The Ally Pally
The Knitting and Stitching Show is a four day event takes place every year over the 2nd weekend in October, at Alexandra Palace (affectionately known as the Ally Pally) in London - and I never miss it.
Alexandra Palace is an iconic building dating back to 1873, which sits perched on top of a hill in North London. Along with the exhibition halls, there is an ice rink and a lovely park that spreads out in front of the building complete with a boating lake and cafe. The park is even more stunning this time of year with the leaves turning on the trees. Being so high up, the view over London is second to none. You can see all of the landmark buildings from East to West across the City from the new glass towers in the City of London in the East to the old and much loved Post Office Tower in Central London to the West.
It is a wonderful weekend of creativity with amongst other things, textile galleries showing amazing textiles in every imaginable medium from all over the world and the graduate showcase which again covers all textiles. There are always a handful of graduates there who are more than happy to talk about their exhibits and it's always heart warming to see these young designers about to make their way in the world. Normally I take lots of photos of the exhibitions, but this year for some reason, I didn't. At the end of this blog post are some I took from previous years to give an idea and flavour of the items on show. There are also famous faces from the textile world giving talks and demonstrations and sometimes book signings. This year's show was no exception and I eagerly lapped it all up, chatting to exhibitors and watching some of my crafty heroes give talks and demonstrations.
Oh and the shopping! Oh my goodness the shopping - there are so many tempting crafty things to buy! This year I was VERY restrained. In fact I didn't buy anything knitting related at all - very unlike me. Everything I bought in the end was for dressmaking. Even though sewing patterns and fabric were the order of the day, it didn't stop me swooning over and squishing a considerable amount of yarn and flicking through many inspiring knitting reference and pattern books.
The Ally Pally show is a mind boggling array of all things crafty and there's always more to see and do than can possibly be crammed into one day. You really need to spend a couple of days there to do it justice - and one year I may well do just that. It is my annual crafty pilgrimage and I can't wait to do it all again next year!
Exhibition pieces from previous years