The Knitting and Stitching Show, Harrogate

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?

9 Responses to The Knitting and Stitching Show, Harrogate

  1. Have never been to a show like this – certainly nicer for the visitor with less crowds. But less stalls too which is not so good 🙁 Hope you had fun!

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      We did indeed have fun! And I managed some rather lovely purchases which will be revealed in the fullness of time! 😉

  2. K-Line says:

    Oh, I don’t know! Could it be that they had more of a crowd than it seemed (but that they were better organized so you didn’t feel it?) I sense not if the vendor complement was down. But I have experienced shows (not of knitting variety) where better planning has made things look less full.

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      I wish better organisation was the case. There were several vendors that I’d really hoped to see who weren’t showing this time. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next year.

  3. Your day sounds like a lot of fun but a bit worrying about the drop in visitors and exhibitors. It would be a real pity if these things stopped happening. I would love to go to one of these big shows and would really love to go to a fabric one. Xx

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      I do wish someone would do a fabric one that’s for dressmakers, not just quilters. I once went to a designer surplus sale in London and that was wonderful. I know they do them in Holland, but not here.

  4. We have a few of these kinds of things in NZ, but not nearly as many as I’d like (or close to where I live). I imagine it’s a much bigger turn out in the UK, but I think there’s such a resurgence online for all things craft that I think they’ll be around for a little while yet…

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      I do hope this current interest in crafts is here to stay. I can remember before the internet it was nigh on impossible to get good quality supplies. Now it’s as easy as a click of a button. Joyous.

  5. Pingback: What to sew – part 2 – bottoms | Pendle Stitches

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