Ally Pally Anticipation

I’m so excited about the Knitting and Stitching Show later this week, Thursday to Sunday. This year I’ve got to wait until Saturday until I can go and I’m not sure how I’ll manage to wait that long! I know there are other shows out there, but I live in London so the big stash enhancement event for me is the annual pilgrimage to Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally) for what they claim to be “the best textile exhibition in Europe”. What am I looking forward to seeing in amongst all that choice?

Trust Me in Scrumptious Aran

Trust Me in Fyberspates Scrumptious Aran

The fabulous Fyberspates is a must-see. I have my eye on some of Jeni’s Scrumptious Aran for luxurious but practical winter things. Thick, luscious wool/silk mix with a good twist and in beautiful jewel colours. Perfect for a frosty January morning. I love this yarn since using it for a Trust Me cowl; it just behaves so beautifully.

I know I will be drawn to some of Jeni’s irresistible hand-dyed colours that I won’t be able to leave behind. I wish I could wear mohair because her Faery Wings has quite a cult following – and rightly so. But I know I will be thrilled with any of her hand-dyed 4ply for shawls and other little things. (Still no sock knitting for me!) Jeni will have some of my Midnight Ocean patterns for sale, since hers is the twinkly Sheila’s Sock yarn that I used. Yes, I do use the yarns that I love!

Midnight Ocean in Fyberspates Sheila's Sock

Midnight Ocean in Fyberspates Sheila’s Sock

Mrs Moon, my lovely LYS, will be there showing lots of Blue Sky Alpacas and Spud & Chloe. The selection of Blue Sky Alpacas that they’re taking is simply gorgeous. My favourites are hard to choose but I’d go for Alpaca Silk or the deeply special new Metalico – two knitterly friends have told me they’ve just got some in the last 48hrs, and I’ve been petting it longingly at Mrs Moon.

Trust me with a Twist in Suri Merino

Trust me with a Twist in Suri Merino

For snuggly knits, I’ll be looking at Suri Merino for it’s beautiful alpaca haze but without that mohair itch. I fell in love with this yarn when I used it for Trust Me with a Twist. For quick but luxurious gifts, it has to be Bulky in juicy colours. Oh, but I can’t leave out Spud & Chloe sweater with its smoothness, washability, stitch definition. When I can’t think what to knit, I come back for more of this.

Ice Storm: Long Cowl

Ice Storm: Long Cowl in MillaMia

I know I’ll visit MillaMia, since theirs is the squidgy yarn I used for the Ice Storm designs – and they’re going to have the patterns & samples on their stand. Yay! The stitch definition is amazing, and the knitability is addictive. I think I might have got a couple of the Ice Storm test knitters hooked! It’s hard to go back to anything else after knitting this bouncy sport-weight in perfect solid colours. Their kids patterns are so lovely and very clearly written.

I love Shilasdair’s yarns – hand dyed with natural dyes in Skye. Since an island off the North West coast of Scotland is a bit far to go, Ally Pally is my big chance to spend too much money. Despite my mohair aversion, I seem to be alright with socks and their boot socks are amazing. I feel like it’s a good compromise that I’m not knitting my own but at least I’m buying hand-dyed ones! It’s always a surprise what they choose to bring in the way of yarn. I’ve had amazing everything from hand-spun baby camel to straightforward Aran lambswool from Shilasdair. It’s all just beautiful because the colours are so rich but never brash.

I’ll be looking for buttons since they are a nightmare to find on the high street here. Not that I have a shortage of buttons; it’s just that shows are about the only time I can buy batches of nice-but-still-affordable ones.

Apart from the yarn excitement, I have a boring list of needle tips I need and a nice list of gifts to choose for a few people.

I could go on about a lot more things I need to see but there are hundreds of stands and I don’t want this post to get as overwhelming as the show itself. If you’re going, maybe bump into you there on Saturday. If not, check out the list of exhibitors online and treat yourself to a virtual tour – I know lots of them will deliver to you instead!

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