Life and Thyme!

Last Thursday I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate.  I went to see what was new, to top up on supplies and to have a great day out. I didn’t attend any of the workshops, I did check online but there were none I fancied.

I am still not certain what I made of it!! I had been to a previous show ( about 8?years ago maybe)in Harrogate but I think that was a combined embroidery and hobby show, so slightly different. Certainly the earlier show was held on the Showground which had plenty of parking.

The location for the Knitting and Stitching show was in the exhibition centre smack in the middle of town with NO parking. So problem one is find the exhibition centre, problem two find a car park, problem three find your way on foot back to the centre, problem four on leaving remember how to get back to your car!

I don’t like crowds. And as I don’t like crowds I went on the first day and was there shortly after the 4 day show opened. Having bought my ticket, which took less time than I imagined and got inside , guess what? It was crowded, very, very ,very crowded! I figured that everyone had got through the doors and stopped at the first few booths, so I plunged through the hoards and indeed the crowds thinned and I was happier.

I found my way to a couple of stalls I was really interested in. The first being Adelaide Walker from whom I had bought my felt supplies by mail order. Now I would love to be able to show photos of the various stalls I visited, but it was crowded and many of my favourites had a no photo sign, so instead all I can share are the photos I took when I got home ,of the goodies I bought.

The first being this merino wool for felting.

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From there I visited a booth for the International Feltmakers Association, where I had a really interesting, informative and friendly conversation. I then went onto a lady who made fabric collages which were so pretty that I bought two kits for Christmas presents, and I wish I had bought more,  and one for myself. Again this lady was really helpful and happy to chat.

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By now the crowds had caught up for me. I will be honest I was totally staggered by the number of people who attended. In places it felt like a rugby scrum. And from here on in any thoughts of having nice friendly chats with stall holders went out the window. Which was a real shame, because this is a chance to talk to experts and in some cases professional practitioners of the crafts I love. And was what I liked about the show I had attended a few years ago.

There were plenty of stalls for knitting, but as I am pretty sussed on knitting and have two yarn suppliers I am more than happy with, I just had  a casual look round these stalls, and there were no yarn purchases.

But Fabric was a different matter. There were many fabric stalls most offering fat quarters. I did a lot of looking around as the prices varied quite considerably. But here’s what I came away with.

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and these

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Now if I couldn’t cope with the crowds, neither could some of the stalls. Not only didn’t they have time to chat they could barely keep up with their sales. By midday many were looking very harassed and some were already selling out of popular items. It was probably a shop lifters paradise.

One of the biggest scrums surrounded the stall where I bought these. Maybe it was a poor layout but three staff couldn’t keep up… and many shoppers were using their elbows to good effect

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These are baskets for potpourri and lavender to decorate and

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and these precut hearts. And one Christmas present.

There were a couple of more disappointments along the way.  One well known supplier of all things crafty had a series of demonstrations going on, including the weirdly named xpandaprint, only problem was that the demonstrators were so engrossed with what they were doing they forgot to speak.

And the other one, well the prices. It struck me that threads, experimental packs etc were more expensive than I would have expected. I go to such events with cash only to ensure I don’t overspend, so I think carefully before each purchase, and I actually came away with nearly a quarter of my budget left as I didn’t like the prices.

I won’t mention the toilets, or how hard it was to find the exit when I had had enough, which was nearly two hours earlier than I expected.

It is great that so many people want to attend, but maybe the show should be somewhere with a bit more space and a car park!

On the plus side I did get the above items. I chatted to a really lovely fellow attendee over a sandwich at lunch . But would I go again, the jury is out on that one!

Oh, I nearly forgot the best purchase of the day. Look at these lovelies below, wooden hearts and buttons and beads galore, and £1 per pack. I saw some stalls charging nearly that per button.

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Have you been to this show or the one in London, what did you think? What is the best way to see whats new?

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Comments on: "Knitting and Stitching Show- Harrogate" (6)

  1. Goodness, that sounds like a right scrum!
    I had this show in my diary but it clashed with my holiday 😉
    It looks a completely different type of show from the Yarndale festival which was busy but much more relaxed. I don’t think my daughter would have enjoyed the day either. So thank you for the heads up for next year.

    • Oh you are back, hope you had a fabulous time. I look forward to reading about it. The crowds were a bit much. I keep hoping to get to Yarndale, next year I must make a bigger effort.

  2. Sounds like hell! I go to trade shows at Harrogate and prefer it to hype faceless NEC. We usually park right next to the exhibition halls, though I confess that I’ve never been able to drive out without getting lost – I must take the wrong turning out of the car park.

    • I think the problem is that it is just too popular for that venue. Although I was in Harrogate before 10 the nearest car parks were already full. By sheer miracle I got out of Harrogate with ease!

  3. I avoid the first day of shows if I can, as I think they are overwhelmed with people wanting to be there first. I have tended to go to the K&S show on the Saturday or Sunday as they are on during the week to begin with. Another tip is to go after noon as the initial crush has subsided.
    I’m off to ExCel for a Christmas exhibition tomorrow, I hope it’s not too manic!

    • Hope you enjoyed your trip. You are right about the weekend, I spoke to someone who had been on the Sunday and it hadn’t been so crowded. So much for my theory of going on a working day when everyone is busy!!

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