Do you knit or stitch? I don’t- despite being an avid crafter! (It’s something I always mean to do but haven’t really gotten down to) So I’ve always been in 2 minds about the Knitting & Stitching show- is it worth paying £16 if you’re not a knittaholic- stitchaholic? Well, this year, I gave in and dropped by whilst they were at Kensington Olympia, so read on and see what the Knitting & Stitching show is really all about 🙂
There are so many workshops at the Knitting & Stitching show (15 for dressmaking alone!)- perfect to advance your skills or, if you’re new to knitting & stitching, they’re a great no-committed way of trying the crafts! Never machine-sewn anything before? Take a class to see if you like it before putting down £100+ and buying one!
Most of the workshops are for a fee- and some are relatively expensive, in my opinion (For example, the invisible zip class was around £12 here but offered as a freebie at the Exeter Sewing & Stitching show (review here)) For those on a budget, there are a couple of free ones. The Sewing Quarter, for example, had 2 different free workshops. A cool one is “how to make a fabric flower” which I’ve shared with you here (The other, which I didn’t get to try, was Sashiko Stitching)
The Sewing Quarter workshop
Amazing array of supplies
If you are a knitter/ stitcher, this is probably the best range of knitting and stitching materials you will find at one place in the UK!
However I will admit to being very disappointed that NO ONE sold giant wool! I mean, if you are involved in crafts, you must be on Pinterest or Instagram. And if you, you must have noticed that giant extreme knitting is all the rage these days!!
Also, a lot of the stalls are also at the Sewing, Stitching and Hobbycrafts shows – and that ticket offers more band for your buck. (For example,when it’s held at the NEC Birmingham, you also get to go to their Cake show with the Sewing & Stitching ticket)
M Rosenberg & Son, for example, has SO MANY luscious fabrics! And so cheap too! They start from £4/metre!
Higgs & Higgs Favourite Fabric
Guess what these are? (Think Sleeping Beauty)
From quirky kits such as these cross stitching maps…
to loads of amazing yarns such as these mouthwatering Wool & The Gang ones…
To these cool knitted tea cosies by this talented lady (Shop: All the Fun Of the Fair)…
Ready to craft but no clue what to make? Try these ready-to-make knitting kits (there are also dressmaking ones)..
One thing I was SUPER SUPER SUPER tempted by is the Lutterloh system- this was a free introduction to their pattern making process (they call it a workshop but it’s really a demo to sell the system- and it totally convinced me!! Or it would have if I had any more cash to spare!) Basically the process helps simplify pattern making so you don’t have to worry about all those difficult to understand (for beginners) symbols on the pattern sheets, or even storing old patterns! PERFECT for both beginner and expert seamstresses alike!
And not just for Knitting & Stitching!
For non-knitter/ stitchers, there were (a few) exhibitors which sold other crafts, such as Indian block painting and beading materials.
Everyone is ready to help a beginner!
Anyway you’ll definitely be tempted to give knitting and stitching a go here! People are so helpful and friendly!! I’ve never sewn from a pattern before (dressmaking)- in fact I can’t remember the last time I threaded a sewing machine! But there were so many amazing products that I just couldn’t resist! So I ended up buying 3 sewing patterns and almost £200 worth of fabric!!
I seriously had NO clue how to start reading the sewing pattern but everyone was so ready to help! Jenni from M Rosenberg & Son not only explained how to check how much fabric each pattern calls for, she even offered to help me, anytime! And this was before I’d even bought any fabric from here!
What it’s not
- It’s more traditional than modern (for a modern, yuppie type craft fair, you want to check out The Handmade Fair, which I reviewed here). So if you’re looking for a hipster type craft event, this isn’t it.
- The focus is more on the making not the made product – so you get an incredible selection of materials and workshops but it may not be the best fair to go to if you’re looking to buy something already crafted & handmade. (I say making is super fun though, so you should give it go! )
To sum up, don’t forget to sign up when the Knitting & Stitching show is back at Alexander Palace! 🙂