Saturday 27 November 2010

Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Show 2010

I had a wonderful day yesterday in Harrogate.  It's a couple of years since I last went to this show, and I felt that this was a much better event.  This year I felt that there were a more even balance between exhibitors on the knitting side and the stitching side.  The last time I went there seemed to be lots of stitching and lots of papercrafts but not so much knitting.  This time there were more interesting yarns to peruse, plus some great beading stalls.

We arrived at around 10.20am and because of my Blue Badge, we were able to park right outside the door and get the wheelchair unpacked and straight into Hall A.  The first stand where I was tempted to dive into my purse was the Bombay Stores from Bradford.  Mary Clare had asked me to pick up some sheer fabrics for her and they had a huge box full of sheer fabrics perfect for her requirements.  I was very impressed by the Bombay Stores stand this year, it was much better organised than last time, and luckily we got there before the frenzy started.  I was glad to get my purchase for Clare out of the way so early, so I didn't end up spending her cash by accident (which has been known to happen).

The next stand that caught my eye was the Jamieson's of Shetland, which still had lots of yarn on it.  This I felt was a sign.  Previously I saw the stand and nearly all the yarn was sold out and they had to send  my purchase to me in the post.  Because we were early I found lots of yarn in graduated tints, in the Spindrift (4 ply weight) and bought it with my Christmas money from my brother and sister-in-law.  Yay!!!  Free yarn!!!

I have thought about using it to make a Fair Isle bag, but my SIL thinks I should use it to make a graduated top of some sort.  I think she might be right.  The shades are too close together to make into Fair Isle but the shading would look amazing in a tank or something similar.  I shall ponder.....

One of my favorite finds of the show was the Artisan Yarns stand.  I actually made two purchases here, because I could not resist the amazing yarns and the wonderfully dyed colourways.  I couldn't resist the Silk DK yarn which was on special offer.  It was £10 for 200m of the most beautiful silk yarn I've seen.

In particular, this pink, that I would call Antique Rose, if I was naming the shade, grabbed my attention and demanded to be bought.  It was stunning and practically jumped into my arms.  This isn't even my colour and I know I won't end up keeping the finished knit, because it wouldn't suit me, but I just HAD to have it to knit with.

The other yarn I HAD to have, which I fully intend to keep and wear once it is knit, was the Soft Silk Camel Lace in my favorite shade of purple.

The sheen on this yarn is amazing and the camel softens the yarn and gives it spring.  It quite heavy for a lace weight and only gives 800m for the 100g, but it was perfect for me.  All I have to do now is find the right pattern.  This yarn was bought with my Christmas money from my Mum.  Yay, more free yarn.  My family know me so well, just give me cash when I go to a show.

Apparently this was Artisan Yarns first visit to the show, and will be fully launching the website they have soon.  I highly recommend that you bookmark the site, as they have the most amazing yarns I have ever seen.

Another independent dyer that I met at the show was Sherry from Ba T'at Hand Dyed Yarns, who sells through Create with Wool as well as through ETSY.  This lovely indie dyer was wearing her Travelling Woman shawl, which matched mine, in almost the same shade, just in her own yarn.  I didn't buy anything on the day from her stall but I will definitely be buying some of this yarn  in the future.  The sock yarn had a lovely high twist and the colours were lovely.  From the website I like the look of the laceweight yarn too.  One of the things I love most about shows, is that you get to touch and see in real life the yarns you normally only see on a monitor.  I think shows really help me decide which indie dyers I will buy from in the future, as it becomes less of a risk on the first purchase, once you have checked it out in the flesh.

I have one last yarn purchase to own up to, a ball of Schoppel-Wolle Zauberballe Lace Weight.  This is a yarn I have only seen online.  I had felt the sock weight, but not this lace weight.  I kept resisting my purchase because of my lack of knowledge, but as soon as I had this yarn in my hand I knew all my resistance was futile.  I had to have it!

This particular shade of the Zauberball has haunted me on eBay for sometime, so seeing it in the flesh at a slightly cheaper price with no postage, I felt was a sign, a reward perhaps for my strength of will (HA!).  Again I have no idea what I will do with this yarn, I only know that it's purchase was mandatory.

At the show were all the usual suspects on the fabric front, but I was very restrained.  Probably because I have been to two other stitching type shows this year.  The only fabric I bought was from Fabrics Galore.  If you see this stand at a show, go and check it out.  They have really good quality fabrics and good prices, and I'm pretty sure they don't sell on line.  They do have a Facebook page, which you can find by looking in my favorites on my Facebook page.  Fabrics Galore had a remnants bin, which Linda was fishing around in, and she pulled out some very pretty jersey fabric.  I grabbed it and then she found another piece.  I think there must have been nearly 5m in all, all for the princely sum of £12!!!

It reminds me of mint choc-chip ice cream!  I think I will be making another dress with this fabric as soon as my new sewing machine arrives.  Oh did I not mention that?  Yes I have ordered a new sewing machine.  My lovely man bought me a sewing machine for my Christmas (plus two birthdays) present!  It is being delivered next week some time and I will tell you all about it when it arrives.  Until then, I can tell you that it has stretch stitches on it, unlike my current machine - YAY!!!

On our way out of the show, while we were tired and ready to go home, I spotted a stand with some intriguing coloured fibres on it.  The stand was manned by the FLEWS Group.  I was so glad I stopped.  I've been to this stand in the past and spoken about wet felting.  I did buy a starter kit last time, and when I tried it, I found the physicality of the process exhausting.  However, at the stand they had a new product.  Short Fibre Merino.  You can wet felt these fibres without soap, and it felts incredibly easily.  After the demonstration I bought two sets of fibres in the hope that I could actually successfully wet felt to get the lovely fine felt that I desire, without breaking myself.  I really hope that I can finally wet felt something beautiful.

So these are my purchases, I didn't go mad this year, but got some really interesting and high quality items.  I was sad not to see The Knitter magazine as apparently they had a fabulous subscription deal at Alexander Palace.  I had planned on signing up if they were there, but as I couldn't see them (if they were there at all) I saved myself some cash.

I had a wonderful day with my SIL, her mother, Liz, and my friend Linda.  It was a fun day out, with pretty things to show for it.  What more could a girl want?  Oh yes, a new sewing machine - yippeee!


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