Well, I’m back from the Knitting & Stitching Show (have been for some days now, in fact) and I had a lovely time. Quite a bit of my London visit was actually spent outside Ally Pally, walking in all sorts of places both familiar and new; on Friday I decided to get off the train at Hampstead Heath and walk from there to the Show, which turned out to be a wonderful walk showing me lots of bits of London I hadn’t seen before, as well as giving me rather sore feet by the time I arrived at Alexandra Palace two and a half hours later. And then I was on those feet for another 90 minutes teaching the Shisha workshop. Possibly not the best way of organising the day…
Besides teaching I did get to do some shopping as well (now there’s a surprise) – some pearl purl #2 in gold, silver and copper, and a lovely wire check in silver, as well as some very striking copper kid leather from Golden Hinde, where I also had a look at some materials that so far I had only seen online. A very useful exercise as it showed me that one thread I was considering was far too thin, and a certain braid was much too heavy, so I could cross them off my wish list. At Calico Cat I got a skein of golden yellow Gloriana Lorikeet wool which I intend to use for couching, to contrast with a couched gold thread (whether real metal or just a metallic-looking one). And finally I got some closely-woven cotton fabric for freestyle embroidery.
That I got at Rowandean‘s stand, where I had a much-needed and very relaxing sit-down, and made grateful use of the opportunity to do some impromptu stitching. Unfortunately I didn’t write down the name of the kind lady who hosted it and who does all Rowandean’s designs as I thought I would remember, which predictably I didn’t. Something like Katrina or Kristina and a last name beginning with Wi, I think. On one side of their stand there was a table covered in thread, pins and bits of organza, and surrounded by very comfortable and happy looking stitchers. I joined the throng, was handed a needle and a hoop with fabric that had some lines and dots on it, told how to create a floral picture by pinning bits of organza to the ground fabric and then stitching over them, and then just got on with it, putting a purple French knot here and a bright red lazy daisy there, until I felt it was done. The idea was to use only basic stitches like the ones I mentioned just now plus some long straight stitches, but I will admit to adding some fly stitches secured with French knots – I wanted to depict the sort of lavender that has flowers with bits sticking out, or possibly something like a wild orchid.
I liked the ground fabric so much I bought a fat quarter of it, and I remembered the hand-dyed organza I bought some years ago and some of which I’ve used for Extravorganza; there is still a fair amount left in various colours, so I will have a go at some more of this style of embroidery – it’s very relaxing to do and the finished projects will make great cards. While I was unearthing the organza I also came across some hand-dyed felt I’d bought at the same time, and that might work as well as the basis for simple floral designs like these. I can feel some experimenting coming on!