Labyrinths and wool rolled in to a single day! Part of my birthday celebration this year was a trip to Olympia in London to attend the Spring Knittting and Stitching Show. As we had some shopping and lunching that we wanted to do while in the city, we purchased late entry tickets but headed in on an early train. By the time we saw these colourful posts welcoming us to the show, I was more than ready for anything and everything stitcherly! I had a few little things on my shopping list, but primarily I was looking for people with stories. I am choosing to spend my wool budget with small businesses who are working heartfully to succeed in a competitive field. Unlike Unravel, this show primarily featured larger merchants, but I found a few indies!
Kristina and six generations of her family have been raising sheep on the Romney Marshes in Kent, only about an hour from us. Their Romney Marsh Wools are lovely and their focus on sustainable farming is equally admirable. I brought one one skein of wool, a pattern, and a couple of bottles of the lotion they make from the lanolin from the sheared wool. I’ll be ordering more wool soon as I’m already working on some ideas for future projects.
And this is Inese who works in London now, but comes from Latvia where she was involved in a friend’s business of creating Latvian Mitten kits. She says that knitting those mittens are her passion now, and how could I possibly resist attempting a pair myself? I chose my wool, but am feeling a bit awed by the super-tiny needles I’ll need to use to make them. (Stay tuned, but don’t hold your breath…)
There was an overall emphasis on creativity and craftivism which I loved seeing, but I didn’t really have the opportunity to spend much time at any of the public knitting booths – that’s for a future visit, I guess. Nevertheless I felt very proud of the craftiness that flows through my veins and connects me to so many people with big hearts, nimble fingers, and good intentions! And I certainly enjoyed some of the creative projects on display!
No trip with Jeff would be complete without finding a labyrinth or two. He actually enjoys these kinds of shows more than he lets on, and always manages to make some interesting discovery…. like these Indian labyrinth wood blocks tucked in amongst all the creative offerings at this immense show:
And, of course, London’s Art on the Underground makes finding labyrinths an easy quest these days, and it is always fun to spot them while dashing through the subterranean stations:
(clockwise from top left: Stratford, Tottenham Court Road, Olympia, and West Ham stations)