Every show we do is different.
Edinburgh Yarn Festival is beautifully organised with select vendors, the podcast lounge and wonderful opportunities to socialise.
Leeds Wool Festival is fairly compact too – and it makes the most of amazing surroundings in Armley museum to make it a real family day out.
Yarndale is all about the wool. Livestock, masses of fibre and yarns. It’s huge, and the atmosphere is always buzzing.
Then there’s the Knitting and Stitching Show. On the Thursday someone said to me “It feels like a show that’s all about shopping”. There’s something in that – despite the different craft guilds who exhibit and the gorgeous exhibitions.
We managed to catch up with several friendly faces, and spotted some beautiful knitwear. It’s very noticeable how few ‘serious’ knitters there were – and given the lack of yarn at the show I’m not surprised. I’d have been miffed to have paid £17 for a ticket given how little yarn was on offer. However had I wanted fabric (who, me?) I’d have been spoilt for choice.
I’d say that 90% of our sales were to people who loved the samples, and who were prepared to knit or crochet to make them if the pattern was simple enough. It’s great because it’s reminding people how much fun these crafts are. It’s a show where people expect buy one get one free deals on yarn. It’s the show where someone wanted a free pattern because our yarn was expensive. She didn’t actually want to buy the yarn, she just wanted the pattern to be given to her.
Both Leeds Wool Festival and Yarndale take place less than an hour from Harrogate, and I wonder if people who used to visit the show for yarn now get their woolly fix elsewhere.
So lots to ponder when we’re thinking about shows for 2017.