I Knit London Tweets

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lavender, blue, Ally Pally...

After a very long week for Gerard we met up in Vauxhall with Elly and blogless Lynsey (as in de Paul) after their looong day at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. I'd been in the shop all day, with Sue and our one-day beginner's knitting session. To mark National Knitting Week we're having our big sale so I spent most of the day sorting through everything, pricing up the half price stuff and getting the buckets filled up. It was a grand day - hopefully everyone learning enjoyed the day, and with the big show in town it was nice to meet lots of visiting knitters who'd travelled south of the river (only just) to find out what I Knit London was all about!

So, Saturday night in Pico's, our local Portuguese restaurant, always packed and always super. Then to The Lavender - we couldn't avoid the rugby but the conversation was more about yarn, family, names, the Arctic musk ox and knitting. A couple of bottled of Chilean sauvignon blanc later and I think we were all pretty relaxed! And I am grateful for the discovery of Qiviut for online Scrabble!
But we were up very early on Sunday. Gerard has had his WaterAid cap on this week at the Ally Pally show, working there since Thursday, and today was the last day, and my first. So, up at 7am and off to north London. I've never been and the view of Alexandra Palace as we crested the brow of the hill, smothered in fog was quite spectacular. But what of the show? I loved it! It was so great to meet some of our knitty friends who I've only ever spoken to by email and phone - I spent most of the day flitting around from stall to stall...and met some new pals too - not least Amanda from The Natural Dye Studio (left) - you won't believe the amount of gorgeous alpaca and Blue-faced Leicester that will be gracing the IKL shelves from tomorrow! We also grabbed our first batch of Cherry Tree Hill's Sockittome and met Cheryl for the first time. It was funny being there from a business point-of-view, and although I was surprised just how much more non-knitting there was included, there was plenty to get your teeth into - we're certainly adding some new stock to the IKL shelves between now and Christmas, including some stuff we've never seen before - it's ironic that this all comes in the same week that a yarn we've wanted to stock for ages has become 'unavailable' to us (for reasons which I shan't dwell on here!). It's like the balance has been put right. But I was thrilled to meet up with Ann and Ruth from the Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop (below) with whom I've had so many phone conversations - and we couldn't go away without grabbing some more stock too. And, Elaine and Nicola from Jamieson's of Shetland were another long-distance realtionaship where I could finally put names to faces! There were a bit camera shy, so no pics!

Ann & Ruth from the Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop

Darlene from Handjive at the fabulous Habu stand

Laura and Loretta from the new knitting mag Let's Knit! - get a copy, it's brill and we're in it! Plus you get a free DVD too, how nice of them.

Gerard sits on the river, after four days, waiting for the taxi home - note, four bags and two boxes...wonder what's in there?

Of course the main reason we were involved in the Knitting and Stitching show this year was to show off our knitted river. I say 'our', really it belongs to all those who took part, knitting, crocheting and sewing up. There's always a message behind displays such as this and this time we were asking people to take the next step in the process, filling in cards to send to the Japanese Prime Minister. He's the pne who will be setting the agenda for next year's G8 summit and the more names we can muster the louder our voice will be to convince him that water and sanitation issues should be on the agenda and high up too. It's always difficult to engage some people with ideas like this, and this is why, not just because of the phenomenal response of 100,000 squares, I think the river works so successfully. It's an amazing thing that stops you in your tracks and gives us, the WaterAid volunteers, a chance to get our message across much more easily than if I were just to stand there with a poster and a pen. There was a genuinely great response over the four days, and it was also very special meeting some of the people who made some of the squares. We've met very few of the thousands who took part so it was an opportunity to say thanks in person and to show knitters that this type of action can make a difference. There are some pictures from the day now added to our photo gallery, which we continue to update regularly, so check there and you might spot your square!

Of coursem there's more to be done - if you want to add your voice to the campaign you can do so here .

To end on a happy note....Gerard heard yesterday (for the second time in a year) that he's an uncle again! Baby #2 is due next summer and G's knitting fingers are twitching already!



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