28 October 2015

yarn travels: Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts show Exteter

Ahoy hoy. Soooooooooo, it may now be nearly a month ago, but after the otters and the luxury camping, we also popped along to the ICHF Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts show in Exteter.

It was a bit of a last minute decision to go to this event, I was just looking for stuff to do in the Exeter/Devon area and stumbled across it. I've been to a fair few of these types of shows before, but they're always good for a day out and to pick up some crafty supplies.

One of the first things we came across was this amazing display of embroidered birds. Every single one was of brilliant quality, and there were loads of them.

They were made by a lady called Carole Checketts in the 60's and 70's!!! (how she kept them all in such perfect condition for over 4/5 decades is beyond me). The birds were donated to the National Needlework Archives which now displays them at shows such as this.

This jeweled toad on knitted rocks was particularly good. I think the thing that impressed me most with this work was the fact that everything appeared to be anatomically correct (or at least giving that impression), and if you've ever tried sculpture of any kind you'll know how difficult that can be to achieve.

After marveling at this display for quite some time we moved on, but there was still more crafty artworks to see.

This quilting work by Jill Packer on the Contemporary Quilt stand was right up my street. I love the colours she used as well as the aboriginal style to the work.

And this piece of needle embroidery was pretty amazing too. I can't remember exactly which stand it was on, but there were some ladies there doing this style of cotton embroidery - they must have the eyes of hawks to be able to do such tiny and intricate works.

So they're my highlights of the artwork on display, on with the show. Now I knew before going that this was going to be predominantly a stitching and sewing show, so it was mostly catering to that kind of crowd. If I'm totally honest, I found a lot of the stalls there kinda 'twee' and a little bit boring - lots of 'cross-stitch some cats in a basket' kits, that sort of thing. But saying that, there was plenty of other good stuff to be had.

There was a fair few wool stands about, mostly your usual traders at these sort of shows but still a good choice of yarns. I picked up a few bits and bobs, but there was one other craft that this show excelled in....

BEADS!!! I'm not joking, there were loads of bead stands, and most of them were of really good quality with good prices.

What really impressed me was the fact that most of the beads/jewellery stands also had a really good selection of clasps/chains/findings that you would want for beading projects. I picked up a good amount of memory wire and various chains to add to my stash.

I know that a lot of this stuff is the sort of thing you can get online, but I'm the kinda person that likes to see what I'm buying, which is why I love going to shows like this and stocking up. For example, I managed to find some neon seed beads on one stall, but people and the internets definition of 'neon' can vary, so not only can I be sure exactly of what colours I'm buying, but it also means the lovely stall holder can show me a pack of them that I hadn't seen which cost nearly a fiver less. Obligatory haul picture coming up.

So overall, a pretty good show. If you're after more woolly stuff you'd probably be better heading to one of the various knitting and stitching shows, but for general crafty goodness this doesn't disappoint.

That's all for now, peace out x

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