Highlights from the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

From Wednesday to Sunday last week (11th-15th October, 2017), I was sharing the Ragged Life love at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. Over the course of the week, I ran workshops for rag rug beginners and did demos from my Ragged Life stand in the Great Hall. I never get as much time to look around as I hope I will (which is probably a good thing as it would be bad for the purse otherwise) but I did steal a few minutes here and there to take a look around the show and take some photos of some of the wonderful stands and textile art on display. This is only a very small sample of what the Knitting and Stitching Show has to offer but I hope it gives you a flavour of how vibrant and fun the fair was. Enjoy!

The Ragged Life Stand:

So, every day I would begin by my day by restocking and generally faffing around with the Ragged Life stand. When I was first setting it up, I wanted the space to feel warm and cosy… like someone’s rustic living room that you had accidentally stumbled into. Well, here’s how it looked in the end and you can be the judge of whether I achieved it or not… and yes, that is an old wooden ironing board under the pink striped rug 🙂

Ragged Life Stand Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

I had so much fun showcasing some of my newer projects at the show like the light up fluffy strip.

Crates full of Rag Rugs and Hessian

We even brought some dahlias from the garden. I think flowers and rag rugging go hand in hand and it made the stand feel more homely.

Rag Rug Pieces at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace 2017

This is what the stand looked like from the corner. We even had rag rug pieces hanging from the header boards 🙂

The Ragged Life Stand

My mum, Victoria, was wearing an amazing handmade Fair Isle jumper, which was getting some admiring glances throughout the show.

Rag Rug Letters on Ragged Life stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show

Our rag rug kits went down a treat at the Knitting and Stitching Show

The Other Stands at the Show:

One of our neighbours for the entirety of the show was Colinette Yarns who had the stand directly opposite us. They had the most wonderful selection of mohair, aran and chunky wool. It took all my mum’s willpower not to buy up the entire shop and I am so so pleased that we had something so bright and beautiful to look at throughout the fair. I LOVE WOOL!

Colinette Yarns at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

Colinette Yarns had such a lovely array of bright and beautiful yarns.

Yellow and Blue Colinette Yarns at Alexandra Palace

I really liked this mustard yellow wool – it’s one of my favourite colours for a jumper.

Loops of wool at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

This is my idea of wool heaven.

When I finally got a moment spare, I popped over to see Hannah from Hannah Bass Contemporary Needlepoint. Hannah and I had stands at the Crafty Fox Market in the Old Truman Brewery a couple of years ago so it was nice to see her doing so well at the Knitting and Stitching Show. I particularly liked her new “Night Owl” and “Early Bird” needlepoint cushion kits, which you can see below… if only I had the patience!

Hannah Bass Cross Stitch Cushions at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

Hannah working on a bit of needlepoint on her stand.

Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

Hannah has all sorts of locations to choose from for her cushion… my favourite was the Rome one – I love the rich colours.

Early Bird and Night Owl Cushions

I liked Hannah’s new designs for the Night Owl and Early Bird cushions. I think Christian and I wouldn’t fall into either category though… we just like our sleep.

The Knitting and Stitching Show is full of textile exhibitions and this one immediately caught my eye because of the abundance of colour and texture. The artist of this particular display completed one small piece of textile art every day for a year and the overall effect at the end is pretty enthralling…

Wall of Embroidery at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

I could stare for hours at this wall of miniature fabric artworks – so so much detail!

Small detailed pieces of textile art in an exhibition at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

Here’s what a few of them looked like close up. I thought they worked very well all together though. It must have taken an age to hang them all so precisely.

Textile art at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace 2017

Alexandra Palace was packed full of exhibitions of every sort of textile art.

Earlier this year in August, the Festival of Quilts took place in Birmingham and visitors could browse the collection of hundreds of quilts from hobbyist quilters and professionals alike (maybe some of you went along?). A distinguished panel of experts chose their favourite quilts from a number of categories and the winners were all on display over the five days of the Knitting and Stitching Show. Here are a few of the quilts that made the cut for a few of the categories:

Peter and Amina's Quilt

This quilt won first prize for “My First Quilt” at the Festival of Quilts. I can’t believe that this was someone’s first quilt!!

The winner of my first quilt at the Festival of Quilts

And here’s a close up of the detail in the centre of the quilt… so much work must have gone into it.

Another design I liked was Friday Frolics’ “The Four Seasons” quilt. The piece was so vibrant I couldn’t help but take a closer look. I love the way the flowers stand out against the bright yellow and orange backgrounds and how much detail goes into every… single… petal. Again, I admire the patience of the crafters as the outcome is beautiful with a separate design on each part of the flowers to represent the changes in nature throughout the year.

Four Seasons Quilt at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

There were so many lovely bright colours in this quilt that it just drew me in!

The winner of the two person quilt was “Tidings” by Mary Palmer and Anne Kelly. Definitely Google this quilt as this is only a section of the full piece and it was truly a work of art. Very contemporary but eye-catching.

Tidings Quilt by Mary Palmer and Anne Kelly

Tidings by Mary Palmer and Anne Kelly

This quilt appeared very sinister when I first came across it so I’m quite glad that the subject matter was supposed to be a bit unnerving… Big Brother. Eerie…

Big Brother Quilt at the Knitting and Stitching Show

Big Brother Quilt  by Lesley Brankin. This was the winner of the Art Quilts award.

Moving on, I found myself rummaging through a stand called Bazaar. A range of items were for sale including clothing, quilts, wall hangings, jewellery and textile materials. The rich colours and high shine of the fabrics made for a very vibrant display, which almost had the effect of drawing you away from Alexandra Palace to a different place altogether. Not surprising, considering founder Joanna Hall imports her goods from India where she has been working with crafts people for over 19 years. So, I’d say that was the place to head to if you’re after gifts or goods a bit out of the ordinary.

Bazaar Shop at the Knitting & Stitching Show 2017

Entering the Bazaar Shop was almost like entering the Moroccan souk (but Indian)!

Fabrics in Bazaar at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

It was fun browsing through the rich-coloured fabrics in Bazaar at the Knitting and Stitching Show.

Bazaar shop trinkets

We crafters love a good rummage which is exactly what Bazaar delivered 🙂

After wandering for a bit, I was drawn to Spin City because of its rainbow colours, shine and sparkle which guided me in from across the hall. There seems to be a theme occurring here…

Spin City at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

The cosy, brightly coloured wool of Spin City drew me in…

As you can see, the bright candy floss clouds of natural fibres come in almost any colour (glitter optional) thanks to the work of their creator, Louise. All her items are handmade and natural with the fibres collected from local farms and spun to perfection by hand to get the perfect texture. So not only does her stall look good, it feels good as well.

Spin City Wool Knitting and Stitching Show

The wool at Spin City looked so incredibly cosy, I just wanted to jump into it!

I really enjoyed looking around Fi Oberon’s needle felting work too. Fi is one of the other expert tutors working at the show so we often bump into each other dodging in and out of the tutor cupboard. It was nice to see some of her creations when I had a little more time to spare. She has created miniature animals in their own little worlds, which were just too cute not to snap a photo of (especially that squirrel, right?).

Fi Oberon Needle Felted Goat

The needle felted animals were all in their own needle felted worlds.

Needle Felting at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

This little figure reminded me of Bambi.

Needle Felted Squirrel Fi Oberon

The cute little squirrel.

Her book, The Natural World of Needle Felting, explains just how to make these little creatures so if you’re intrigued as I was, take a look.

The Natural World of Needle Felting

Fi’s book “The Natural World of Needle Felting” looks like it would be a great read for any needle felting fan.

Next stop was Extreme Textiles which showed us the work of Rachel John, who has pioneered the art of extreme knitting by mixing several strands of yarn into one and weaving with giant needles. Basically, think everything big.

Extreme Knitting Rachel John

I have no idea how Rachel wields such massive knitting needles but she manages with a whole lotta skill.

Giant Wooden Knitting Needles with Extreme Knitting

Just look at the size of the giant knitting needles used to do extreme knitting… You could do some serious damage with them.

Thanks to the size of the tools and materials, pieces are unsurprisingly made much quicker than if ‘normal’ methods are used. As if this wasn’t enough incentive for the lazy (or time-preserving, if you prefer) crafter, as well as this, the outcome is great. You can see the way the strands are folded and woven around each other in the finished pieces, which I think, adds more interest to the design.

Extreme Knitting at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

The effect you get with the giant knitting is really quite lovely… chunky and cosy…

Extreme Knitting Wool at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

The wool used for extreme knitting is made up of several strands of wool to add the bulk needed.

Blue and white extreme Knitting

I adored the texture of the extreme knitting on display.

Every day, when I entered the Palm Court of Ally Pally, I would walk past this amazing handbag exhibition to get to the Ragged Life stand. I love it when fashion showcases the skilled work of textile artisans.

Vivienne Westwood Tiger Handbag

I’d love to see someone rocking this Vivienne Westwood tiger handbag… bonkers but brilliant!

Lulu Guinness Handbag Knitting and Stitching Show

I thought this Lulu Guinness lips handbag was fun, if a little showy.

Butterfly Handbag at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

This was one of my favourite handbags from the display – “English Garden” from Aspinal of London.  I would definitely use this one.

Handbag Exhibition Alexandra Palace Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

So many beautiful handbags to gawp at…

Eye Handbag Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

This handbag had a lovely, bold design.

A few random photos from the Knitting and Stitching Show:

I didn’t write down what these were exactly as I didn’t have an awful lot of time to stop and admire but I really liked them in person so thought I’d share them with you nonetheless…

Blue textile art at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally 2017

I loved the blues in these pieces.

3D Textile Art Seascape

You can see the 3D nature of the piece better from this angle.


Looking for a sewing project?

I thought these purses from Ann’s Orchard Needlework were really cute.

Ann's Orchard Needlework Cat and Dog

Hehehe, this cat and dog from Ann’s Orchard Needlework are so hilarious.

Fabric Close up at the Knitting and Stitching Show

I’m a sucker for a deep burnt orange colour and this was so rich and vibrant that it drew me in.

Intricate fabric at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace October 2017

Visiting the Knitting and Stitching Show is all about admiring the work of talented makers like this piece here.

Fabric Texture at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

The photo doesn’t really do this justice but the texture was just amazing.

So, that’s a run through of some of the wonderful things I managed to see at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017. I really hope you enjoyed my highlights and, if you haven’t visited before, that you feel inspired to come along next time. I’ll be at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show next month is anyone is planning to visit that show. More details to follow 🙂

Elspeth x

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[…] the Alexandra Palace Knitting and Stitching Show last month (which you can see my highlights from here), but the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show has crept up on me and is just around the […]

Rosey Bennett
Rosey Bennett
6 years ago

Lovely Elspeth! It is very generous of you to share so much with us. Your stand was very atmospheric and I think you got just the right feel to it. Congratulations…
It’s a pleasure to see what you are, and have been, up to! Keep up the good work.
With best wishes, Rosey

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