Pamela (r) and an owner of Black Alpacas visiting the stall (photo by JenWren)
Up at 5:45am to drive to the city for the Darling Harbour Craft Show. It was a cold windy morning but the rich red sunrise as I traveled along the M4 made up for it. Peak hour made the journey a lot longer than usual and I finally pulled into the parking station 3 hours later. I had volunteered to spend the morning on the NSW Knitter's Guild Stall talking to prospective members (as well as chatting to existing ones). As I was finishing work at 11pm that night I opted to take the car.
My fellow Guild member David traveled down by train so he had a much more relaxing journey knitting. On the stall he attracted a lot of attention with the Filatura de Crosa jumper he was knitting in the round on his Knit Picks needles. Circular needles seemed to be a novelty to a lot of people so he dutifully explained their advantages. The kit was being sold at the Prestige yarn stall so their sales may have increased because of this. Prestige were also selling the latest Debbie Bliss and Louise Harding yarns and pattern books.
My Knitters Choice award for Best Stall of the exhibition goes hands down to Touch Yarns from Alexandra, New Zealand. And that's not just because of the cute nuzelund accent of the guy who sold me a skein of Handpainted Angora/merino blend. The Touch website does not do justice to their extensive range of fibre - it's only when you see several walls of rich colour and texture that this brand comes into its own. They also have some very nice patterns like this little jacket in possum yarn.
Most of the visitors that dropped by the guild stall that morning had a Touch bag full of goodies in their hands - including Kerry from SSK. He had good words to say about a recent Stash Enhancement from Handpainted Yarns and kindly sent me the link.
Out of the 13 or so knitting stalls (from 100 overall) there was the usual knitting stalwarts like Bendigo, Belisa Cashmere and Yarns Galore. I also noticed an increase in Designer stalls selling their own yarn brands and kits; Prudence Mapstone, Jane Slicer-Smith from Signatur Knits, and Claire Paterson (love her garments, no website unfortunately) .
High marks go to the Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild - their 60th Anniversary Exhibition displayed an impressive range of finely crafted items that were also on sale. A rich purple, woven Chenille wrap was very tempting. Lucille Ryan, the H&S Exhibition Co-ordinator, did a fantastic job. The Guild is having an Open Day at Burwood on October 13. I went a few years ago and really enjoyed the displays, the spinning demonstrations and yarn market.