When I visited the Knitting and Stitching Show on Thursday I just walked straight into the venue, but on Saturday it was much busier and the queue to get in snaked all the way back to the car park. Luckily it was a beautiful sunny morning and it provided an opportunity to talk to some lovely crafty ladies who were in the queue.
Once I was inside I visited a few exhibitors to buy the goodies that I’d seen earlier in the week, relieved that they hadn’t run out of stock, and with a lighter purse I tackled the main hall. This is where the majority of exhibitors can be found selling everything that you can imagine: beads, books, patterns, embroidery kits, fabric, felt, yarns, threads and sewing machines to mention just a few. There was also a dressmaking studio and talks taking place upstairs. It really is a huge show.
I battled through the crowds to see all of the stalls that I was interested in and it was nice to see a few exhibitors that I hadn’t seen before. I especially liked Jennifer Pudney’s colourful needlepoint kits and I’ll be checking out Stoff & Stil in the future for all sorts of crafting loveliness.
There was a display of knitted buildings of Braintree, created by the town’s Dolphin Women’s Institute. The detail in the church was incredible.
In the afternoon I attended Elspeth Jackson’s braided rag rug workshop. I’ve done rag rugging before but I hadn’t tried this braided form. The first thing we did was to make a single strip of fabric from an old t-shirt. This was a great thing to learn and something that I hope to try and crochet with in the future. Everyone had different coloured t-shirts which, when rolled up into balls, looked like really fancy expensive yarn. We then moved on to plaiting and coiling strips of cotton fabric and stitching it in place to make a coaster. With the workshop running half an hour longer than usual it was nice to be able to complete something during the session. Usually you’re rushing against time and, despite best intentions, you never do finish off that project when you get home!
I wasn’t overly happy with my finished coaster, so I took it apart when I got home, re-plaited it, so that more of the front of the fabric was on show, and stitched it up again. I was pleased to learn this new technique and I now know how to achieve a better result next time.
After the workshop it was time to leave, tired, but inspired. I look forward to doing it all over again next spring.
You can find more photos on my Facebook page.