I'm turning into a grumpy old woman.
I treated myself to day out at the Knitting and Stitching show today. Something I usually look forward to with relish... all those gorgeous fabrics and yarns and glorious exhibitions of innovative textiles. But somehow it just didn't do it for me this year. There was nothing I really wanted to buy... my purchases extended to four reels of thread, a box of machine needles and two pieces of wool felt! It was hot... it was too crowded... my back ached and after two hours I'd had enough. Even the quick cuppa I had before leaving cost me £1.70 for a tea bag dunked in hot water with UHT milk... which I had to drink standing up!
But there were some fabulous exhibitions and people whose work I had not seen before, so before you write me off as a complete misery moaner let me show you some of my favourites.
The first person I spotted when I entered the textile gallery was Fleur Oakes whose work is pictured above. She was showing the most exquisite little embroideries, beautifully displayed and in particular I loved her buttons.
Buttons were obviously very appealing to me today as it was the buttons of Alice Colson that attracted me to her stand as part of the Graduate Showcase. Beautiful machine embroidered fabrics, some of which she had used to cover buttons.
There were also some lovely group exhibitions and one of my favourites was by REVEAL. All of the work was beautiful but I especially liked the machine embroidery of Kerry Mosely,pictured above, combining stitch onto knitted wire. Some pieces looked like lace and other pieces were very figurative but all stunning.
The other exhibition which was totally eye catching was the fantastic display by Ann Small and Sue Walton called Jabberwocky. It was a fun, surreal tableau inspired by the imagination of Lewis Carroll. The work of both was brilliant but I was especially attracted to Sue Walton's felted pieces and neutral palette.
Another graduate whose work really caught my eye was Ayasha Wood whose beautiful colourful embroidery on traditionally tailored menswear was colourful, fun, lighthearted but exqusitely executed.
And last, but not least there was this brilliant cross stitch on an old metal van door. My kind of cross stitch!
So as you can see, there was actually plenty to see (and I've only picked a few of my favourites... there were others) and so the fact that I was grumpy was obviously just down to me. And I have come home inspired to stitch and work in my sketchbook, which is good... except I'm off teaching to North Yorkshire for a couple of days and then whizzing back down south to Oxted on Monday before back to my regular class on Tuesday and meeting up with a friend on Wednesday. Perhaps I should pencil in next Thursday for some stitching and sketching of my own? I'll be back when I've got a minute!