Countdown to crafting

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The Knitting & Stitching Show, opens two weeks today in Harrogate. The Harrogate show attracts thousands of visitors and there is no better place to get great ideas, learn new skills and meet like-minded people.  The show hosts Textile Galleries featuring work by world-leading artists and groups, competition-winning quilts from The Festival of Quilts and a showcase of work by leading textile graduates.  Weavers, spinners, embroiderers, lace and braid makers will be demonstrating their skills and there will be textile artists at work in a live studio environment (Artists in Action, in association with Art Van Go).

Expert tutors will be teaching over 230 workshops (in association with Groves) and classes, from rag rugging to up-cycling, embroidery to dressmaking, and there’s something for everyone, from complete beginners to seasoned stitchers.  For those planning a homemade, hand-stitched Christmas, festive makes include delicate book folded angels made from recycled books, needle-felted robins, decoupage baubles and patchwork Christmas stockings, plus hundreds of handmade textile gift ideas like cushions, scarves, bags, underwear and jewellery.  For the crafter in your life (or an early Christmas treat for yourself), there’s plenty of opportunity for Christmas craft shopping, with hundreds of fabric retailers, yarn companies and specialist suppliers under one roof.

‘Yarn Doctors’ from UK Hand Knitting will be teaching knitting and crochet at their Drop-in clinic, and are inviting crafters to stitch and decorate stockings for their annual Christmas Stocking Appeal.  Stockings will be transformed into decorations which are being sold at the show in aid of mental health charity Mind and donated to care homes and hospices.   Free stocking patterns are available on the UKHK website and finished stockings can be donated at the Harrogate show or sent (with maker’s name and address) to: UKHK, 60 Bridge Road East, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL7 1JU.

The show has teamed up with world-famous Betty’s tea room to hold The Knitted Tea Room competition.  From cakes to tea cosies, cups and saucers to sandwiches, the show organisers are looking for a sumptuous spread of knitted or crocheted tea room items.  Entries will be displayed throughout the show and the judges will be looking for innovative and beautifully made pieces.  Judging takes place on Sunday 26th November and the winner will receive a Betty’s Christmas Hat Box worth £75, packed full of Betty’s festive delicacies.  Items should be sent before 15th November to: The Knitted Tea Room competition, twistedthread, 58 White Lion St, London N1 9PP, or brought along to the show before Sunday 26th November.  Tea cosy and cupcake patterns can be found on the show’s competition website.

Dressmakers and sewing bees can enjoy a dedicated workshop programme in the Dressmaking Studio (in association with Vlieseline Freudenberg) and expert advice about working with patterns at The Sew Today Pattern classroom (in association with the McCall Pattern Company).  For those keen to show off their handmade vintage handiwork, the glamorous McCall Pattern Company Cocktail Party in aid of the Eve Appeal is the place to be seen.  

The Harrogate show will be collecting stitched signatures for an embroidered petition by the Campaign for Creativity, a campaign by leading textile artists, designers and craftspeople to protect creative and craft subjects in education.  The stitched petition will be presented to the Education Secretary later this year.

Tickets for The Knitting & Stitching Show Harrogate cost £14.50 in advance (concessions £13) with a wide selection of options available at www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/harrogate/ or by calling 0844 581 1319 (+44 0121 796 6100 from outside the UK).

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