Crowds, Crafts and Cleaning Fluids

I went along to The Knitting and Stitching Show this afternoon with my Mum. It started today and is on at the RDS until Sunday. Judging from the huge crowds there this afternoon, there are clearly lots of avid knitters, stitchers and crafters in Ireland. 🙂

We had both been eagerly awaiting the event but were quite disappointed overall. 🙁
Despite the name of the show, there were not actually that many decent knitting and stitching supplies stalls there. Quite a lot of stalls were selling general paper craft supplies instead, which is fair enough given the explosion of interest recently in that niche. About half the area was dedicated to exhibitions of craft work or learning sessions where visitors could pay to try out a craft for a couple of hours in a small group. This meant that the shop stalls were very small and squashed together which made it very difficult to get around. When we did come across an interesting stall, there was such a big crowd around it that it was often not worth the hassle of investigating it.

My mum was particularly interested in finding some modern knitting patterns and expected to see vast arrays of standard double knitting wool, but the selection was quite disappointing and patterns were in short supply. I was mainly looking for unusual cross stitch kits and accessories but did not see anything special. I kept thinking that I would see a far better selection and get much better value at the click of a mouse, which sure beats traipsing round a crowded airless squashed exhibition hall!

One thing we did not expect was the amount of stands totally unrelated to crafts. If you want a cheap handbag, a pair of wellington boots, a scarf that doubles as a blouse, an out of this world window cleaner or a spiky ball that will revolutionise your tumble dryer, you may think that the hefty €14 entrance fee (plus another €3 if you want an exhibitor list/map) is a bargain. Otherwise, unless you love crowds and stuffy atmospheres, stick to shopping online!

8 comments Write a comment

  1. hi ya doin, girl, im located down here in Co. Limerick (not the city ;)!) and just fell acroos ur bloggie 🙂 nice one, i hope to be a regular visitor here, if ull have me 🙂 feel free to pop in to my site anytime u wish also.
    keep up the good work 🙂
    lette

  2. hi lette,

    thanks for dropping by 🙂 it’s always especially nice to hear from other irish bloggers 🙂

  3. recently moved to Ireland and looking to find some knitting suppliers……..has your Mum any recommendations?

  4. hi eva,

    thanks for your comment.
    i’m afraid my mum is only thinking about getting back into knitting so i don’t really know anywhere. that’s why she was hoping to find some at that craft show because there are so few shops in dublin stocking wool now.

    whereabouts in ireland have you moved to? i’m afraid i can only advise about dublin (typical city girl!):

    in terms of shops, hickeys in henry street stock some wool and patterns but it is limited.
    there is also a sewing machine shop on parnell street that sells lots of wool believe it or not!
    i have heard that there is a great shop in bray called the wool shop but have not visited.

    in terms of selection, i have heard great things about spring wools http://www.springwools.com/. they have some of their stock available to buy online but you can visit their warehouse out in walkinstown and i read on one message board that it is one of the largest knitting wool retailers in europe??? we plan to make a trip there soon.

    here are a few links i found which may be of use:
    http://www.woolworks.org/stores/ireland.html
    http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall04/FEATmasters.html
    also, try the crafts board at boards.ie for more info http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=590

    good luck and let me know if you find any good suppliers! 🙂

  5. Hi there Eva, Lette and Janine,

    http://www.thisisknit.ie is now another option for the undersupplied Irish knitter…

    We sell from a unit in the Blackrock Market every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday and you can also buy online.

    We have modern patterns and quality yarns together with the best needles on planet – Addis!

    I hope this helps in your search for contemporary Irish knitting supplies.

    All the best,

    Lisa

  6. My aunt owns the wool shop bray its great. it has good quality wools yarns and all the rest! but i need help im looking for somewhere that will make over 100 scarves if i give the designs for it??know a place

  7. Hi Janine I hope you can help me I knew you aunt Bernadette when she had the shop in Bray. I’m trying to make contact with her. I’m looking for a Rowan Knitting Magazine. I wonder if you could pass on my email to her.

    Kind Regards

    Eileen

  8. Hi Eileen,
    Sorry but I can’t help you on this – there must be some confusion somewhere – I am not related to Bernadette or anyone who had a knitting shop.
    There is still a knitting shop in Bray though – I was there at the weekend. It’s on Quinsboro road, down from Dunnes and across from a Tesco express.
    More info here: http://www.gumtree.ie/dublin/10/56207810.html
    Hopefully they will be able to help you on this.