Ally Pally

Since neither Mummy nor I had been able to make it to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace last year we were both really looking forward to this year’s outing. We decided to go on the Thursday, but ended up coming back on the Friday as well since we hadn’t managed to get round everything in just one day.

So at the crack of dawn (or at least that was how it felt – I’m not really a morning person), Mummy, I, and Charles the chicken bag set off for a day of fun.

Charles met lots of new friends, and is definitly started to get quite a fan club. I was hoping to put in a link to the website where I bought him but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to exist any more.

We had a lovely time, there was a lot of knitting stuff to see, and it was great to see so many people we knew and stop and chat. That was part of the reason we had to go back for a second day, that it took us a whole day to get round the main hall due to stopping and talking with people. For me the interaction with other enthusiastic knitting people is a big part of the reason I love to go to shows. That, and of course seeing all the lovely yarn and books and other paraphernalia :-)

Talking of lovely knitting related things, you will not be surprised to discover that I didn’t come home empty handed (neither did Mummy but I’m afraid I didn’t think to photograph her haul too).

First off the books:

These were all from Jamieson’s. I had been thinking about getting these books for some time, and this seemed the ideal opportunity. Also they were kind enough to look after my purchases til the end of the day so I didn’t have to drag a bag of heavy books around with me. They are Jamieson’s Shetland Knitting Book: v. 1 (Shetland Knitting Book), Jamieson’s Shetland Knitting Book 2 (Shetland Knitting Book), Simply Shetland, Simply Shetland 2 (Simply Shetland), Simply Shetland 3: At Galisteo, and the Colsay shawl pattern (which I don’t seem to be able to find on their website at the moment).

I did, of course, buy a little bit of yarn too.

I had to buy this Wendy Fusion because of the colour – and it was also being sold at a very advantageous price, I think it was something like £1.50 a ball from NKM. I bought 16 balls which should be enough for a jumper or jacket (and probably a matching hat too).

I bought one ball of Sole Latte by Rosários 4 from Moral-Fibre. This is a DK weight 100% milk fibre yarn. I have never knitted with milk fibre before and I am looking forward to seeing what it is like to work with. Also as part of the City and Guilds course we need to produce a yarn file with information on different fibres and how they are produced, including knitted samples, so I thought this would be useful for that too. In the ball it feels a little bit like a very soft cotton.

Next up is two balls of the new Jamie Possum 4 ply yarn. So new in fact that it doesn’t seem to be on their website yet.

This yarn is 20% possum fur, 80% merino. I bought some of their DK in a lovely teal colour a couple of years ago, but still haven’t got round to making anything from it, its time may well have come!

Next was some yarn that I was delighted to actually see in person. I had seen an advert for Biggan Design a while ago, and had spent a very pleasant time looking at all their yarn on their website. At the time I was looking for a yarn for my next City and Guilds project (I am still looking – I may end up dyeing it). I am planning to do a stranded colour knitting project in bright but autumnal shades, so I was looking for a 4ply weight yarn in good bright colours. I love a lot of the shetland yarns but was concerned that they would be a little scratchy. In the end after much indecision I decided against the Biggan Design yarn for this project. It comes in the most fantastic range of colours and is nice and soft, but at the moment only exists in a DK weight, and really the weather just doesn’t get cold enough here to actually wear a DK weight stranded project for many days of the year.

I hadn’t realised that they would be exhibiting at the Knitting and Stitching show, and it was wonderful to actually meet Biggan and her daughter Henrietta (both lovely people). Their yarn is even more beautiful in real life than pictures can show and is certainly soft enough for fussy me. I just love the beautiful bright range of colours. So of course I had to buy 5 balls (believe me it was quite hard narrowing it down to just 5!) to have a little play with.

I think this is going to be a hat (or two), and an opportunity to see how the yarn knits and wears. It is a first cross between merino and border leicester, the idea being to combine the softness of the merino with the durability of the border leicester, I am really looking forward to knitting this up and seeing what it is like – in the ball it feels very nice.

I still think it is a little thick for my stranded jumper project, but they did mention that if the DK sells well they are hoping to bring out other weights in the future. This probably wont be in time for my City and Guilds project (unless it takes me a very long time!), but I will definitely be looking out for it.

Last but not least, I bought the kit for Ballerina by Hanne Falkenberg in colour 16 – Dark Olive / Kingfisher / Aubergine / Cyclamen, from Kangaroo.

I very much appreciated that Kangaroo had sample garments that you could try on, it made all the difference. I had seen pictures of the Ballerina design before, but had been concerned that it was rather short and wide. However what I had failed to take into consideration was that the models that it was shown on are in fact very tall and thin, whereas I am actually short and wide (it comes as a constant shock to discover this – mentally I am quite tall and thin). So actually ballerina comes out a good length on me.

They didn’t have the kit in the colour I wanted at the show, but took all the details and posted it to me. It was very fast and turned up in just a week which is pretty impressive considering it had had to be ordered from Denmark! Mummy also ordered a kit, in her case Da Capo, in colour 4, Light Green / Sage Green / Yellow mix. They have been staying down here looking after my sister’s cats while she is on holiday and the kits arrived just in time for Mummy to collect hers before they went home.

Ally Pally is a fantastic building too.

This is one of the raillings outside.

And here I am with my purchases, looking very happy about the lovely day we have had.

Since it is on top of a hill, it also has fantastic views, but I’m afraid I don’t seem to have taken any photos of the view – I will just have to go back next year :-)

5 thoughts on “Ally Pally

  1. dawn

    You seemed to have a good time! I went on Friday – but I can’t remember seeing you! I’m notoriously bad at recognising people, comes from years refusing to wear glasses and everyone being blurry, so I don’t look out for faces.
    Although the shetlands are a little scratchy, I find the soften up quite a lot after washing. I think that’s your best bet, maybe you could wear a long sleeved undergarment? J&S are al ot cheaper than Jamieson’s. What about Harris yarns?

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