fewer stalls than at Alexandra Palace, the whole experience was more enjoyable as it wasn't so crowded [and nowhere near as hot as Ally Pally, a very important point at my age!!].
Ah yes... knitting... well, there has been some; I am halfway through the MSP*, and have completed some other socks too, the pattern for which will soon be available here [scroll down a bit - those teal socks with the twisty pattern? They're mine! Yippee!]. Am I allowed to grin cheesily at this point?
There is also another project on the needles but I don't want to say too much about it in case I jinx it, but it is progressing as well as can be expected.

Reading back over this post, it doesn't seem as if I've been that busy really so I could probably have managed a post or two; truth is, the blogging mojo is not at all strong at the moment. I read other blogs that are much wittier, cleverer, more insightful and generally more interesting than this and begin to wonder why I bother, so for those of you that have stuck with me this far, I am very, very grateful. I don't want to stop because, if nothing else, it's a great way to record all my knitting and crochet projects, but on the other hand, I don't want it to become another chore. We'll see. [I'm sure there's a post in the making following the trip to Birmingham].

*Mammoth Sock Project

PS Big big thanks to all those commenters who sent exam congrats to the girls - it was very much appreciated [see - I do read the comments!]