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Monday, October 15, 2007

Knitting and Stitching show 2007

Despite a few raised eyebrows when I returned home with the new additions to my stash I think I was fairly restrained at the Knitting and Stitching show on Sunday (although if there had been any deep reds or blues remaining I think I might have dived head first into the sale pile of discontinued Jaeger at Black Sheep). Ellen picked up a bag of green Matchmaker DK and Aliki one of grey Matchmaker 4-ply. I wandered around hugging a bag of charcoal 4-ply for a while before putting it back as I really would have been buying it from pure nostalgia and I'm sure there will be some single balls for socks and gloves floating around for some time yet.

There was a lot of very tempting fibre on offer from UK Alpacas and especially from the Sheep Shop (purveyors of Wensleydale Longwool) who were offering 500 gram footballs of combed white or black Wensleydale top for £8-£9. Luckily I had time to reflect over lunch and reached the considered opinion that spinning 500 grams of fibre on a drop spindle was probably not as much fun as you might think at first. I went back a couple of time to fondle but stayed strong. I also fell in love with the Black Hills Corriedale which had been spun with the lanolin in and smelled just amazing*. Fortunately they didn't seem too weirded out by my sniffing their yarn and as they're local to us we might manage a trip to their show room some day.

There were lots and lots of lovely things on display including some sweet knitting earrings, and some beautiful kits including these very cute knitted tea cosies from Laughing Hens

Tea cosies

We saw the knitted river - it's huge. I especially liked the square that someone had knit with a sailing boat. There was just the one so it looked like it was on a vast ocean.

Knitted River

I spent a lot of the time looking for yarn for a Tatami after trying on Katie's at the knitting group last Wednesday. It's a beautiful pattern and it looks amazing in the 21st Century yarn that's she's knitted it in (although apparently dropping the stitches is a complete arse due to the yarn's grabbiness). However, between there not being a colourway that I really loved and getting rather confused over the yardage I decided to wait until I had a chance to swatch the pattern with some of my stash yarns.

The other thing that I was keeping my eyes open for was some laceweight to knit a shawl to match a dress for my cousin's wedding in December and I found just the thing at the Get Knitted stand straight after lunch - a gorgeous skein of Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace in the Black Watch colourway.

Black Watch Helen's Lace

I just need to pick a shawl pattern now. I love the Fiddlesticks Peacock Feathers shawl and I think it would suit the yarn. There are also a couple in A Gathering of Lace that I really like. The main thing is that I want it to be an all-in-one piece of knitting as I don't want to have to knit a huge separate border (a la Print O' the Wave) against a deadline! Mind you, what with this, and the POTW, and the Kiri (up to repeat no. 10 btw) this is looking like a good time to invest in some blocking wires and I even found a UK seller. Aliki, Helen and I did look out for them yesterday but either no one was stocking them or they'd all been nabbed earlier on in the show.

Another sad absence were the Handweaver's Studio as Aliki was thinking about a Swift or ballwinder and I really want a niddy noddy as my landlord obviously didn't have winding yarn in mind when she chose chairs for the flat!

My other purchases were some more Clover locking stitch markers (I love these little guys), the Thelonious sock pattern by Cookie A (yes it's available online but I've never got around to buying it) from Knit n Caboodle and some Louet Gems sock yarn from Foreign Strand.

Louet Gems sock yarn

Rather stupidly I bought a skein more than I need for my sock pattern but it's lovely yarn and will "come in for something". Aliki also bought the Twisted Flower pattern so we can have a sock pattern swap later on.

The Louet Gems was my final purchase of the day (made rather on impulse after I failed to find Tatami yarn) and we left the show at 4pm in plenty of time for a huge cup of tea at Paddington before our train home.


* I'm the sort of person who wanders through the M&S jumper section on rainy days going "Mmm wet sheep".

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