Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Ally Pally and I get to meet Ms Epstein

On Saturday my sister and I went for our annual pilgrimage to Ally Pally to check out the trends at the Knitting and Stitching show, despite the roadworks delaying us for an hour we were soon parked, onto a courtesy bus and standing outside the entrance. 
Now my sister... that is my older sister, the one with the bus pass and who tried to pass me off as an OAP concesssion when we went to the pictures, had managed to buy two sets of tickets... so I am really proud of her generosity, she found two people in the ticket queue and gave the the tickets for free, and even better for it was one of the ladies' birthday!  Pay it forward people.

We are methodical in our approach, no aisle is left undiscovered and every stand gets the once over from our eagle eyes.  First on the list was a pinking wheel for her rotary cutter, I think she might be after the Leigh-on-sea rag wreath market from me!

And then it was looking at the fabrics:
Now this is how I dream it will be...

But in reality, it is a bit of a rugby scrum, albeit a polite one, and while I am at it, is it really necessary to bring your buggy to this event... buggy-sized kiddies do not enjoy it, nor does this adult who objects to having her ankles gouged by careless yummy mummies.

I spoke to a lovely lady who was trying out an amazing sub £4k free style machine and we swapped tips, apparently when I can sign my name and it can be read I have mastered freestyle and I told her that if she discovered her wheels were blunt, fold up some baking foil and putting it on your cutting mat, slice through it about 20 times, it also works on scissors!

Then we went round the corner and I saw Nicky Epstein the GMC stand, I took out my camera and said to my sister that I was going to to say hello... the chauffeur legged it and hid on the next stand.  Then I was really brave and asked if I could take her picture:
And she was utterly charming, it was akin to Enid Blyton turning up on your birthday when you were 10 years old.  She gave me a free pattern from my fave book, a book mark and badge which I will give away to anyone who leaves a comment on here before I next post at the weekend - names to be drawn from the sock I am knitting.  She also gave me a hug and a kiss but I am keeping those!  I thanked her for her posts on Ravelry and her e-mails and even though she pretended to know me, I know that I am just one of thousands of her fans but she still made me feel very special.

One of the exhibits that was truly fascinating was the travelling exhibition from MODA, the Museum of Domestic Arts who were showing pieces of artwork from the Silver Studios which became dress fabrics.  Little is known of the designers who were truly gifted but the vibrancy of the watercolours and the adverts for silk tea dresses from the 30s were inspirational.  They explained that elements of these paintings are used by fabric designers today but I think it would be wonderful to see these fabrics back in production.

Sadly, I did check before I left the house that morning if I had won the £101m in the lottery so contented myself with a beautiful skein of silk yarn instead of buying everything.  However as we left, the pensioner sister presented me with a Clover applique iron which I had been eyeing up, she managed to buy it while I was chatting to the free hand embroidery lady and I did not notice.  Have I mentioned how young my sister is looking?


TIGS01 said...

Sounds like a lovely day out! Gorgeous quilting on display in one of your photos - there's something I wish I could do! Well, if I could work out how to use a sewing machine properly (it's been a long time) I would try....Definitely believe in paying it forward, and try to whenever possible!

Pickle Lily said...

What a lovely day. I have never been but it sounds like heaven! What a knid sister you have and thank-you for sharing your gifts with us as well!
Jo x

Anonymous said...

How exciting!!! Your sister definitely deserves some pay-it-forward love, and how lucky of you to meet such a great lady!! Thanks for sharing!!

CarolC1 said...

What a wonerful day. I was looking for the green ink in which I could comment but the better side of my nature took over and I ended up pleased for you. lol. I thoroughly enjoyed the read but let someone else enjoy the gift, that isnt why I commented.

Annie and Lyn said...

Your sister is very kind and I'm glad you enjoyed your Ally Pally day. Lovely photo of Ms Epstein.

I went on Sunday with my daughter and we also felt that it wasn't right to bring pushchairs in. Mostly because it's so unfair on the poor toddlers.

It certainly was a rugby scrum - especially around the Black Sheep area amongst the mountains of yarn!

I hope you enjoy your Clover iron - it certainly looks handy.

We both fell in love with a free machine sewing table, but as we didn't win the lottery either, the £9,000 price tag was just a few pence too much.

Jenny said...

I go every year too but have to take my toddler as I don't have any childcare. I promise I didn't gouge anyone's ankles. I always get there when it opens so I can see everything before it gets too busy - and people start tutting at me and my pushchair!