Although the north of the UK has been battered by storms for the past week or so, last Saturday started off chill but calm as we headed off to Harrogate for the Knitting and Stitching Show. The ‘we’ comprised Ma, her best friend Pauline, Hubs, and The Boy. We set off early as we were meeting our friends Sue and Dave who were up from Surrey for the week and whom we hadn’t seen since our wedding, 5 years ago.
Our rendezvous was an Italian cafe restaurant opposite Harrogate International Centre.
Stuzzi is a complete find and highly recommended if you’re ever at a show at the HIC. We had excellent coffee and pancetta or sausage on delicious bread rolls with homemade tomato sauce. The Boy inhaled his doughnut and proclaimed it the best he’d ever had. Praise indeed as that boy loves his cakes!
Replete and happy, us womenfolk bade goodbye to the men and turned them loose on Harrogate whilst we headed off to the show.
It’s been 6 years since I last came here (I can’t believe how quickly time is flying) and things were very different to my last visit.
Whereas last time the queues for entry were halfway around the building, even for those of us who’d purchased our tickets in advance, this time we were in through the door in minutes.
Last time the halls had been jammed with folk and their wheelie trolleys, all anxious to get to the next stall and oblivious to who was on the receiving end of their sharp elbows. This time the crowds were manageable and the whole atmosphere much more genteel.
Whilst this undoubtably makes the shopping experience much pleasanter, this can’t be good for the exhibitors. Which might explain why there were fewer actual stalls than when we last visited.
Which has got me thinking. Is the mega craft show (like Harrogate, Alexandra Palace, or the NEC in Birmingham) in decline? Are the new specialist shows like Yarndale, Wool Fest or Wonder Wool Wales taking over?
Click on any of these logos to go straight to each show website.
These boutique shows seem to be happily maintaining theirs crowds and exhibitors. Or could it just be a North/South divide thing? And if that’s the case for yarn, will we ever have niche events here in the UK for fabric and sewing too?
I’d be happy to hear your take on this. What do you think?