Sunday, August 31, 2008

Forgot my Ravelry button at Creative Stitch and Craft...

This weekend saw the biannual Creative Stitch and Craft Show at Manchester Central which apparently was once called GMEX. Being new to the area and a craft addict, I thought I would toodle around for the day there while I waited for my final German guest (this month) to come back from his speaking engagement in Liverpool.

Manchester Central is a really impressive venue for shows: it was once one of three major train stations in Manchester. For me, there is just something about the massive expanse of the slanting roof, complete with cast iron, milky glass and a big fat clock at the apex. Then again, I am always taken by repurposed buildings. I wish we did more of that in America. Pictured here are some random skeins. I thought they were purdy.

I must say that I was slightly disappointed with Creative Stitch and Craft. It was heavy on the card making, scrapbooking and jewelry making, but left much to be desired in the way of fibre. Nonetheless, it was creatively inspiring and in the end, less tempting for the yarn junkie that I am. 

Yes, I managed to walk away having only bought a package of rubber point protectors for my sock DPNs. Can you believe it? I barely can. The point protectors were a need, not a want, since Bearski's Caribbean Socks were literally jabbing me in the hip through my purse. With my RSI, I don't need any other knitting related injuries. The stand I bought them was a really cool little shop called Web of Wool that specializes in self-patterning yarns. Cool concept, nice people, nifty yarns.

I was also really inspired by the booth featuring a Japanese embroidery group. There were some amazingly beautiful pieces on display and I was really dazzled by the kimono hanging behind the embroiderers. See for yourself:

Very nice, very nice. These works are so beautiful, I may just have been persuaded to pick up another needleart form.

I was also really happy to run into Serena, a campaigner at Oxfam who has organized a knitted petition: a blanket of individual squares, each representing a mother who has died due to lack of adequate health care. I chatted with her about what else she has planned for the blanket's presentation and stitched together a few bundles of squares. The organizers of the show, Trident, should be commended for their support of the campaign, allowing Oxfamers and their volunteer stitchers a contingent of free tickets and the space to do it. 

The last highlight of my day was the workshop I attended on a whim. An announcement came around 2:45 for "Knitting for the Home". I didn't know what it was, but though 'what the heck'. In a really small group of 3, we got a private lesson in knitted home accessory design from the fabulous and talented designer Jo Hoddinott. For a whole hour, I got to soak up design tips and learn to look at things the way a designer does. It was really interesting and Jo is a great teacher. If you read this Jo, thanks! I had a great time.

And really, that was my day out. Next Friday is I Knit London Day. To go or no to go. That is the question. And then there is Twisted Thread in Birmingham in two weeks. So many shows in such a short span of time. Yes, that was a squeal of delight you heard in the background.

Well, only a few more hours til with my article goes live. I will attach a link tomorrow. Knit well and knit often. 

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