Although I attended embroidery classes for ten years as a child at my mother's request, I am not naturally creative when it comes to knitting and stitching. The only memory I can muster from those Saturday mornings spent felting, sewing and cross-stitching is when I stitched my cross-stitch project to my skirt – I can't imagine how I managed it, but I did. I can only aspire to have the levels of patience that the volunteers helping us displayed. I like to think that what I lack in skill, I make up for in enthusiasm, but with age I have not improved. The scarf I have been attempting to make for my boyfriend, a work in progress since June, still resembles a cone cosy – I must have been going wrong somewhere!

However, the world of knitting and stitching seems to be reaching new heights, as demonstrated by The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace this weekend just past. The event ran from the 8-12 October and was open for five days this year, the longest stint yet.

The website details: 'The Knitting & Stitching Show is the largest and most highly regarded textiles and craft event in the UK and it's your opportunity to share your love of textiles with others.' The vibe was similarly inspiring; with the large exhibition area full of stalls as far as the eye could see. Patchwork was very particularly popular this year alongside plenty of woollen shawl kits to make at home.


Having previously visited the Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Shop in Garriston, North Yorkshire, it was lovely to see the stand selling their unique goods. I am regretting not buying a teapot cosy kit which would have given me a wonderful teapot cosy that looked like a Wensleydale Longwool Sheep - after all, practise makes perfect!

Luckily there were stalls that fed the creative and the non-creative types, with a favourite of mine being Henleys Sweets. I was highly impressed by the owners inventive 'Rock Shots'. He has pioneered the idea of injecting rock whilst it is still soft, into glass bottles that you fill with vodka. You then leave the rock to infuse the vodka – a great present idea! He was also very liberal with handing out tasters of old-fashioned sweets and chocolate covered honeycomb which gave us more energy to keep powering through the many stalls there were to see!

Overall it was a lovely vibe at the show and a real hub of creativity. Lots of visitors were wearing their own creations and it was refreshing to see men, women and children excited by what was on display. I hope it was just as successful for the stall holders.

If you missed the event at Alexandra Palace, do not fear as the show arrives at Harrogate International Centre on the 20th November for three days. For more information visit:

Jasmine Crocker