So this last weekend saw a huge craft trade show happen at the NEC in Birmingham, CHSI Stitches! This was the first time I would be going to a trade event like this, so I was pretty excited. After a minor issue with me not being able to find my registration email ( I really need to clear out my inbox…) and having to sign up again, we started wandering around the stands. Every conceivable type of craft product was on display, from yarn, embroidery thread and fabric to paints, beads and buttons. Many stands had demonstrations running, in addition to more organised workshops and seminars that you could sign up for.
Obviously I immediately gravitated towards the jewellery stands, with Beadalon having the lovely Kleshna demonstrating the Bangle Weaver tool she designed for them, John Bead the amazing Patti McCourt just a couple of the highlights.
The wool and yarn suppliers went all out with their stands, King Cole had the most incredible giant knitted sparkly hedgehog (called Spike!) and Toft had a huge version of their adorable crochet flamingo kits! There was plenty of mixed media stuff too, I particularly liked Grafix (makers of my favourite shrink plastic), WOW Embossing and Visible Image stamps (they had some awesome new geometric designs).
They also had a catwalk show, with the pattern, yarn and jewellery component suppliers taking part. It has been years since I shot a fashion show, and I really enjoyed it!
We stopped for lunch, getting ready to hit the remainder of the stands, the Trends area and the ‘Yarnia’ (yes, Narnia in yarn!) display…… then I started feeling ill and spent the next hour sat on the floor of the toilets feeling extremely dizzy as my blood pressure seemed to have dropped through the floor. Once I regained slightly more colour we decided it was best to head home. Urgh.
So although I greatly enjoyed what I did see, I’m more than miffed at my body for preventing me from seeing the rest! Ah well. Next year.