Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show

For The Thistle

For The Thistle

The Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate is always great fun, if totally shattering – imagine what it’s like for the stallholders, who get four days of it! – but since I have no local needlework shop, it’s my one chance to stock up.

I admit that sometimes I don’t get around to all the projects I stock up for as quickly as I might like – I bought the threads for the Hittite Amulet at Harrogate in 2010! – but as we all know, sometimes a project undergoes considerable modification in the period from first concept to finished piece.

When I visited Elmsley Rose in the summer, she gave me some silk wrapped purl – three shades of purple. I’ve decided I want to work a thistle – more or less heraldic in style – so I’ve bought some wool felt, some coloured purl, and some lovely wool thread. Thank you to Lizzy Lansbury and to The Golden Hinde for comment, advice, and encouragement. The chance to talk to people with knowledge and experience is the real advantage of the Knitting and Stitching Show, after all. Even when I had a local embroidery shop, no-one who worked there had ever worked with metal threads, for instance!

Tweed For Skirt

Tweed For Skirt

I usually wear my Autumn Leaves Skirt for the Show – what better time to wear it than among people who will enjoy it as much as I do! – but next year I may have another possibility. I’ve bought some lovely swatches of Donegal tweed to appliqué to a different skirt. The scatters of thread – wool, stranded cotton, and exotics – all come from my (extensive!) stash. My current thought is that the appliqué will be circles of different sizes. I only hope I bought enough tweed to do the job!

Stitching With Rowandean

Stitching With Rowandean

And finally… I’ve known Ted and Katrina of Rowandean Embroidery, on and off, for about twenty years, since the days when I was making counted cross stitch kits. I’ve always admired the verve and invention of Katrina’s designs, and I love talking to them. But this is the first time I’ve been able to sit down with Katrina – I joined in on a Make and Take, playing with layers of sheers and a few bits of stranded cotton. It was a lovely break in all the trotting around of the show, to be able to sit down and stitch, instead of simply taking about it.

And on top of all that, I had lunch with Elizabeth of Sew-In-Love, who is the fourth blogger I’ve met in real life this year. We had a lovely time, although, in what seems to be a pattern, I don’t think we spoke very much about embroidery!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    Sounds like a great show -and it’s always fun to meet bloggers!

  2. Sue Jones says:

    Lovely subtle colours for the tweed and for the thistle. I’ll look forward to seeing these things being used over the next few week, or months, or years – I know that embroidery likes to take its time, and designs won’t happen until they are ready to happen.
    That’s why we end up with these enormous stashes of stuff, of course – each piece of thread and fabric sitting there waiting for its one perfect moment, even if it is sometimes hard to know how to squeeze any more supplies into the cupboard. And why it’s safer that I keep away from such glittering temples of temptation as Harrogate!

  3. susan says:

    Oh, a thistle! I took pics of all the different styles of embroidered thistles I found in Scotland. It will be in an upcoming post. I’ve been “collecting” thistles and I can’t wait to collect yours. Great job on the shopping front.

  4. Very true! We didn’t talk much about stitchery, did we? Still, we had a lovely chat and I very much enjoyed it. I only wish I’d had more time at the show!

    Looking forward to seeing the promised new skirt next November…=)

    (I’ll be doing my Show post soon too.)

  5. karen says:

    I didn’t get to Harrogate this year unfortunately. I heard a couple of negatives though which troubled me….I will definitely go next year and scrutinise!!!

  6. Penny says:

    Oh I’m so envious!! I love shows like that. We have a fiber show here in October and I’ve only been once since its held over the weekend that we are in Nevada with our family. But what joy it is to see and visit with the vendors, to get inspiration from the colors and textures. I can’t wait to see your ‘new’ skirt.

  7. Jules says:

    Well, I’m jealous! 🙂
    Sounds like a fab day, and how lovely that you met Elizabeth. And – ‘the skirt’ will have competition! Can’t wait.x

  8. Carolyn says:

    It is just wonderful to wander around amongst things we love even if you don’t buy anything. Even nicer to meet up with like minded people.

  9. Andy LW says:

    I feel I’ve been to the Harrogate Show by just reading your blog! What beautiful designs in store – looks as if you’ve got a “queue in your head” like me.
    Happy stitching. Andy

  10. Terrie says:

    Wandering and browsing what we like is pleasant and get inspired.

  11. Sounds like you had a great time. I have now met several blog-friends in “real” life, and have had a great time with them. Let me know if you run out of tweed – I have some beautiful pieces, woven here in the Borders.

  12. I went to the BBC Good Food Show this weekend… I think I’m not really cut out for these giant events, it’s so tiring!

    It sounds like you had a good visit to Harrogate, and as always I’ll look forwards to seeing what you come up with 🙂

  13. Janice says:

    I love the results of your workshop with Rowandean. The colours of the tweed skirt project are gorgeous, as are the thistle materials and threads. Sounds like a very successful Harrogate!