Saturday, 13 October 2007

A Bad Case of Popcorn Brain

You know how when you get a good idea, or inspiration strikes you, it feels like your brain goes ‘ping!’? Well a day at Alexandra Palace at the Knitting and Stitching show results in so many ‘pings’ that it makes you feel like your mind is a popcorn maker!

I often get a mild case of popcorn-brain when reading my favourite blogs, or reading comments left for me here. Tash at gave me a big ‘ping’ when she left me a comment to say that she makes two Christmas cakes- one to eat and one to slice up to give to visitors so they have a little bit of Christmas to take home with them.

Yesterday I had a case of extreme popcorn-brain. There is so much to see at the Knitting and Stitching Show. Not just the stalls and the exhibitions, but the people too. I saw so many examples of hand-knitted clothes, jewellery that had been made by the wearer, home-made clothes, or even shop bought things that had been put together beautifully. I also saw far more younger people there this year- although I usually go on Sunday, so I don’t know if the school girls are there every year and I miss seeing them, or if it is a newer thing. It is great to see though!

One of the best things is that you don’t have to like a particular craft or project or work to be inspired by it. There were so many things that Mum and I said that we wouldn’t want to make ourselves…or perhaps have it in our homes….but it had given us a great idea for something else using a similar technique, or colour, or almost anything!

The thing that made me smile most was a stall that was selling glitter. Rather than having it in tubs, it had giant plastic champagne glasses, and each glass was filled with a different colour of super fine glitter. Even better they had beautiful, unusual colours, and you could buy it by the scoop. I have found myself really being drawn towards orange recently, so I came away with a scrumptious little bag of pumpkin-coloured spangly treasure!

A stall selling hand-knitted tea cosies then made me think that if I were to knit one in orange, then crochet a stalk and some leaves in green, I could make a pumpkin tea-cosie! So I have been to the market today to procure some double knitting wool in different shades of orange, and I hope to cast on tonight when I am home from work and snuggled on my sofa in front of Strictly Come Dancing!

We had perhaps the most unusual picnic, but it really was utterly scrumptious! There were no seats at all, so we decided to go to the champagne bar, buy a glass of bubbles each, and eat there. Alas, although there was champagne a-plenty (don’t think us toooo decadent! We took our own lunch which paid for the champagne which was £5 a glass!) the seats were oh-so-high barstools, which is no good when you are little ladies like us, and your feet won’t reach the foot rest! We would have just slip-slithered off, so we took our glasses, and perched on the edge of some steps in the Palm Court, and sipped our drinks beneath some enormous Palms! Not very unusual so far? Well consider our sandwiches- cold liver and bacon! I am sure there must be plenty of nose-wrinkling going on now, but really it is our favourite! We finished off with slices of ripe pear, fig, and Satsuma segments, then headed back into the fray.

There was a truly amazing silk and velvet flower stall, where I splashed out on the most amazing bunch of violets, tied together with green ribbon just the same colour as their stalks. I adore violets, and these look so real that you just have to bury your nose in them in the hope you may catch the hint of their scent!

I also chose out a pattern book to make decorations out of red and white felt, with a little embroidery and blanket stitch, embellished with a button or too. That and some craft magazines were what filled my shopping bag, but my brain was overflowing with ideas that I had gathered!

When we got back to the coach, we made ourselves cups of tea! Mum had packed her thermos full of hot water, and a bottle of milk (in a cool bag!) and I had bought along the teabags, cups and a teaspoon! Never has tea been so reviving! We had one cup each while we were waiting for the others in our coach party to return, then another poured before we set out for home. Utter bliss!

I hope you are all having a really lovely weekend. I am looking forward to posting all about the food fair tomorrow, and hoping that I can say I have cast on my pumpkin tea-cosie! I am also hoping that my copy of ‘The Gentle Art of Domesticity’ will have finally arrived from amazon. A week overdue, and two phone calls….and they didn’t use Royal Mail! I really do need it, you see- it looks so divine! And Jane who wrote it, also writes one of my favourite blogs. Why not make yourself a nice pot of tea and pay a call to

1 comment:

tash said...

I've often thought of pumpkins making the perfect shape for tea-cosies and this weekend I found the cutest, roundest tea-pot I've seen. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

I am afraid when it comes to exhibitions of crafty-things I am not really a go-er, not sure why, but I always feel put off by the explosions of ideas everywhere, I think I must be a rather solitary soul! But you've made the day sound lovely - perhaps I should pay a visit to one, they have a knitting expo in Cumbria I believe at some point.

The cod-liver and bacon sandwiches sound unique, but liver and bacon is a classic combination (which my mother adores) so I can see it would be yummy! Do you just fry the liver?