The Knitting And Stitching Show 2023
Last week I went to Harrogate again for the Knitting and Stitching Show – last year I didn’t, because I was recovering from Covid and in spite of the fact that it would plainly have been silly to go, I missed it dreadfully. So my day, as is now traditional for me, began and ended at Bettys, and in between I padded around the show, seeing old friends and meeting new.
One of my other traditions now is that I work from a kit, or work something absolutely away from my usual style and subject, in the period between Christmas and Twelfth Night. My version of the Fabulous Shoes is going to consist of Louboutins with red soles, but other than that, I’m not clear how they’re going to go!
I also bought some materials which must remain a mystery as they are destined for people who I know read my blog, a dress pattern which may unlock a headache I’ve been having with some silk, and a rather gorgeous print for a blouse. The fabric is polyester, but it’s a recycled polyester, from Fine Fabrics of Harrogate, who have made something of a speciality for some years already of sourcing from Europe at the furthest, Britain as far as possible. Were I not already well supplied with coats and jackets, the Boiled Wool, sourced from dyers in Bradford (if I recall correctly – I didn’t make notes!) would have come home with me too!
But the real triumph and excitement was the solution of what was, to me, a forty year old mystery.
When I first started to embroider, I used to use patterns from my Grandmama’s copies of 1930s “The Needlewoman” magazine, and one of the threads they often demanded was Anchor “Flox”. When I decided I wanted to work the dragon Kai Lung, as I called him, I wanted to use the threads demanded in the instructions.
My local needlework shop had never heard of it.
So I wrote to Coats, who owned Anchor threads, asking, did it still exist, and could I have some?
No, they said apologetically, there was a fire in our Archive twenty years ago, no-one who’s left remembers it , and we’ve no idea what it looked like.
But last week, the Embroiderers Guild stand was selling off various donated stashes, and among the threads, there was some Anchor Flox!
So a couple of bundles have come home with me, and in a few weeks, when I’ve finished Anthea Darracot, I shall leaf through those “Needlewoman” magazines for something gently frivolous to use them in.