Saturday, 22 March 2014

Spring Knitting & Stitching Show - Olympia

Well, we are back from the Spring Knitting and Stitching show and in recovery!

It was lovely to attend our first show of the year, meet lots of new friends and catch up with old ones. I was incredibly restrained and only came home with some fabulous buttons from our friends at The Textile Garden and some beautiful fat quarters from the lovely Running Chicken who we were lucky enough to be opposite to (I will of course, show you the fabrics when I have made something with them).

There were lots of intriguing things to see at the show, not least of all the fantastic needlework on the stand managed by Mr X Stitch himself Jamie Chalmers. I love this little painting/embroidery (above right), it's right up my street! I caught up with the lovely Dan Chilcott (yarnbomber extraordinaire pictured above left) who was bringing knitters of all ages together on his stand and knitting a chain which went right round it by the end of the show. He had this amazing wheel which is in motion in this fantastic picture of Dan. I was also lucky enough to spend a couple of hours with the lovely ladies from Abakhan who had put together a bag full of meerkat goodies . . so I did a bit of a demo and signing and met some more meerkat fans!

As you can see from the pictures our stand was as packed as usual (although looking decidedly less packed with stock by the end of the Show!) It's always great to meet with our returning customers - dare I say 'fans', and to introduce new knitters and crafters to my books and quirky knitted animals. The downside of these shows is packing everything up to go home -   I thought you may like to see the 'other side' of the Show, more commonly known as . . . breakdown.

This is the time that everyone looks forward to (not). Not only are you shattered from being on your feet for five days (including build up), but all that is going through your mind for the entirety of Sunday is how long it will take to break down, load up the van and get on the road.

Breaking down is made much easier by the lovely porters who can load half a stand onto one trolley. I am convinced that one porter trip is equivalent to at least three puny Sue Stratford trips . . . This year though, I managed to get the van into the loading bay super early and we were packed up by 6pm, which is why I look so pleased!

As you can see from the pics, these two porters were fantastic and you can just see the equally fantastic Bekky in the background with a sack barrow full of wool. If you visit us at Alexandra Palace you will have met Bekky because she very kindly takes time off work to come and help us at the show and we couldn't do without her. You rock Bekky!

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