14 October 2015


Last week I went to the Knitting & Stitching Show at Ally Pally - I haven't been for about 5 years, and hadn't intended to put myself in the way of temptation this year. Then I agreed to a request for people to cover the stand for the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers which came up - followed with a 'by the way can you demonstrate?' Well I always demonstrate spinning when on a guild event, so I said yes, of course - then received an email showing me where 'the stage' was ....... oh that kind of demo! When I arrived I found that actually 'the stage' was a desk in front of a handful of benches, so it wasn't really very scary.

I wanted to talk about the possibility of spinning if you own no tools - so started with hand twining, and moved on to how to create a drop spindle from things you might find around the house - making my point with a banana, a knitting needle and a rubber band - it worked enough (just) - I've spun on a better banana, and actually an apple or a potato generally work better - but it got a laugh, and hopefully made people aware of just how low tech spinning can be.

I was surprised that I enjoyed the show so much - I'd forgotten how inspiring it is - I loved the Sophie Digard exhibition & was completely in awe of the amount of work that goes into her pieces and the wonderful use of colour - so much better seen in the real world, than in photos on-line - where it's hard to appreciate the amount of detail in each piece.

I heard that someone was spinning exciting, sparkly yarn from wonderful batts in the main hall and wandered over to see her and her lovely sparkly fibre at Spin City - we had a lovely informative chat which finished 'oh you're the lady with the banana!' which amused me no end. Then yesterday a knit friend on Facebook posted a link to a blog saying 'have you seen this?' - and there I was on 'The Twisted Yarn' - with my banana. So there you go - never underestimate the power of a banana.

I realised that not having been to the show for a while, I appreciated it much more - it seemed fresh and exciting again. It was lovely to focus on the exhibitions and the people - lots of chat - exhausting but fun.

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