I was always in trouble in school for my knitting and sewing. I blamed it on the fact that I was left-handed and found it all rather difficult, with the result that I have avoided anything even remotely artsy-craftsy since then.
I did indulge in some ‘tie dye’ with my tee-shirts back in the day, but that was as far as I went. So, it was with some trepidation that I set off to visit the Knitting and Stitching Show at the RDS Simmonscourt (it runs until Sunday).
I went along with the stylist daughter, a creative genius, who started designing from the cradle. Why she even designed an entire collection from a case full of coloured tights at the age of six and then progressed to re-working clothes, her piece-de-resistance being a re-modelling of a pair of MY expensive leather trousers into a jacket for herself!
We arrived early on the first day and it seemed many had the same bright idea as there was a steady stream of cars and people into Simmonscourt at the RDS.
There are over 150 specialist stalls: the place is a riot of colour, full of fabrics, wools, patterns, colourful ribbons and all kinds of craftsy bits and pieces, so there is plenty of shopping to be done. The seasoned professionals had brought along large bags, some were full-on cases with wheels to carry home all the goodies.
Courtney, having studied fashion, spent some time talking to the new graduates who were showcasing their work. Embroidery in many different forms featured strongly, but there were also quirky aprons and lots of unusual work.
Some of the world’s most highly-regarded textile artists are showcasing their work in the professionally curated Textile Galleries and this is where we spent a huge amount of time. If (like me) you are not particularly gifted in the creative arena, there is still so much to see and admire.
I was bowled over by Jo Beattie’s unique work. Drawn on a sewing machine, she produces 2D and 3D images. I love how her artwork enhances the idea of a memory by having a shadow of the image reflected onto a plain background a distance away from the actual work. There are many smaller framed pieces, very reasonably priced, which you will be tempted to buy.
I had to touch Sarah Waters’ ‘Stone’ exhibition to ensure that they were truly textile and not stone.
Another lady worth visiting is Anne Small who can tell you all about the art of fabric manipulation and you can see her creations. If you follow Courtney on her insta stories @courtneysmithstyle you can see what it is all about.
Did you know that barkcloth (yes from trees) can be used to make bags and clothes? Jose Hendo, one of three artists involved, explained the process and below you can see one of the finished products.
Blending in below with an exhibit from The Irish Patchwork Society, another display of striking craftsmanship worth viewing.
Whether you are a novice or an expert, there are numerous classes and workshops to suit all tastes. You can learn how to crochet or perfect your knitting skills. Embroidery is a major fashion trend and I fancied learning how to tackle it. But, unfortunately, we had not reckoned on it being so popular and the classes we wanted to do were booked out. I talked to one visitor who said she booked classes as soon as the programme was published in September.
I have only given you a flavour of what is on; it is very easy to while away a morning or afternoon (both if you are doing classes) so head along to RDS Simmonscourt on your own or with friends for a fun day out. And you might even learn a few skills while you are there. Remember it finishes Sunday.
If you want to learn more you can check it all out here https//www.theknittingandstitchingshow/dublin
Follow me on Instagram @overthehilda and answer a simple question to win two tickets for Saturday or Sunday. Winner will be chosen at random by 5pm today (Friday).
This is a sponsored post but as always I give you my honest review!