Knitting and Stitching Show Harrogate, 2011

Last year my Mother and I had tickets to go to Harrogate and places booked on a local minibus to save on the petrol and parking fees.  Snow took those plans off the table and this year we were determined to make it there, especially as the very kind organisers had carried our tickets over for us so we didn’t have to pay again.

The boys were supposed to go to their Dad’s for the weekend leaving me free on Saturday to enjoy the day out.  Yes, I said supposed to… About 5.30am Jim came through into my room to say that his pillow was too hot and could I sort it out.  Lovely, fever, just what we needed but he was impressed with my suggestion to just turn his pillow over and went back to sleep as did I.  Twenty minutes later Piggle started moaning in pain.  I was just turning the last corner into the bathroom at a trot carrying him when he threw up on us both…  He was sick three more times in the next hour before going back to sleep and I may win the prize for the parent ringing in sick for her kids at the earliest time ever as I left a message on the school’s answering machine at 6am so I could turn my alarm off.  Jim seemed a bit better once he was up but Piggle slept until 10.30 and then didn’t eat that much all day.

Still determined to go and with the kids on the mend my sister very kindly offered to look after them for the day.  Mum and I dropped them off and then headed off to Harrogate.  Even though we set off early by the time we’d dropped the boys and found a parking lot it was 12.30.  By the time we found a space in the parking lot it was just before 1.00, I kid you not, we paid for 20 minutes of driving around and around in circles looking for a space.  Anyway, instead of going into the show for a bit and then coming out for lunch we went right to Wagamamas and enjoyed a lovely meal (there isn’t one any closer than Harrogate and we both love it.  If you’re vegan ask them for the folder every restaurant keeps behind the counter that has a page saying what’s vegan or can be veganised).

Finally, into the show we went.  We stopped by House of Hemp which is a bit of a joke with us because the first year we went to the show I spent about £45 there and they are only just inside the front door!  The reason we looked this time was because I’ve never actually knit up the yarn I bought.  The pattern that I bought with it from them is written in a single size and they didn’t tell me that when I was making the purchase (the pattern size is a 36, well below my size).  I tried on the sample this time and I may be able to make it work with an extra panel on each front, I need to count my skeins to see if I will have enough.

Onwards we went using our handily pre-marked show programme to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

I spent an age at the Habu stand talking myself into and out of different things and was glad I hadn’t spent anything there when I spent an absolute fortune at Susan Crawford’s stand.  The stand was the first I had marked that I wanted to see as I knew that I wanted to have a flick through A Stitch in Time and the second volume to see if I wanted to buy them.  I had obviously seen the patterns shown on Ravelry and on Susan’s website but the books aren’t cheap and I wanted to make sure that there were enough reasons to spend the money on them.  I had intended just to buy the second volume but she was selling the first at a discount so I got one of those too.  Then I saw the cotton she was selling and bought enough of a dark pink colour (it’s called bordeaux but it’s not dark enough in my mind to be that) to make The Jan Sweater.  I also picked up a set of 4mm needles as they were on my list and she had some!  I got a free cotton bag which my Mum and I had to take turns carrying, those books are really heavy!

Other purchases were three fat quarters in pansy prints for a future quilt (I have 10 different fqs collected so far but I’ve been collecting for years, don’t expect to see anything soon!), a metre and a half of stretch knit to make my Mum a t-shirt for Christmas, a stripey cotton scarf (2 for £5, we got one each), a cardigan pattern from the Wensleydale Sheep stand, some giant ric rack in black, narrower ric rack in teal, a metre of ribbon that is actually ‘made by’ labels and 5 blue flower buttons.

By my calculations I spent as much this year as I would usually have over 2 years so I made up for missing out last year even though I only got yarn for one project.  I had spent the previous night finishing off and figuring out how to print off a list of projects from Ravelry to look for yarn for and I only got it out of my bag once.

This year seemed a bit different.  There was quite a bit of sock yarn and more sewing stuff than before, although less sewing machines.  The Texere stall didn’t have as much variety as in the past and there weren’t as many stands just selling balls of yarn, it was either buy it by the bag or very expensive high end stuff.  There was one stall my Mother and I both found things on we would have bought but the man running it was so opinionated and rude to both of us that we just walked away, not worth putting up with that for yarn.

Anyway, we had a good day and actually ran out of time at the show.  We thought it closed at 6 and it was actually 5.30 so we did the last, luckily smallish, hall very quickly.  I’m happy with what I bought, I was happy to meet up quickly with a lady who I’ve ‘known’ online for 8 years and another lady who I’ve spoken to online too and to see what is about.

I’ll go again I’m sure but I think I have reached the stage where I know what I like, I’m pretty well stocked up and prices are going too high with the cotton shortage for me to buy anything at full price.  Even if we don’t buy anything it will be nice to have a wander and a good lunch out (we did say maybe we’d go to London instead, we’ll see if that pans out).

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