This morning it was gorgeous. The sky was a clear blue and the sun shone brightly. It felt a crying shame to be cooped up inside, so I leapt on my bike and cycled over to Alexandra Palace for the Knitting and Stitching Show. Alexandra Palace is at the top of a big hill, surrounded by other hills. I might get the bus next time!
Here’s the palace in all its glorious splendour. The views across London are breathtaking, but almost impossible to capture on camera.
The last time I came to this show was 4/5 years ago, and I’m afraid I hadn’t been impressed. When someone offered me a ticket to go this year, I thought it couldn’t harm to go and compare. Had things improved? My memories were of long toilet queues, over-priced sandwiches, and a general aesthetic that I just couldn’t connect with.
Well, the toilets and the catering are still exactly the same! The layout hasn’t changed at all, and the hallways were rammed.
This visit felt much nicer because I knew people there. I went pretty much straight over to go and say hello to Annie at The Village Haberdashery. Here she is putting away a roll of fabric I recently used. She’s working hard with her mum, who’d flown over from the States especially to help. A big shout out to mums!
There was more laughing and chatting and photographing. (Thank you to Ray Stitch, for patiently allowing us to use their bolts of fabric as our backdrop!) I couldn’t believe bumping into friends like this!
So that was the nice part. I wandered off to explore and felt fairly determined to spend money, which means it’s pretty surprising that I left empty-handed. The problem is, I found it all a bit overwhelming. I wandered past someone who said, ‘Some fresh air would be nice!’ – and I have to say, I agreed with her. Why was I banging elbows with others, when I could be out in the sunshine on my bike? So I’m afraid I hot-footed it out. On my way to the exit, I stopped by my favourite section, where people were being encouraged to indulge in the entirely simple task of, you know, making things. Which I thought was rather what the point was about…
So, I don’t think these events are entirely for me. I know others love them, and I totally understand why it makes sense for businesses to have a profile here, but it’s not my ideal experience. Gertie recently hosted an interesting debate about fairs and expos. What do you think? A great opportunity to connect with your creativity, or hell in a handcart?
The bike ride home was all down hill. Wheeeee!