Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Knitting and Stitching Show Dublin - Craft Heaven for Knitters and Quilters

Mary & Me at the Big Knit Innocent Stand 
Back after a long hiatus for  no particular reason other than Bloggers' Block - I just couldn't seem to find time between life and work to do anything other than knit and read and think "I must write a blogpost soon"! Of course it just kept getting deferred and now I'm almost totally embarrassed that it's been two months without a post which is a first since I started blogging from the Déise in 2008. So I have to really make more effort - must try harder, in school reportese.

So I decided this post would be about a recent event - the Knitting and Stitching Show in the RDS (Royal Dublin Society) in Dublin last weekend. I won two tickets in an online competition on the Innocent Ireland Big Knit page which didn't even seem like a competition as all I had to do was post a comment who I'd bring to the Knitting and Stitching Show. I wrote that in a wishlist I'd bring my mother who taught me to knit, and Jany my D-i-L who I taught to crochet and who has been blitzing everything with her craft ever since, and as she's in Spain I would then love to  bring my Knitting Circle knitters. So I was delighted to get the email telling me I'd won - then I had a reason to go! The Knitting and Stitching Show (Facebook too) is a UK venture that puts on 3 shows every autumn - a London one in Ally Pally (Alexandra Palace) in October, this one in Dublin in November, and the final one in Harrogate also in November. They bring over a lot of exhibitors from the UK but there is a huge Irish craft element to this show, which gives the best of both worlds.
Patchwork quilt on show

Zoe Williams Needle Felting - Saola and Rhino
I found out a bus was going from Tallow with their knitters, and Helen kindly let me join them. I brought a friend from work, another friend wasn't able to go as she had another gig on, and I was delighted that Mary could come at short notice. We joined the Tallow knitters early on Saturday morning for the bus, and there was a sharp frost which made everywhere very Christmassy for about an hour! The trip to Dublin took about 3 hours plus a half hours pitstop in the Midway in Portlaoise for tea and scones, and then we were brought to the door of the RDS.

It was a great day, and as Mary is interested in Patchwork Quilting and my interest is in knitting and crochet, we were well served. As well as drooling over the wonderful displays and exhibitions of various crafts and some graduate shows from the art and design colleges, we were able to indulge our wishlist fantasies and get some stuff we mightn't be able to find in our local yarn shops. The Limerick Prison Quilt project was very good, and we were amazed at the multimedia element of some of the work, like the felted cables from a GMIT student. I saw some new crafts I had never heard of like Luceting which seems a bit of a cross between Macrame and French Knitting! Also saw some marvellous silk felting by Limerick-based Kate Ramsey which was a new concept for me but looks amazing!

Limerick Prison Quilt Project
I was very restrained in that I only got one skein of yarn from Winnie's Wool Wagon shop - Drops Lace in Alpaca and Silk blend in Turqouise (6410 if you wanna see it on the website), over 800m. in 100g. which gives an idea of how fine it will knit up and make a fab shawl when I get round to a)winding it into a ball and b)finding a nice pattern and actually making it! I also got a fab circular needle for socks - a pair of 3mm KnitPro wooden needles and a separate 120cm cable! I'd been looking for a long cable to knit up twin socks (two at a time) and the 80mm 2.5mm cable needle I had was just a tad short, though manageable. Also the wooden needles are wonderfully smooth to knit fine yarn with and will do grand for socks and maybe shawls and also I can get interchangeable needles for the cable at any time.

NCAD 2nd Year textile structures
We visited the Innocent Smoothies stand and saw all the knitters busily knitting little hats for the Age Action Big Knit. We introduced ourselves as winners of tickets to the Show and they took our photos and gave us smoothies which was really nice of them, thanks a lot girls! We also introduced ourselves to Rosemary of The Constant Knitter, who's also a Deise girl, and who won an Irish Times Best Craft Shop in a reader-nominated competition recently. We'd had some Twitter talk lately and she'd said to drop by, so we did and took a pic.

With Rosemary The Constant Knitter
We had a cuppa and a sandwich and wandered around for the afternoon, enjoying the craic and meeting others from the group laden down with bags of wool - one intrepid knitter had brought an empty suitcase, redolent of the New York-bound Christmas shoppers from the Celtic Tiger days! We bumped into an old colleague from my Concern Tanzania days and her sister who's an avid knitter and we've linked up on Ravelry since, she's there as FinishMyRow, a familiar knitters' refrain.

We hit the road home at 5pm and stopped for food at the Midway where we had lovely Thai chicken curry, and snoozed in between showing off and admiring our purchases on the bus. Next year the Tuesday Knitters from Lismore Design Workshop will organise our own  bus and look forward to another good day out.

To conclude on the school theme - in the time-honoured words of the annual school essay - we arrived home tired but happy!

Scroll down to see a gallery of photos of the day.

Mary with crafty mags!

Mary gets some fat quarters (quilter's lingo)
some great Innocent Hats
more cute hats

My KnitPro cable sock needles
Matching hats - mine and the smoothie!

Amazing Knitted Village
Granny Square bag idea!
Kate Ramsey Fabulous Felt (Silk)

Schoolkids' quilt

Knitted Village
Knitting Stash Heaven! Bargains galore.


Stephanie V said...

Thanks for taking me along with you. It was almost as good as being there. The talent is just amazing!
So happy you won the tickets so I could see it, too :)

Mimi said...

Congrats on winning the tickets, they obviously went to a good home! It was a great idea to get the bus up, so much more relaxing than driving.
I've never been to that show, but reading your post and seeing your pics, I will probably go next year. With a bit of luck I might even win the tickets to get in!!!

kathy b said...

I love that you won!

I LOVE the knitted up Firehouse ~ !! So darling.
the little hats amazing each and every one

Catherine said...

Thanks for your kind comments and glad you enjoyed the post, Stephanie, Mimi and Kathy B - all appreciative knitters and crafty types! I have made socks with my lovely new wooden knitPro needles and they are lovely to work with, and I am currently making fingerless mitts with them also two at a time, which is much more satisfying than starting all over with the second one.
Stephanie I made your socks the clover leaf pattern in the ebook you emailed me! They are for Knitmas so I can't post them till after the recipient gets them,but will take photos beforehand. I did the Balbriggan Heel too!
Take care friends,
Catherine xxxx

Peggy said...

Hi Catherine, bloggers block seems to be a universal ailment lately! I can follow your exploits on FB now which I find is more immediate.I first visited this show in the Ally Pally about 10 years ago and thought it was fantastic and keep meaning to get to Dublin but by the time I hear its on its too late to organize a trip!