Knitting & Stitching Show, Ally Pally & Great Little Gifts winner

The winner of the Great Little Gifts to Knit giveaway is ....  drumroll.... da, da, da, da ... da...da... Eileen Maga!  Many congrats, Eileen, as soon as I get your snail mail address the book will be on its way.

I enjoyed my flying visit to Ally Pally for the Knitting & Stitching Show on Saturday, despite the East Coast train service.  Just before P and I were due to arrive at Kings Cross, apparently there was a complete power failure at Finsbury Park so all the signals were down. After about an hour the driver decided to cautiously backtrack the 2 miles to Alexandra Palace station, where there was said to be power and we could await further news out of harm's way.  When we got there I mistakenly thought that we might be allowed to disembark, but no, the guard said the platform wasn't long enough for a high speed train so the doors remained firmly shut.  Out of the window, a stone's throw away, was Ally Pally, the place I should have been -  on the GMC stand meeting knitters and signing books... very frustrating!!!
Jolly taxi parked outside, sadly not ours
Beauty on both sides
After about 90 minutes we were told we could proceed to the station, then we hopped in a cab and got there half an hour later... better late than never I suppose :)
GMC stand
Ally Pally was as bustling and frenetic as ever, with thousands of happy crafters making their way to this 4-day bonanza of knitting and stitching heaven.  It was great chatting to knitters, leading the Make & Take and afterwards having a couple of hours to explore some of the other exhibits.

Here are some of my fave images from my bus-stop tour of the show.

Knitting with recycled materials
Craft + activism = Craftivism 
Love that equation!  A large stand in co-operation with Traid, a charity working to wear out poverty by taking practical action to stop clothes being thrown away in the UK. It tackles poverty, wages, toxic pesticides, child and sweatshop labour and dangerous working conditions in the sweatshop industry, demonstrating how to recycle old clothes into new.
A workshop in progress, learning recycling skills
This stand was rocking all day!
There was lots of brave new work by students in the Knitting Textile Awards... I particularly loved these as they're funky but wearable...
These are slightly more out there
...and there were lots of vibrant young companies like Wool and the Gang.
Wool & the Gang
Beautiful and creative textile art abounded -  it would take all four days just to see it all...
Margaret G Nicholson
Susan Chapman & Terrie Hitchcock: Evidence of Bodies
Dorothy Caldwell
And the little ones were well catered for also, with Toft Alpacas fabulous display of soft toys.
I love this huge elephant head, good for old and young kids!
But if you want to know what my absolute fave is... it's people watching. There were many super-creative individuals attending the show and for me they help make it a real feast for the eyes.

We had a jam-packed day of Ally Pally sensory overload

We departed at closing time through the glorious Palm Court, a Victorian conservatory that is Ally Pally's grand entrance hall, with its imperious sphinxes overseeing proceedings... exhausted, but happy.

I was so relieved that we didn't have to get back on the train that evening.  Instead we were met by our friend Peter and taken off for one of the best Indian meals I've ever tasted. We spent a lovely chilled evening catching up and putting the world to rights, before steeling ourselves for the train home in the morning.


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