What I learned at the Knitting and Stitching Show

Last weekend the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show took place at Olympia in London. This was the first time I had been, and many of you would have seen a discount for tickets here on the blog (as well as giveaways on social media too!). Instead of a 'review' I thought it might be more helpful for you to have my thoughts on what I learned there instead!

What I learned at the Knitting and Stitching Show

Workshop learning

There are a lot of workshops and live demonstrations running over the four days. For me, this is the deciding factor in which day I'm going to attend. Working full time, it's always going to be the weekend, but I do like to tie it in with a workshop too. This time I took the 'Four feet you can't live without' session; it's an hour long and gives you a quick tutorial on four sewing machine feet that can make your sewing easier. It doesn't sound incredibly exciting but I really did learn a lot!
The feet we learned to use were
  • hemming foot
  • button foot
  • piping foot
  • blind hem foot
Tutors were on hand to help with getting to grips with these in practice sessions, and I came away knowing that the foot I had been considering (narrow hem) was exactly what I needed. (Notice need not want....). This session cost £15, which seems to be the average rate....I don't think that's too bad and it was something a little different in between cruising the stalls. (Yes, I did buy the hemming foot I had my eye on - handily available on a stall at the show).

What I learned at the Knitting and Stitching Show

You can't get it all online

I hadn't previously gone to the Knit and Stitch Shows because I do the majority of my shopping online, and wondered if the selection at the show would compare to the vast world of internet shopping. At the show I came to realise....
Obviously being able to see and feel fabric makes a huge difference to purchasing decisions!
When you shop online you can miss suppliers because you don't know to look for them. Wandering around the show I came across lots of stores that I hadn't heard of before, or hadn't really seen what kinds of fabrics they stocked.
Not everybody is online! This is the biggest bonus in coming to a show...I discovered some fabulous fabrics at great prices from suppliers who don't carry their range online. It's worth a ticket to get the fabrics.

What I learned at the Knitting and Stitching Show

Other ways to make show savings

This time I felt that I was somewhat restrained in my purchases and didn't go mad on buying all the fabrics (even though there was a lot of good value there). What I did think of as sensible was the accessories like sewing feet, rulers and other tools. You can't often get these all from one supplier, which then means you end up paying delivery charges on multiple items. I concentrated on sourcing the tools that were missing from my sewing box and saved about £7.50 in delivery charges alone.
There are also other show specials - it's the ideal place to buy a machine if you are in the market for one and if you are looking to stock up on patterns, there are usually multiple purchase discounts. (Even if you don't want three from one place, you might be able to pair up with someone you are going with to take advantage of the bundle saving).

Now that I know all this I will be carefully considering what I buy between now and the Autumn show because I'm definitely going again and taking advantage of the show savings!

Did you go? What was your star buy?

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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