Last week I took a trip to the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia. It was a reboot of the Stitch & Craft Show at which I had been an exhibitor in previous years, with a finer focus on textile crafts. Spread across one large floor at Olympia, the show was bright and airy and there was a real sense that Spring was in the air.
It was quite a treat to visit the Show at Olympia as a punter, rather than as an exhibitor, as I got to roam around the show with freedom – at most of these kinds of shows, exhibitors only get to have a look at work from about 4.30pm when the crowds have died down.
As is often the case with these shows, I completely forgot to take enough pictures as I went, but I spent half the day with the lovely Bridgeen Gillespie (aka Cherry & Cinnamon) and the other half with the mighty Sarah Corbett, and much fun was had wandering around the aisles, looking at the new items for sale and reconnecting with friends.
It was a pleasure, as always, to see Jane Greenoff and get some gold needles from her (they’re the best!) Jane’s next Out for the Count column is out on Monday and it’s still an honour to have her as part of the Mr X Stitch Family.
I spent a bit of quality time with the crew from Cross Stitcher and Mollie Makes, and succumbed to taking a subscription out for the Simple Things, which is a really nice craft/lifestyle magazine. I caught up with Sarah Adie and the Crafty magazine team and was thrilled to pick up a hard copy of the magazine. Sarah Corbett and I are both columnists in it, so we geeked out a little and signed each other’s copies. It really is a lovely magazine and I hope you pick up a copy for your reading pleasure when it comes out at the end of the month.
One of the strengths of the Autumn Knitting & Stitching Shows is the amount of textile art that they feature, and the Spring show took a step in that direction with a few creative spaces where artists could showcase their work. It was great to see the work of Yulia Badian who produced a Woodland Boudoir featuring her own felted textiles, as well as curiosities from Sue Walton and Ann Small.
The show also featured a preview of some new Alice Kettle work (which I omitted to photograph) as well as a row of stands co-curated by the show organisers and the team from Folksy; nice mix of artisans who might not have been at the show otherwise. I should also give a quick shout-out to Craftlines of Essex for their exemplary scissor sales and support, to Bella Lane for her wonderful goldwork, and to the ladies of the Braidworker’s Guild who are just lovely.
All in all, I really enjoyed the show. The new space gave it a breath of fresh air (literally) and the mix of sales stands and inspiration was much improved. It’s been a bold decision to eschew papercraft in favour of needlecraft, but I think it was the right move. I hope to have a stand at the show next year, and now that they’ve made this transition I think the show will go from strength to strength.
For more information about this show, the Knitting & Stitching Show and the Festival of Quilts, visit the Twisted Thread website.