In the last three months I have been to a major yarny show each and every month!
- At the end of September it was the fabulous Yarndale in Skipton North Yorkshire.
- In October I treated myself to a day down in London to see a friend who has just started knitting – we went to the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace.
- And today I had a little trip to Harrogate to the Yorkshire version of the Knitting and Stitching show.
Harrogate was BUSY
Today was the busiest yarny fair I have ever been to. Without a doubt. It was heaving with people.
Well, mainly with us girls I have to say. I did spot about four men who weren’t working on a stand or at one of the cafes but I think there were all designated bag carriers!
Its funny that yarn and stitching activities have almost exclusively female participants. Men are tailors and clothes designers and artists – so I wonder why not crafters?
Five massive halls full of goodies
The Knitting and Stitching show at Harrogate was held in Harrogate International Centre, which is very close to the centre of Harrogate town. I got there early because the parking, I was warned, was very difficult. Avoiding anywhere near the HIC, I parked in my usual car park near the Odeon cinema, so got a nice walk through the town and a look in all my favourite shops in Harrogate; Cath Kidston, Monsoon, Paperchase and about four charity shops.
Even so I got to the venue at about 10.15 and bought my ticket. That’s a bit painful because the entry is a whopping £16. They must have made an absolute fortune today because there must have been easily 6000 people there, perhaps even more.
The stalls are well set out and arranged in five halls. The two halls downstairs had demonstrations and classes and the societies such as The Embroiderer’s Guild and I was pleased to find there is a guild of machine knitters. My mum left me two knitting machines and I am trying to learn how to use them, so it was good to find out there is a group local to me with a meeting each week.
Not just yarn and wool
The show was a real mixture of stalls offering materials and tools for many different crafts – embroidery, cross stitch, paper crafting, painting, jewellery making as well as knitting (and crochet, but us crocheters hardly got a mention).
Some of the halls also had exhibitions of artist’s work, with some fantastic quilts.
Most of these areas had No photography signs.
What’s this? Extreme knitting and crochet?
I came across a stand today that I have seen before but have never had a go – extreme crochet and knitting.
This is just like the ordinary versions except that the hooks and needles used are massive. Today, the stand even had Tunisian crochet hooks in this ultra large size.
Using the hook was easier than I thought and I couldn’t resist buying one. The yarn to go with it was available – but was more like strips of material and I have a lot of that at home to use so I stuck with the hook.
The knitting needles were really outrageous – more like oars. But the work that they produce has a lot of appeal and can be used as rugs and cushions, including floor cushions. Whether I will get on with it, we shall see…
Limiting the spending spree
Its easy at these shows to spend a FORTUNE!! But I am stern with myself and get some cash out on the way and then stick to that as my budget.
I wanted to get a new 3.5mm crochet hook because my current one has got worn at the top and is catching on the yarn. That was easy. Then I bought some polystyrene balls to make Christmas decorations and a heart wire wreath base to make something festive with next month.
After investing in some ribbon I then made two impulse buys. A pompom maker to make small pompoms – I’ve wanted one of these for ages.
And this is my extreme crochet hook alongside my new 3.5mm one and my current 4mm one. One mother of a crochet hook!