Knitting and Stitching Show Olympia 2016

As I mentioned on Sunday, last Thursday I visited the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia with my chum Linda.


I’ve never been impressed with the way this sort of show usually has stalls that are nothing to do with what the show purports to be about – unless it’s a more regional show where a few local businesses can add a bit of depth and nice local flavour. However London is not exactly regional and this year’s show felt rather overrun by non- knitting/stitching stalls.

I appreciate the venue needs to fill it’s pitches. I also appreciate that the internet gives much better exposure to many companies for a much cheaper price, so they stay away. However, I think there comes a point when it feels that one is being mislead by the banner under which the show is held, and, for me, I felt the tipping point was near, if it hadn’t been reached.

Another way I think the internet impacts, is that there are few surprises – at least not at a bigger shows where pitches are very expensive. The only stall – if I ignore the ones that had no relevance to knitting or stitching – that had something that I hadn’t previously come across, was The Lucet Company.


I may be being a bit slow here, because lucetting is believed to date back to Viking times. If it’s something you haven’t heard of , it’s a way making braids and cords a bit like a knitted I-cord. I can’t say it grabbed me, or I’m planning on learning any time soon, but it did at least add a point of interest to an otherwise mostly lack lustre experience.

Another stall I enjoyed spotting was Tilly and Buttons – after all the lovely Tilly and Buttons makes I’ve seen posted by sewing bloggers, it was good to have a real life look. I was tempted, but didn’t buy anything, as I already have a couple of plans I keep not getting the sewing machine out for.

On the knitting front, Sincerely Louise never fails to raise a smile, but I do feel a little squeamish about the faux taxidermy thing. Do others feel like this at all, or is this just me being oversensitive? It’s also always good to see Edward’s Menagerie’s cute creatures, especially when you’ve just been pondering how to crochet sheep fleece.

I now know how to do their fleecy sheep coats – apparently there are YouTube videos that help, if you’re stuck – but I’m none the wiser about making my own sheep fleecy.

On the purchasing front, I’d vowed earlier in the year not to buy yarn unless I knew what I was going to make with it. One good get out clause is to buy sock yarn, because, of course, one knows one is going to make socks with it. So with a clear conscience, I bought this…


and this…


I also bought a bargain bag of Debbie Bliss, Rialto Chunky, with half an idea of what I might make…


I also bought a cute pincushion kit and thread holder from Sue Hawkins...


And from the Historical Sampler Company I bought this for me…

Well it was nearly Mother’s Day


… and this for a new addition that’s expected later in the year.


I’ve always loved The Historical Sampler Company’s designs, but I always thought it was an offshoot a bigger enterprise, so it was refreshing to find out it’s run by two mums who started it when their kids young.

All in all, although as an experience I found the show lacking (apart from the wonderful company of my friend), I’m pleased with what I bought.

Bekki Hill

31 thoughts on “Knitting and Stitching Show Olympia 2016

  1. I am with you about the head taxidermy thing, it is like you have cut the head off a stuffed toy and framed it! lol

    I was considering going to the show, so it is interesting to read your review. I think they charge so much for the stands only the larger companies can afford to do it, so you don’t get to see the smaller makers.

    Congratulations on the new arrival due soon! Can’t wait to see what you are stitching!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me some of the taxidermy reminds me too much that real animals were hunted just as trophies – and are still hunted for trophies or even the tiniest body part. But I also see the irony in it and I just loved the knitted tiger skin rug. So I’m very much a mixed up kid! There were some of the bigger boys there, but more on the sewing front. I think the yarn offering all round was very slim – even many companies that I’m sure can afford a pitch weren’t there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the shows are better for anybody still not internet savvy – if there are any left – because the rest of us have seen most of what is on offer and usually cheaper. If they charged less for the stands they would probably get more of the smaller, independent companies who have interesting things we might not have seen before but I don’t suppose that’s going to happen.

    I see you managed to open your purse several times though, despite everything 😉

    Was the yarn from that company who has a stand with a whole heap of packages from different brands thrown willy nilly in the centre and you have to do a little gymnastic thingy to scoop up the one you want to avoid falling headfirst into it and drowning in a sea of cashmerino? I love that one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree – internet saviness definitely ‘spoils’ things. I also agree they’re unlikely to drop their prices, when they can fill all their stalls – even if half of it isn’t what it says on the tin.

      I wonder how many people get put off. Although I guess it gives a window for the smaller shows to thrive, because the indie’s can afford them.

      Yes, that stall was there. Is it Wool Warehouse? Very entertaining to watch. One woman suspended her daughter from the loop at the back or her jeans while she leaned forward to pick something from the very middle then offered to hire her out 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lol brilliant entrepreneurial skills there…
        I have had this feeling with the boat shows in recent years (I have never really been to a craft show) but then again part of that could be that I had been every year since I was about 10, and there is only so much new stuff that can come out each year. I do often go for the bargains though as they often sell off last years clothing cheaply.
        A friend of mine used to work for the boatshow organising company and we often said about the posibility of reducing the stand price and he didn’t think it was a very realisitic option as (certainly for that show) there was soo much other stuff that needed to be paid for like the grounds and the security etc
        it seems to hinge on whether they are trying to aim for a very specific audience or branch out and get more people in more as a day out.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree, there can only be so much original stuff created each year and I appreciate there’s a lot of overheads and stall prices can only be lowered so far. But I do think that if a large proportion of your stalls don’t fit under the banner of what the show claims to be about, you’re misleading people. OK there’s an exhibitors list, but really people shouldn’t have to scour that to see how much of what there is.


  3. How disappointing to have a show like that not actually have stalls of vendors in the category. Maybe they need to find a less expensive venue so that they can actually have vendors who are related to stitching!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great purchases, I also love the samplers! I’ve only been to a couple of shows and I always end up thinking that I could get things cheaper on the internet, unless I managed to have a rummage in a bargain bin.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well I love the pin cushion and thread holder. I think they are quite unique.
    I find too much paper craft at these shows now and steer clear unless there are promises of good exhibitions. The trade show I went to was completely different and really interesting. I think that treat has completely spoiled the rest for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I really liked Sue Hawkins stall and, although she’s not too far down the road from me in Cornwall, I hadn’t heard of her before.

      I not sure there was any paper craft here, but craft 4 crafters last month was full of paper craft. However one stall had all but run out of paper craft stuff, so maybe it’s a good market to be in. Although not for me either.
      Your trade show did look good 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The samplers are really sweet and will make a lovely framed gift for the special arrival 😉 Sadly I think most crafters (whatever their sway) are getting to feel as you did at the show, at least it was a day out with a chum! Internet trawling definitely brings home more bargains for me too these days 😉


  7. Too bad the show was a bit disappointing. Good thing you had a chum with you to still make it worthwhile (catching up is always fun). It’s interesting how the internet has changed the world, even craft shows by the sounds of it. Some friends and I were discussing how many people (especially, but not just ‘the youth”) do much of their shopping on-line, even for their clothes. Well, on the upside, I suspect that your purchases will eventually be put to good use! Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do a lot of shopping on line, although for things like yarn I do like to buy locally to support our local shops, even if it is a bit more expensive. I would also say, I rarely buy yarn on the internet, because you need to see it in real life and feel it to make proper judgement. For me a show is about the day out too, as I’m sure it is for a lot of people.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the yarns you got, and the samplers are stunning. I so want to also do a bit of needlework and stitching again. Its a lovely design on both yours.
    These craft shows are nice to go to, although I do also find the stalls to be too much of a “variety” and not related to the show. Some stalls are nice, as you get to meet the people you usually order online from, which is great.
    Taxidermy, rather not. Feels a bit weird.
    Glad you had a good time with your chum. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed, its never nice to not find lots of the kinds of hobbies one is doing. I also visited our fair, and I think only 2 or 3 stalls had yarn. I did buy some though, and hope to get some photos on the weekend and share with everyone.
        Take care, it must be getting warmer there by now.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Looking forward to seeing your purchases. Weather picked up today and was beautiful, but we had a another horrible storm yesterday – worst one here this winter. It is supposed to be getting warmer as the week goes on. Although this is the UK, so anything could happen. You take good care too.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Glad your weather was beautiful, despite the storm. Take care in these big storms.
        We finally got good rain for about 24 hrs, but with it came flooding and roads being closed.
        And of course, after the dry period, many trees did not handle the rain, and in my area we had 5 trees fall over. Only one fell onto 2 cars, but nobody was hurt. Others were just obstructing roads for hours.
        Happy weekend. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Sorry to hear you’ve been having flooding, but good to hear no one got hurt with the falling trees. I’ve seen them fall and there’s no mercy if you’re underneath. I think the rain causes more trees to topple than the wind. But I may be wrong. Sounds like you need to take good care too. Wishing you gentler weather and fab weekend 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Indeed. We definitely have more trees just crashing over when it rains than with wind. Have not yet seem one fall, but the destruction afterwards is huge.
        Had a good weekend, but another storm building right now. Going to head out home and try and beat it.
        Enjoy the week. 🙂 Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I completely agree with you about these big shows. I mean I’m not going to pay to go there & buy Stylecraft! The one I went to I discovered Natali Stewart and Silk Indian so that was definitely worth it but nothing else!

    Liked by 1 person

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