Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Weekend - including Knitting and Stitching Show in Edinburgh

I was feeling this way last week and technology still has me a bit this way still!
A poor photo of a wonderful recreation of The Scream
I decided pretty much at the last minute to go to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Edinburgh last weekend.  I hadn't intended to - we had been due to go to Cambridge but Joanne was working; there was a craft show at home; David and I are still tired after a bug; one of my sewing friends went to the first Edinburgh show last year and said it was poor with not enough sewing related; and I don't need more fabric. Then it's a bit of a drive. However, we decided to go and planned also to visit my Mum so booked overnight hotel accommodation for Sunday night after the show, intending to visit Mum on Monday and then travel home on Monday evening.

David dropped me off at the show and went on into Edinburgh to go on a photographing and reminiscing journey. We lived in Edinburgh for a few years; we left almost exactly 30 years ago.

As we left home at 7.30 am and hadn't stopped,  I was ready for a comfort  break and a coffee as soon as I got to the show and wanted to see if there were any spaces left on any of the workshops that interested me. There were.

I gently wandered around. The first thing that interested me was the display from Materialistics, a group of knitters and stitchers, which began in 2009 in South Shields where I worked for over 20 years. It's 10 miles from where I live.  They agreed to me taking photos and putting on my blog. The photos sadly haven't come out that well and you can't see the marvellous colours and textures. They have an exhibition on at present and I'll make sure to catch it. I'm less likely to go to their twice weekly meetings. I had a lovely chat about the background to Materialistics with one of the ladies - she created The Eiffel Tower by Robert Delauney
and Sylvette by Picasso.
I confess my favourite two were the Cezanne

A close up detail of the wonderful texture

and the Rennie McIntosh.
Have a look at their website for more information and some more photos.

The exhibition was much smaller than Harrogate or London. It was also much less crowded (good and bad of course!). Yes, I'd go back if only because of the convenience. I'm not going to go to Harrogate or London this autumn but quite fancy the Great British Sewing Bee Live in London in September. I'm not sure about the timing yet. It sounds much ore specifically dressmaking related.

I looked around some of the stalls, bought a Harris Tweed jacket and had lunch before going to my first 1h workshop on bias binding on a neckline with Claire Tyler. I've  been to one of her workshops before and like her style. I completed a sample. My neighbour in the class was on her 4th straight day of the show and on her 7th workshop! My sample wasn't perfect but a decent press would probably sort it. In the real thing, I would tack (baste) first to make sure everything was lying where it should. I do quite a lot of tacking and enjoy it for some reason when other people avoid at all costs..

A short break and then my 2nd 1h class on the lapped zipper. I liked the method taught here and am likely to use it. Again, a nice sample to take home. When I said to Rory that I had taken this class, she said but you know how to do a lapped zipper’ (sha and Dan had taught me). I said that  hadn’t been happy with my technique

There were a couple of things I couldn't attend as they clashed eg Lauren Guthrie demonstrating sewing with knits and the timing of another workshop appeared to have been changed at the last minute and I missed it.  I  enjoyed looking around the other displays.

I finished looking around the other stands. I couldn't get a couple of things on my potential shopping list (wool jersey). I attended a short demo of the Lutterloh system, which I have but have never used. I bought the Cashmerette Turner pattern (at Guthrie and Ghani), a couple  of greatly reduced Simplicity New Look patterns - no doubt there had been a greater selection in the earlier days. I subscribed to Selvedge magazine,  decided against buying Ottobre, bought some woolly nylon for Helen's dress.   Wait for it - I bought yarn and pattern! I also bought a kit which had sold out and is going to be sent to me so you can't see it until it's done. I wasn't  tempted just to buy to add to my yarn stash (yes, I have one of those too despite all the yarn I gave away. Most recently I've been a machine knitter). I'm hoping my hands won't get too sore trying hand knitting again.

By this time David had given up and decided that our plans for nighttime walking and photography from Calton Hill (Edinburgh Castle at night) were off. So he picked me up and we went to the hotel and ate there instead. Nice meal. I phoned my Mum and arranged  to visit - we hadn’t done that earlier incase our plans changed. Had she not been free, we would have spent an extra day in Edinburgh.

I found that I was the lucky recipient of Sigrid’s Knipmode magazine in her giveaway. I've never seen the magazine so look forward to getting it. I enjoy Marianne’s reviews of it. I do have an unsewn Knipmode pattern that I got from their website, with Marianne’s help to negotiate the language barrier.

On Monday we took my Mum out for lunch at a new to us restaurant - Artisan, which serves ‘modern Scottish fare’. A lovely meal and very reasonably priced.  They had a fabulous selection of whisky which David unfortunately couldn't sample as he was driving. We'll go back.

My Mum had worn the top I made for her specially as I was going. Remember I said she told me it fitted well? It doesn't. My mother is becoming very frail and has lost quite a bit of body bulk and the top basically drowns her. My 'dowager's hump' alteration appears to have been insufficient and'/or this style just doesn't work for her. Pity as she s likes a cowl neckline, though this one wasn't quite cowly enough for her she told me.
Mum in the top I made for her

There won't be much sewing this coming week as I have a number of golf-related activities which are quite time consuming. For those of you who don't know, I am the secretary of our County association for senior ladies and while I also play in the competitions where I'm eligible, I have a few committee duties too. The golfing season has started. I still haven't made the golf attire I'd like to. I don't think it will be this year either! I'd prefer  to lose a bit more weight.

I intended to post this earlier, but it’s now Wednesday evening. I was at sewing bee today and took the torso block on to the next stage. It’s very nearly ready for Madame!
Torso block front
Torso block back

Rory had made me up a toile of another pair of trousers and tbh I thought these were the worst yet. She said that she could see why I’ve had wide legged trousers a lot in the past and maybe went as far as to suggest I stuck to those. I don’t want ‘skinnies’ but I would really like a pair of slim legged trousers. Don’t care if they’re stretch or woven. I was at a fitting group a few weeks ago (not blogged) and one of the others has said that she read that some wrinkles are impossible to get rid of for her type of figure (not mine) and that perhaps wide legs are the answer. Oh dear! So how long do I stick at it? I didn’t get around to finishing the little pink rain jacket. Never mind, it’s a sample piece only.

This was my last Wednesday afternoon sewing bee for a while as our Wednesday evening stretch/ knits/ swimwear class starts next week. I’m still not sure whether I’m looking forward to it.


  1. I have gotten a lot of good info from Peggy Sagers's site...
    August 8, 2016 she drapes pants on 4 ladies. April 29, 2013 are just two of her web casts on's of others but seeing what she does is helpful. The link I attempted to paste in is her media page...if it doesn't work then search in your favorite site for Silhouette Patterns and media center. Best wishes...and thanks for posting, even if you don't always feel like you are winning over technology.

    1. Thank you. I will have a look at these.


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