Friday and Saturday were my Knit and Stitch show days – I travelled down to London on the sleeper on Friday night, and went to the Knit and Stitch show at Alexandra Palace on Saturday. I really have no excuse for not blogging on Friday, as I didn’t do an awful lot – I had planned it that way as I wasn’t sure how much actual sleep I would get on the sleeper, so I wanted to make sure I had some energy for the show on Saturday.
In the event, the trip down was quite good – I was much more comfortable this time than I had been the last time I went on the sleeper, and did manage to get a bit of sleep – probably 3 hours proper sleep, and some dozing as well – before my breakfast arrived, and I disembarked into London at 6.45am – a time I do not usually see on a Saturday morning (or indeed any morning, if I am honest). It was just light in London, and I walked slowly down the Euston Road to St Pancras station, enjoying the cool morning air. N had told me that I’d be able to find somewhere nice to get some breakfast at St Pancras (my breakfast on the train had just been a croissant, and I was looking for breakfast No2 partly as a way to use up some time before heading out to Ally Pally). I ended up at a french chain restaurant, where I had porridge with honey, and a pot of coffee – that came with a bowl to drink from, in the proper french way – which I very much enjoyed.
After breakfast, I hit M&S to buy my picnic lunch, and headed for Kings Cross, and the train to Ally Pally. I shouldn’t have been surprised to see so many women on the train, who were clearly headed for the same place as I was. And there were even more of them on the shuttle bus up from the station (a shuttle bus that was free, which was a nice surprise, and which was driven by a lovely man who saw me walking up to the bus stop, clearly recognised that I was headed for the Knit and Stitch show, and waited for me).
I got to the show half an hour before it opened, so I found somewhere to sit and have a drink whilst I waited for the doors to open, and then tagged onto the back of the queue to go in. It was an amazing show, with an almost bewildering array of craft supplies, stalls and beautiful quilts and embroideries to see too. To be honest, I found the walking all a bit much – I regretted not checking my backpack and cardigan into the cloakroom – and my wanderings and browsing were punctuated by frequent rests when I found a bench or chair.
Initially it was easy enough to move around the show, but by midday, the halls were very busy indeed, and it became much harder to see what was on the stalls and to walk around the show – but this didn’t stop me finding some wonderful fabric, a beautiful skein of Colinette yarn, and some crochet cotton – though surprisingly, this was all that I purchased. Maybe there was too much choice, and whenever I was tempted by something, there was the thought at the back of my mind that there might be something even more tempting on the next stall. But shopping was only part of what the show had to offer, and I enjoyed looking at what other crafters have done, and hopefully have some more inspiration for my own crafts in the future. Below is a picture of the fabric and yarn I bought, so you can see how lovely they are.
At 1pm, I met up with a group of Mumsnetters – it was a thread on mumsnet, suggesting a meet-up at the show, that made me first think of going, and in the end, five of us met up and had lunch together – four mumsnetters and one mumsnetter’s sister. We sat outside on the steps and had our picnics – and one lovely lady had brought cake to share – and talked about crafts, children, firstborns leaving for university, and many other topics. Every time I have met up with Mumsnetters, I have found an instant bond, and people whom it has been so easy to talk to and enjoy spending time with – and these ladies are definitely my Positive Thing for the day.
After lunch, I decided I had seen enough of the show – and couldn’t face fighting my way through the crowds any more – so I headed for the shuttle bus and the train back to Kings Cross – where I treated myself to a taxi back to Euston, in good time for the 15.30 train – something I was to regret, as the knock-on effects of a dewirement the previous week, near Carstairs, led to the cancellation of our train at Preston – so a journey that should have had no changes ended up with two, and a long wait in the cold at Carlisle (because I didn’t want to do the last hour plus of the journey on a sprinter train packed full of people many of whom had been on my cancelled train). I ended up on the 16.30 from Euston, and had I known what was going to happen, I would have sat down in a cafe at Euston and had something to eat, and caught the later train – but my crystal ball was on the blink (as, it would appear, was Virgin Train’s).
Sunday was a very lazy day – I slept the clock round, and didn’t get up until the afternoon (shameful), and N and the boys looked after me as I sat on the couch and crocheted.
Monday – knitting group again – and a beautiful, crisp, frosty morning – the sort of Autumn/Winter weather that I love the best. I’d rather it be below freezing, but sunny and crisp, than warm, grey and rainy. The sunshine lifts my spirits. Knitting group also lifts my spirits – the enjoyment of creating something, the pleasure of the company of such lovely people, and the amazing things that other people are making. My crochet blanket is coming on – I laid the hexagons out to see if I had enough for a blanket – which I did, but only for the smallest size, so I have decided to do more blocks and make it bigger – I have plenty of yarn, so that’s not a problem. My Positive Things for Monday are that I can crochet the block from memory, and that, when I laid out the blocks, the blanket looked as good as I hoped it would.
I thought I didn’t have a Positive Thing for today – but actually I do. No1 son actually rang home this morning – I had sent him an email last week and a text yesterday, neither of which got a response, so I sent him another text today saying, simply, ‘Are you dead?’ and he rang me less than half an hour later. He sounds to be having a great time – he got 90 out of 90 on a quiz, is keeping up with the work, has a visit to the Inner Courts in London planned for Thursday, is making friends at University and at the bike park he goes to, is eating well and is staying within budget. Oh, and he’s joining the Sub-Aqua club – he feels a diving qualification will be an asset to his CV. I’m not actually sure how many law firms look for a diving qualification in their new hires, but I am sure he will have fun!