Knitting And Stitching Show

Wow, this is a late review. I've been struggling with procrastination when it comes to writing and crafting, I guess the gloomy rainy weather isn't helping :(

This was the third year I've been to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. This year I went on the Friday after the insane crush of last year, and it was much calmer. Apparently the Wednesday was even better. Somehow I only had time to see most of the exhibition and about half of the shopping stalls.

The Knitted Flower Pergola was the first exhibit in the foyer - I loved all the details like these budgies! It was a community knitting project to raise funds for Livability John Grooms Court, a home for disabled adults in Norwich.

Just like last year, I was drawn to Ann Small's exhibit. Her "A Walk On The Wild Side" collaboration with Sue Walton included several flying beasties which I wanted to take home. She uses potassium permangenate to colour her fabric rather than tea as it can be bleached back with lemon juice - I mostly remember potassium permangenate baths as a kid for my eczema so am glad there was a happier use for it.

Another highlight was Caren Garfen's exhibit  "She Was Cooking Something Up". This consisted of a stitched kitchen showing stats and messages about women's body image - it was pretty hard-hitting at times.

I spent quite some time in the felting exhibition (including laughing at the giant genitals of the "Lust" figure from the Seven Deadly Sins). One of my favourites was the teddy skull (Ursulus Teodorus Ruxpinus) by Stephanie Metz.

I'd seen pictures of the Hobbit knitting by Denise Salway ("The Knitting Witch") all over Instagram so ran around at the end trying to find it. Denise was really friendly and Smaug was so cute in his tiny knitted glory!

I think next time I'll try to go for a couple of days so I can do some classes, spend more time looking at the exhibits and do some leisurely shopping. I'll need to catch up on lots of my UFOs before then to make space in my craft room...


On my recent trip to Somerset/Devon, I was determined to visit The Donkey Sanctuary near Sidmouth. I have always loved donkeys, and despite living near-ish the New Forest I rarely get to see any. The Donkey Sanctuary has several centres in the UK and works worldwide to to help working donkeys and the people that rely on them, as well as arranging donkey-assisted therapy.

There are several walks around the Sidmouth centre, I obviously chose the shortest one with the most donkeys. We met several mules that were quite excited to see us (and tried to eat our shoes) and many, many donkeys in the fields, most of who ignored us but a few came up to nuzzle us.

This is Freddie from Ireland. He's 11 years old (most of the donkeys at the sanctuary are much older) and was one of the donkeys in the barn area who were interacting with the public. He was finding this bench very useful for awkward itches.

I had a lovely relaxing time strolling through the countryside stroking donkeys and can highly recommend a visit!

I've rounded up some cute donkey items from Etsy....

Isn't this needle felted donkey from Swan Quarter House Creations adorable? I love his little garland and his expression. You can keep up-to-date with Jodi's newest creations on her blog.

The donkeys in this print  from Cath Ward look very eager to meet people (or are trying to get food). Check out her other lovely watercolour prints and laser-cut wood animal charms, brooches and necklaces in her shop.

This cute donkey brooch is from Oneiroxora's shop where she sells gorgeous handmade jewellery. You can also follow her on Facebook.

Awww, look at Arthur's soulful face! You can make him using a pattern from Patchwork Moose (I'm also very tempted by Otis the bat). Find out more on her website and Facebook page.

If you want more fluffy cuteness, why not take a look at my alpaca visit from earlier this summer?


Last weekend I went away to Somerset for a relaxing weekend (OK, only the hotel was in Somerset, everything else we did was in Devon). While driving around we saw a sign for Beer and couldn't resist...

Beer turned out to be a really quaint fishing village. Driving through I was quite excited by the amount of tiny specialist shops and art galleries (this was before I threw a strop at the stupid parking machines. I'm never capable of being relaxed for more than 20 minutes). I fell in love with a nearly-£9000 painting, sadly it will never be mine :(

Look at the view....

I attempted to take arty photos...

It had just stopped raining, and the weather was gorgeous.

We went rock-pooling (my first time!) and saw crabs, anenomes and really strange stripy fish with fins next to their heads. The plants and rocks were amazing colours - I especially liked the pink stripy ones. I thought this one looked like a dragon egg.

Sadly after falling over several times trying to get back up the pebbly slopes, we needed caffeine more than beer, so we failed in our original mission in visiting the village...