My October outing to Knitting and Stitching Show 2023 in Harrogate (second year) was really enjoyable. I stayed in The Crown Hotel as last year as it’s very close to the exhibition centre.
There were many highlights – Fellow feltmakers made for wonderful company, although they had accommodation elsewhere in the town. Just like last year, it was lovely to sample life in an English town for a day or two – the retail therapy was great especially in the Vintage shops – the excitement of rummaging through others cast-offs to find treasures .
Well done to those who chose our restaurants – the fare was delicious and so different. Although not on other’s list, I got to Betty’s for my breakie on the last day – always a treat in Harrogate. Lovely to see the craft of crochet poppies used to decorate the WW1 memorial acrtoss the road from the tea room.
I thought the standard of the exhibitions this year was far superior to last year – or maybe they just appalled to me more – the one on Domestic Violence was particularly evocative: touching and emotive messages embroidered on everyday cleaning cloths/dusters.
The Embroidery Guild as usual had a wonderful display of both skill and creativity within their craft. The Quilt exhibition again was a display of their members’ interpretations of many current issues.
This year I intended to be very disciplined about my spending! – I had a list of items I definitely wanted to buy – attachments for my sewing machine, some Wensleydale curly locks and fabric scraps. I certainly bought more than that but was pleased with my ability to say NO.
I was not as happy this year with the range of the workshops this year and certainly planned to limit the number – last year I ran from one to the next with little time to catch my breath. So I chose 2 workshops.
Machine embroidery – with Tyvek: It was the machine embroidery aspect that attracted me to this workshop, unfortunately the emphasis was on tyvek – an iron on fabric which reacts to heat. It was interesting but the limited availability of irons meant long times queueing. I’m not sure I’ll ever use it. I did get to try out machine embroidery but actually learned more from a fellow student than from the facilitator.
Embroidery Techniques: A recently graduated Embroidery student delivered this workshop – embroidering a Luna Moth using 4 basic stitches. The tutor was very well prepared this time but I don’t think she factored in the different skill sets of the group. About halfway through the workshop she admitted that we would not complete the project but she would show us the stitches – stem stitch and backstitch which I already knew but it was great to see how finely she worked; goldwork and Turkish Rug Knot which I’d never heard of. Luckily, we were given a wonderful little manual with which I was able to complete my Moth at home.
I was delighted to report back to FI committee that they do very well on choosing tutors who possess great teaching skills.