#Alexandra Palace – Toys in a million, all under one roof!

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The countdown is over, and Ally Pally arrived!

Sadly, being a worker, Saturday (the busiest day) was my only chance (seriously, the quicker I win the lottery and become a lady of leisure the better). At least I got to read the Tweets and dream the week away. Leaving the house at an eye-wateringly early 6.45am was a small price to pay for the once-a-year yarnirvana that is Alexandra Palace.

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I took a picture of the map to give you an idea of exactly how big this place is (I think there were something like 300-400 stalls there). Armed with my piggy bank and some advanced Christmas spending money I happily drew up my battle plans for the day.

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As expected it was a long day, but we managed it well with sensible breaks and avoiding the main room during the 3-4pm rush (this photo was taken at the rather sedate 10am, by 3pm photo taking was unachievable). Even nipping to the toilet at 3pm, bag free and keeping to the outside stalls was a 20 minute battle against a very polite (but determined) crowd of people.

black sheep

Black Sheep Wools was our first port of call (it is well known for its bargains and gets very crowded) and every single pack of yarn here is half price!

I was not the only person here to joke about jumping in head first and rolling around in the yarn. Even KnitWit had a crazy gleam in her eye when she realised the bargain prices and I found myself in the odd position of talking someone out of buying yarn. Somehow I didn’t think Mr KnitWit would like living off of cold beans once the food money had been spent.

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Unexpectedly, I was quite restrained on the sock yarn (the ten balls I bought over summer and the SparkleDuck from last week weighed on my conscious). I am pleased with the Jitterbug and Natural Dye Studio that I did get. My big spend this year (after the jumper yarn) has to be fabric.

I seriously had to hold back as there were some gorgeous prints and I could have bought four times the amount without really trying. Beads and charms also featured highly and I am pleased to say I managed to get the tiny spinning wheel I saw in a magazine and instantly coveted for my fairy tale stitch markers.

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Well, here’s the loot! I think I did very well as I focused on big bargains (paging Black Sheep) and irresistible things like fabric and ribbon for project bags and charms to make into stitch markers. The blue yarn on the end is breath-takingly beautiful silk (I got some last year in purple and have just started to make a sock yarn shawl out of it).

I was glad that I got the SparkleDuck in Cambridge, as there was none to see this year (which obviously totally justifies my splurge).

Anyone else enjoying a “yarn over” hangover from Ally Pally?

LouBug

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