Posted by Rachel Westall on 9 November 2023
Thousands of knitters and stitchers are counting down until The Knitting & Stitching Show opens its doors at the Harrogate Convention Centre, 16th-19th November. Whether you’re a newbie or an accomplished stitch expert, this popular annual textiles celebration has something for everyone. Want to start a new craft project or learn a new skill? The Knitting & Stitching Show’s Learning Curve studios offer hundreds of workshops, all hosted by top tutors. A packed programme of daily classes covers every textile craft imaginable, from macrame, crochet and embroidery to Fair Isle knitting, post box toppers and jewellery making. Fans of Christmas crafting and handmade gifts will find fun, seasonal workshops to try, like needle felt gnomes, crochet beanie hats, macrame plant hangers, quilted purses, and beaded decorations.
For handmade fashionistas and fabric upcyclers, The Dressmaking Studio, sponsored by Brother, offers a dedicated dressmaking workshop programme featuring expert tutors like Mark Francis (The Great British Sewing Bee), Claire Tyler and Jules Mayouf. The Baby Lock Overlocker Studio is the place to learn how to use an overlocker to sew, trim and neaten seams all in one go. At the show's Creative Living Theatre, visitors can take a seat and enjoy free daily demonstrations by well-known knit and stitch personalities, like needle felting with Steffi Stern, Bargello Basics with Nerrisa Pratt, Upcycling Waste Clothing with Katie Young, and English Paper Piecing with Debbie Harris.
The Knitting & Stitching Show's spectacular Textile Galleries are always a sight to behold, with exhibitions of new work by leading textile artists and groups from the UK and further afield. Artists will be on hand to answer visitors' questions and discuss their work. This year's artists and groups are Art Textiles: Made in Britain, Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn, Ailish Henderson, Mandy Pattullo, Batool Showghi, The Quilters' Guild Collection, Sabine Kaner, Susie Chaikin, Susan Chapman and Sue Dove, the winner and shortlisted entries for The Fine Art Textiles Award 2023, and winning entries from The Festival of Quilts 20th Anniversary Quilt Competition. The Embroiderers' Guild celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of its Graduate Showcase at The Knitting & Stitching Show with a Showcase Retrospective that charts the paths of its graduates and scholars since 1993.
Sure to capture visitors' attention and spark a conversation is the striking sight of more than 100 embroidered yellow household dusters hung on display, stitched by women from all over the world. UK textile artist and academic, Vanessa Marr, has been curating the Domestic Dusters collaborative art project, which invites women's viewpoints on domestic life, for the last ten years.
Hand & Lock, the UK's oldest embroidery company, will be celebrating its 2023 Prize for Embroidery with an exhibition of finalists and winners. The Prize was established nearly 25 years ago to promote and preserve the art of embroidery and textiles as a historic craft and a contemporary art, and to celebrate excellence in the craftsmanship of embroidery. Hand & Lock will be hosting daily Goldwork embroidery workshops for Beginners as part of the show's Learning Curve programme, and will also be discussing their role in The King's Coronation, sharing unique designs from their archive in the show's Creative Living Theatre on Thursday 16th and Saturday 18th November at 3pm, with a range of embroidery products to buy.
Crafters won't want to miss some fantastic shopping opportunities, with hundreds of specialist retailers under one roof, including hand-picked artisan companies in The Yarn Village. There are plenty of opportunities to stop for a break and a bite to eat with a selection of food and coffee outlets, picnic spots and Prosecco Bar, or why not stroll out to one of Harrogate's stylish cafés, bars or restaurants, like the iconic Betty's Café Tea Rooms.
Standard adult tickets for The Knitting & Stitching Show Harrogate are £17.50 (concessions £16.00, children under 19 £8.50). VIP ticket packages start from £35.00. Ticket prices increase on 13th November. Transaction fee applies. Full ticket information is available at The Knitting & Stitching Show website www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/harrogate/. Visitors are encouraged to book in advance to avoid disappointment.