Wow, what a week! I had an overwhelming response to my knitted dog heads at Ally Pally from the thousands of lovely visitors to the Knitted Textile Awards stand. If only I could have captured on camera the smiles they provoked, particularly Pickle the fluffy terrier. I got lots of interest in commissions, was shown lots of pictures of people’s dogs and even got to stroke a little chihuahua who had been smuggled into the show in a handbag! Probably the funniest comment from viewers was a lady who laughed out loud at Pickle stating “that dog has eyebrows just like my Dad!”.
The stand looked fantastic this year, thoughtfully curated by Sam Elliott from Kingston University, and it showed off the work of the finalists beautifully. In the Open Category we had plenty of knitted sculpture to keep my doggies company including a full size brown bear by Heather Drage of “Born to Knit”, a cheeky seagull enjoying a feast of fried chicken by Claire Sams, and the ENTIRE cast of the Hobbit (minus the dwarves as there wasn’t enough room!) by Denise Salway.
In contrast to the sculpture there were some lovely crochet baby shoes with sparkly soles by “This little”, a striking picture by Tina McCara, a wonderfully wearable asymmetric jacket by Becca Tansley, Babsi Cooper’s sculptural crochet dress inspired by the Yorkshire countryside, a colourful crocheted unisex T by Matthew, aka one man crochet, the cutest kiddy colourwork clothes by Anita Joyes, and last but by no means least some gorgeous hand knitted cushions by Oksana Dymyd.
And this was just the open category! The graduate competition was also amazing in its diversity, managing to be both inspired, technical and wearable all at the same time. I didn’t envy the judges their job and many of them told us afterwards how difficult they found it. We await the results at Harrogate.
There was also some inspiring work on display at the Knit and Stitch show by other artists and makers this year. I think my favourites were Renate Keeping and Jean Bennett. More on them in another post. That’s it for now. After a week away being looked after by my Mum, real life and the day job now beckon. Firstly though a wet and muddy run around the woods with a hyperactive and neglected Weimaraner.