Creative Stitch and Hobbycraft show

My daughter and I nipped across the M62 yesterday to the Manchester Creative Stitch and Hobbycraft show held at Event City, a venue just across from the Trafford Centre.
I had not been to one of these large craft shows before so we were looking forward to it immensely.

Creative stitches and hobby craft show

Looking back we were definitely novices in the grand craft show experience. I think there is a lot more to be gained from such a day with a little advice. Advice I wish had been given to me.
What we learnt.
Take your own lunch.

Part of the treat of the day was to have lunch out. But the catering facilities were pretty miserable. The organisers were really missing a trick here with a huge captive audience out for the day happy to stop a least a couple of times for refreshment. Oh, the queues were massive for the miserable offerings. The coffee was good but we had to sit on the floor to rest our feet. Seasoned visitors had brought their own lunches, checked them in at the cloakroom facility for £1 and returned to the cool outer foyer complete with numerous tables and chairs to eat.
Do your research and get there early.

We had arrived only 30mins after the doors opened but next time we will be first in the queue to enable us to make our way straight in and book the free hands on courses we wanted to do at various places around the hall. We missed all of these.

Don’t be taken in by the seemingly free shoulder, neck and head massages on offer.

‘Would you like a massage?’ we were asked. We sat down to be handed a card which read we were only to pay what we thought the massage was worth with 20% of that sum going to charity.  OK, I thought, that’s unexpected but fine. The card then went on to advise me that the average person gave £10! (£10 for 10 minutes???)So I spent the whole 10 minutes of the massage, which to be fair was pretty good, worrying about how much I was going to pay for 2 massages without looking like a skinflint. In the end I uncomfortably paid £10 for the 2.

Know what you want to come home with and how much you would normally expect to pay.

This one I had actually done. The fabric selection pretty good and the prices a good 40% less than I would normally expect.

Looking back we had a great day. Next time I shall look out for a show which is more fabric and yarn based. About 40% of the stalls were card craft based, something which doesn’t really interest me. The yarn stalls were pretty rubbish, just novelty yarn and acrylic at knock down prices.

There were some amazing embroidery, patchwork and knitting displays including this knitted autumn scene.Knitted autumnKnitted autumn

I was a bit nervous about taking other photos if there wasn’t anyone around to ask permission but the skill of many of these exhibitionists was something to aspire to.

So what did we come away with? Well I was pretty reserved.

Fabric for baby boys

Fabric for baby boys

I bought this selection of fabric for baby boys from 3 different stalls. I have bibs and burp cloths in mind for a new baby of an old friend.
My personal indulgence was this gorgeous bunny kit.

Luna Lapin from coolcrafting

Luna Lapin from coolcrafting

I picked this up after the third visit back to the shop . I justify my purchase with the thought that I can reuse the pattern many times and it would have cost me far more than the £20 to assemble all the pieces needed.

Luna Lapin kit

Luna Lapin kit

I can’t wait to get on with this one. It involves quite a lot of hand sewing which appeals to me because I can do it in the company if others as opposed to taking myself off into our office-come-sewing room.
Watch this space. The ones on display were adorable and I know of at least 2 little girls who would give a home to one of these.

Please, please let me know when you come across any fabric and yarn based shows or exhibitions in the Yorkshire/Manchester/Birmingham area. Being late to this particular party I just read about everyone’s visits last year. I would dearly like to pop some into my diary.
Unfortunately I haven’t crafted much this weekend. Just thought a lot about it!

Love Lucie xx

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About lovelucie1

I cannot sit without something in my hands to sew, crochet, sketch etc. This becoming something of an addiction. In fact, I start to get twitchy if I am stationary somewhere, waiting for an appointment, waiting for my daughter, away with work, without some project to keep my hands busy. Minutes wasted make me anxious. This blog logs my progress to raise funds through my creations to feed my textile habbit.

11 responses »

  1. I missed this show as it was a little too far for me , but I went to the show in Harrogate at the end of November. It was fantastic! I had a limited budget but am saving up for next year! There were lots of fabric stalls and haberdashery stalls,as well as crafty ones too. However, there is not one fabric shop where I live, unless you count Boyes. So maybe it is a lack of comparisons that make me so enthusiastic ! I bought fabric for my Christmas party dress and for a summer dress. I also bought a felt doll making book. The rabbit you bought looks gorgeous!

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    • Here in Wakefield, the fabric choices are poor too. We have for one chain fabric shop that focuses on home furnishings and another which sells exactly the same so it is always a treat to see and feel fabric in the flesh as opposed to dreaming on the net. I shall look out for that one in Harrogate.

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  2. I’ve been to a similar show down here in the south before and it was much the same experience! A shame really because, as you say, we’re a captive audience.

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  3. I went over to the U.K. last October to go to the massive Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. We took our own lunch but bought a cuppa. It was hard to find somewhere to sit and my Mum is getting on so she can’t just perch on the floor somewhere.
    I have been to these events before and find them a bit overwhelming because there is almost too much choice although there weren’t too many other crafts there as it is, after all, ‘knitting and stitching’ – they had the same/similar one in Harrogate in November. In Spring there is one at Olympia if you fancy a trip to London http://www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/spring/

    I didn’t actually buy much when I went. I think my internet shopping habit is to blame because, where once I would have seen loads of new things, I have now generally already seen them these days on somebody’s blog or shop site. It is good to be able to see things ‘in the flesh’ though, even if you then go on to buy online.

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    • I’ll definitely book the Harrogate one into my diary. And try and fit a London one in this year. I find it quite hard to buy fabric over the internet as I’m not completely au fait with the different names of all the types of material. I imagine this will come in time.

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  4. p.s. I think you can book the workshops in advance.

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  5. Look out for Yarndale in Skipton, a specifically Yarn based show.
    Also Woolfest in Cumbria – a fantastic outing.
    Amanda

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  6. Hi Lucie, Thank you so much for featuring our Luna Lapin Kit on your blog – i have to say your contents photo looks so good I wouldn’t mind using it in our online shop! Regarding craft shows, The Manchester one is pretty good and will happen again in September, but without fail, get Yarndale in your diary – it was the best ‘buzziest’ event we did last year, the air was just full of creative energy. There is a Creative Crafts event in Liverpool in May, and K&S Harrogate in October. You can see more craft specialist events on our website at http://www.coolcrafting.co.uk – mind you I haven’t loaded them all yet 🙂 So check back later in the year. Thanka agin – I will pop by for more Luna Progress, Sarah @ CoolCrafting

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    • I love your kit and will be featuring my finished Luna Lapin on my blog this Sunday evening – always a great time for blog traffic.
      Yarndale is definitely going in my diary! Thanks for all the info.
      I’ll look out for your stall in the future and pop in your online shop next tine I need more supplies. Thanks for stopping by.

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