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!