How to Get the Best Value from a Yarn Show
Today's post is a Q&A with our very own Saj Collyer, Organiser of Stitch Fest and Fibre Quest on how to get the most from your yarn show visits this autumn.
So, what’s great about yarn shows like Stitch Fest?
"One of the best things about going to a yarn show is the quality of the exhibitors. It’s so nice to meet the people behind the independent brands you have seen on line or heard of, and be able to chat about their products with them. The convenience of shopping online for yarn just doesn’t compare to seeing the yarns in person and having a squidge! It’s a bit like going to 50 independent yarn shops in one day, and it’s easy to make comparisons so you can choose what’s just right for your project.
At the show we have a café and it’s so nice to meet other show visitors, have a chat and sit and knit for a while. Compare purchases and share ideas. It gives the
show a real buzz. Somehow, cake and a
cuppa has become an essential part of visiting the show!"
How can you make the most of your day at the show?
"Go around first, then make your choices on the second time around. Perhaps go to your favourite exhibitors first, then have a coffee and wander round the whole show after that. It’s a good idea to take in the show, there’s always so much variety to see, before making your purchases, especially if you are planning a big project. It’s also easier to make comparisons and ask advice from stall holders and take time to think before you purchase if you wander round first."
How can I choose, there’s so much choice?
"I like to make micro mood boards when I’m planning projects. I’m also a dressmaker, so I might be planning a cardigan in stranded colour work to go with a dress. The micro mood board helps me source the right colours rather than relying on my memory of particular colours and perhaps buying the wrong shade that just won’t work. It works for yarns, haberdashery, fabrics, all sorts."
To make a micro mood board, find a small piece of card, then stick on a photo of the project so far or a picture that inspires you, attach colour swatches of fabric or yarns used so far, buttons, anything that will help you find just the right things at the show when there’s so much colourful choice.
Why are yarn shows more expensive than shops?
"Yarn shows feature independent, small businesses that have original, artisan products. While there will always be a place for big branded yarns, a yarn show is the place to find something different and a bit more special. The big brands don’t rely on your money, the independent makers do.
The indie dyers, spinners, weavers and felt artists at Stitch Fest are a super creative group of people, often running their own businesses from home, on the kitchen table or even in the shed! These are the people that can offer you something unique and different from the main stream big brands. At the show you can chat to exhibitors, understand their inspiration and share your project ideas to get just what you need to make your project. Buying at the show makes a difference to the maker, and you will have a squishable memory of your day! "
How do I find out where the local yarn shows are?
"Have a look on the internet, search your favourite knit, crochet or fibre magazine, watch social media posts of your indie favourites and yarn shows, chat with your yarnie friends and your knit and natter group, local yarn shops often display yarn and fibre event posters…. Pop the date in your diary, and make a plan! If you are on our mailing list or follow us on social media we keep you up to date with all the exciting Stitch Fest news, especially in the run up to the show. Oh, and don’t forget to take a large bag!"