Knit and Stitch Show Harrogate 24/11/12

Right, before I was rudely interrupted by rising flood water (at one point my boyfriend was finding the glee by pointing out that we had a moat. Unfortunately I was more concerned about the newly installed indoor paddling pool where the kitchen used to be) I was going to write an update on the Knit and Stitch Show I attended in Harrogate on Saturday.

OMG the absolute yarn love! You walked in to a huge hall (well, four huge halls) full of exhibition stands, mostly sales but some proper exhibits of work and right through all those was a community project linking sleeping bags left at festivals with homeless people via some sewing crafty type alterations and then a giant area with classes and demonstrations.

People milling round the stalls.

There were some gorgeous things like this Queen of Hearts costume:

And this knitted wedding dress:

 

Which would probably cause comments on your big day. Then there were slightly kookier stuff like this:

 

That’s all cross stitch, done by a guy called Mr X Stitch who had some really cool stuff, my favourite being this rhino head:

It’s all felted and cool lol. There was in general a lot of cool things. Although not much in the way of amigurumi, and even the ones that were there were knitted, like these:

 

Or these finger puppets:

 

Although credit where credit is due, the knitted ami’s did extend to a knitted village:

 

Complete with my favourite bit, a knitted fire station:

 

There was also a knitted person getting run over by a knitted car but I didn’t photograph that!

And topping even that there was an exhibition of knitted childhood books including a six foot long Very Hungry Caterpillar:

 

And an Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Scene:

 

I really wish I could give credit for all these excellent things, but I was snapping away all gleefully, and forgot to make a note of the artists – if anyone identifies anything give me a shout!

So, what did I contribute personally to the show? Well, a couple of things actually!

Firstly, I learnt to knit and made a sweet:

 

Ok, not my best work, but I’ve not knitted in years and even then I only did it for a week or so!

And even better – remember my ami Clanger? I worked into her and created a mini Christmas angel:

 

which I entered into Yorkshire Cancer Research’s Knit or Sew a Clanger Competition, where there was a prize from the best, and then all the clangers were being sold off at the show to raise funds. I didn’t win (I didn’t expect to though) but according to a lovely email I got today she sold first out of any of them – the lady who emailed me was a member of staff at YCR and said that she’d been disappointed because she’d wanted her and asked for the pattern so she could try make her own. I linked her to my blog and worked out the edits to email back too, which I might even get round to posting at some point lol. I was chuffed because I wasn’t really a fan of her, but looking back actually she turned out ok. And here she is with the rest of the entries:

 

The green one over to the back right won – it’s a clanger dressed as a Christmas tree. Next year I’m going to learn to knit specifically so I can take part in this competition again. Congrats to all the entries if any of you stumble to my corner of the internet, and what a great way to raise money for a great cause!

And finally in my round up of epicness, the crunch reason for attending – the swag! I bought a fair few things including some gorgeous tealy blue wool (which I have no clue what I will make with but the colour was too lovely to resist); a 3.5mm bamboo crochet hook (which I’ve been after for ages – it’s lovely and smooth to work with, although I might need to craft a grip for it); a 2mm metal crochet hook with a proper handle (because I keep bending my unhandled one); some expensive glow in the dark thread and some cheap but nice material for two uni projects. I resisted the urge to buy some interesting looking metallicy plasticy coated yarn because although the price was reasonable I really had no clue what I would ever use it for (although I really REALLY wanted it for the sake of prettiness). I also did not buy a 20mm crochet hook:

 

Or a pair of ridiculously large knitting needles:

 

BUT DEAR GOD DID I WANT TO!

A gallery of my photos is included below, there’re some I haven’t included in the body if you want to see more highlights.

 

WIP Clanger (Free Pattern, unfinished)

Wow has this week been full on!

As I mentioned last week, I restarted uni so that’s been keeping me busy during the day (some days I’ve been up at 6:30am and not back home until 5pm). On top of that, I’ve been on stage this week in a local production of ‘Calendar Girls’ (unfortunately not as one of the girls who get their kit off, just as a bit part. Too young to be in the main cast – five years time I’ll be behind the buns if the chance arises!) so I’ve been out of the house from 7pm til 11pm with that. Now I’m not complaining, it’s been a fun week, but two hours at home doesn’t give you much time to do any crochet. I did try to do some on the train one morning, but I only had two journeys and it was a bit packed so I gave that up. Maybe next week it’ll be a quieter week and I can really focus in on some yarn crafting.

Anyway, enough waffle. This week I want to share my work-in-progress Clanger. I know I get a lot of US traffic and I don’t know if Clangers were big over there, but they’re essentially alien mice from a 70s (maybe 80s, maybe even 60s!) TV programme. Pink things with big snouty noses. They look like this:

There’s a local cancer charity called Yorkshire Cancer Research that use these guys as their mascot. My friend – a cancer survivor – linked me to them because they’re running a competition to knit or sew a Christmas Clanger. They even provide the knitting pattern. Now, I really want to enter because it looks like fun and all the work gets sold off to raise money and that’s pretty damned awesome, but I can’t yet knit. So I messaged them on Facebook and asked if I could crochet one. Luckily they said yes.

Then I hit a snag. There’re no patterns out there for crochet Clangers, and bugger me if I could work out how to make one! I wanted a fair size clanger, I was thinking maybe four or five inches tall, but could I heck as get it to look the right shape. I had this great ambitious plan for what I was going to make – I’ll not tell you just in case I get a flash of inspiration before the November deadline and go ahead and do it, then I can feature it over Christmas – but I’ve really lost my spirit because it just won’t work. I’ve ripped this damned thing up so many times! Here’s what I’ve finally ended up with:

(Ignore the fact she has hair and a white body, that was part of the clothing I wanted her to wear – imagine she’s pink and bald). It’s not a bad version, I do think it looks Clanger-ish, but she’s only two inches high and there’s just something wrong.

I’ve worked into her and made something I’d be ok entering, but I thought I’d give her a punt on the internet to see if anyone could tell me where I’m going wrong, or link me to an existing pattern that I haven’t found or a completely new one they don’t mind sharing.

My pattern is after the jump for those interested.

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