Knitting and Stitching Show Ally Pally 2018

Posted by Sara Mulvey | Posted in Sara's Blog, Shows & Exhibitions | Posted on 26-10-2018

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It may seem a bit late to be writing a blog post about the ‘Knitting & Stitching Show’ at Alexandra Palace, it was two weeks ago however it does take me a while to recover from this show (and the recovery takes longer every year).

It’s a big and busy show and we are away from home for 6 days. It’s exhausting but I do love it. Black Sheep Wools have been exhibiting there for over 25 years, and I’ve been at the last seven. There is no show like this one and I do believe that this year’s was the best yet. The show had a new ‘Champagne & Prosecco Bar’, ‘the innovation Station’, a Knitting Lounge, a VIP section, as well as the incredible exhibitor list.

Mike, Declan, Stephen & myself arrived in London at 2.30 on the Tuesday afternoon. We enjoyed a picnic (made by my Dad, the best sandwich maker ever) in the sunshine and always have the same conversation. It can’t possibly be a year since we were here last! Then we unload the vans.

Our first night tradition is to reward ourselves with a curry and a beer. I actually had four bottles of beer – which I completely regretted the next day!

Wednesday is then set up day. Back breaking and laborious this is always a much longer day than you think it will be. We have a discussion at lunchtime every year, ‘what time do you think we’ll be done?’. This year we estimated it could be as early as 4.30. It never is! We left the hall at 6.30 pm. I also sustained an injury, a mannequin fell on me and bust my lip. I carried my battle scar bravely – and told anyone that would listen – for the rest of the show!

We are known at the show for our ‘Yarn Dive’. A huge pile of packets of clearance yarn just perfect for you to dive in and snaffle a bargain. It is photographed by magazines and bloggers every year and features in countless social media posts. We also have our Cross-Stitch Stand which is packed with goodies from Bothy Threads, DMC, Anchor and many more.

This year we had something different too. We worked with one of our favourite designers Jane Crowfoot and had a ‘Janie Crow’ stand and a Scheepjes stand too. These both worked brilliantly.

Jane usually does this show herself. However she is hugely in demand and is now doing more international shows so she just couldn’t fit Ally Pally in. (There is so much behind the scenes prep for these shows). We were completely delighted when she agreed for us to exhibit her designs. Jane and her fabulous husband Andy set up the stand for us and worked so hard over the weekend.

We also had a Scheepjes stand, we did this for the first-time last year and it was a great success so we made it a bit bigger and had a few more products on it. Scheepjes were at the show too, sponsoring the VIP section. Their bloggers ‘Boy & Bunting’ and ‘New Leaf Designs’ dropped by our stand a few times and were so warmly received. We then had superstar designer Dedri Uys on the stand on Saturday – this was so much fun!

Working with Jane & Dedri was incredible for me. These are two of the most talented crochet designers in the world, they are also great friends with each other and so warm and welcoming. It was incredible, I was smiling from ear to ear.

The Ally Pally Show is a magnet for high profile designers. I was lucky enough to get a cuddle from Arne & Carlos, say hi to Dee Hardwicke, catch up with Stuart Hillard, wave at Attic 24 and chat to Winwick Mum.  I went for a fab Turkish with Sue Stratford (she tells the best jokes!)  watched Kerry from Toft teaching classes and there were so many more girl fan moments.

The trading days are the best bit. I love meeting our customers and we have regulars that come to us every year and it’s a real thrill to see them. We have Becky who shows me a book of everything she’s made in the last year, the £2 ladies who come every Sunday, a mother and daughter team who ask about my mum and dad every year and so many more.

As always I left Ally Pally with a big smile on my face. What a fab few days. I couldn’t do any of it without Mike, Declan & Steve. They organise the stock, load the vans and design the stand and they would say they do all the work whilst I chat!

Till next year Ally Pally!

Craft Shows 2018

Posted by Amy | Posted in Shows & Exhibitions | Posted on 09-03-2018

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It is all go at Black Sheep Wools. Only returning from the Spring Knitting & Stitching show at Olympia, London on Sunday, the show team have taken a van full of goodies up to Glasgow this week, for The Creative Craft Show at the SEC. Don’t stand still for long at HQ or you will be packed away with yarn for the show!

This year we are going to one or two new shows, along with the usual favourites. We will have a stand packed full of yarn at Wool @J13 in Staffordshire this May. As the name suggests the show is located just off J13 of the M6 motorway. A handy location to get to from many directions. Wool @J13 hasn’t been going for that many years and is a completely different setting to the shows you would usually find a Black Sheep Wools stand. It is on a farm! A show for ‘wool and fiber lovers everywhere’. We are quite excited to be trying something new and hope to see many of you there. Read more about the show on their website, it sounds like there is lots to do and street food for lunch, we are sold!

Here is a list of the craft shows that we will be retailing at over the next year. We do enjoy hitting the road and meeting customers face to face. Although we are lucky enough to be able to do that at the Craft Barn, not everyone of our customers is local to Warrington.

There are still more dates to be added to the diary, so keep and eye out on our Exhibitions page on our website for any new additions. We look forward to seeing you at a show soon.

P.S. Keep an eye out on our Instagram and Facebook for free tickets giveaways.

 

Craft Shows – Autumn 2017

Posted by Amy | Posted in Shows & Exhibitions | Posted on 11-10-2017

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The craft show autumn season is in full swing. The show team have already been in Manchester, Exeter and Coventry. This week the show team have hit the road again, making the journey to London for the biggest show in the craft calendar – The Knitting & Stitching show at Alexandra Palace. Today is the first day of the show and is set to be the best one yet. The show is on for 5 days, finishing on Sunday 15th October. Along with all of the usual wonders of the Black Sheep Wools stand (amazing selection of needlecraft, oodles of yarn packs piled up high in the yarn dive, patterns and more) we have a special treat just for Alexandra Palace, a dedicated area of our stand just for Scheepjes. We will have all 109 shades of Scheepjes Catona available to buy – a bit like pick n mix! Keep an eye out on our Facebook and Instagram for photo updates from the show.

If you can’t make it to Alexandra Palace, London this week, then do not worry as we will be off on our travels again later this month and throughout November. Take a look below at our schedule >>

For any future dates coming up in 2018 take a look on the exhibitions page on our website.

Craft exhibitions for your diary

Posted by Amy | Posted in Shows & Exhibitions | Posted on 10-02-2017

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Show season has already begun here at Black Sheep Wools. In fact our van of goodies trundled off to Event City, Manchester last week for the ICHF Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts show. This is our most local show to the Craft Barn in Warrington, so it is always nice to see familiar faces and many new customers who our pleased to discover what Black Sheep Wools have to offer.

A visit to a craft show is a great day out. There are many events going on throughout the day including workshops and demonstrations. Plus, when we are exhibiting too it is an excuse to visit the Craft Barn without the journey to Warrington! Browse our exhibition stand and be bowled over by the stunning array of crochet blankets, garments, yarn and needlecraft to get your crafty fingers twitching. Not forgetting the much loved ‘yarn dive’ where you will find some superb bargains of yarn in packets, including brands such as Rowan, Debbie Bliss and Sublime.

We are going on a tour of the UK over the next few months, I’m sure we will be breezing by a city or town near you. Get your diary and pen at the ready……….this is where we will be. More dates for autumn will be added to our exhibitions page later in the year. Details are yet to be confirmed –

Craft Shows & Exhibitions 2016

Posted by Amy | Posted in Shows & Exhibitions | Posted on 20-01-2016

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It’s the start of a new year and we are approaching the start of the new show season. This time next week the Black Sheep Wools van will be jam packed full of oodles and oodles of yarn, patterns and needlecraft. Taking all of the crafts and products on location to Sandown Park racecourse. This is only the first show of 2016, so if you don’t live locally to this one worry not there are many more to come.

There is so much to see and do at the various craft shows including workshops held by the show organisers and fabulous demonstrations. That’s not forgetting the most important thing on your to-do list, visiting the magnificent Black Sheep Wools stand. We decorate the stand with an array of cross stitch kits, garments and fabulous colour packs. The grand centre piece of our stand being the famous ‘yarn dive’, packets of yarn piled in a massive mound for you to dive in and search, all at phenomenal bargain prices.

We hope to see you there!

Keep an eye out for more shows being added later in the year on the ‘Exhibitions‘ page on our website.

 

The Knitting & Stitching Show – Alexandra Palace

Posted by Amy | Posted in Shows & Exhibitions | Posted on 01-10-2015

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Can you believe it’s already that time of year again? It’s time for the spectacular Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, London. A whole year has passed since we packed up the van having squeezed crafty goodies into every last nook and cranny that we could find – quite an art in itself.

This year the show will be running for 5 days again, opening on Wednesday 7th October through to Sunday 11th October. That’s 5 whole days to spend in a crafter’s paradise, set in a stunning location in London. Sara took this photo last year of the beautiful stained glass window in Alexandra Palace.

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Popular knit design duo Arne and Carlos will be opening the show on Wednesday at 10am. You may recognise the Nordic designs from books, such as ’55 Christmas balls to knit’ and ’30 Slippers to knit & felt’. They also have a popular sock yarn range with Regia Design Line, each shade creating a lovely fair isle design as you knit.

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There will be fashion shows throughout each day from Coats, showcasing their latest designs and yarns for autmn winter. Also workshops, lectures and tea rooms to have a break from the hustle and bustle. Once you are all shopped out be sure to visit the galleries area, where you will find work from leading textile artists, along with work from talented students. Lots and lots of inspiration to spur on your next project!

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Here are a couple of pics from our stand and setting up last year.

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Sara sat down for a moment with Debbie Bliss in our fabulous yarn dive.

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If you are booking your ticket to the Knitting & Stitching Show in advance we have a special offer for you. Use code EX15 and get your ticket for £12.

For those who can’t make it to Ally Pally why not visit us at another show in the UK. Take a look on our exhibitions page for the events where we will be exhibiting.

Shows & exhibitions early 2015

Posted by Amy | Posted in Shows & Exhibitions | Posted on 08-01-2015

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It doesn’t seem like two minutes ago since the van was being cleared after the final show of 2014. Now we are into the New Year and all the fun is set to begin again, the Black Sheep Wools show team are going back on tour. It is a fantastic way for our customers to have a ‘Black Sheep Wools Craft Barn’ experienece in their home town or city. It won’t be long before yarn is being bundled into sacks in anticipation to becoming our famous ‘yarn dive’. The first show is at the end of January in Surrey. If you would like to know all the dates and venues we are exhibiting at then take a look below. The shows listed are all taking place in early 2015, from January to April. If you can’t make any of these dates, do not worry we will be back again in the autumn, keep an eye out on exhibitions page on the website for any new shows being added.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Shows & Exhibitions 2014

Posted by Amy | Posted in Shows & Exhibitions | Posted on 08-09-2014

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The autumn winter shows have begun and we are all looking forward to meeting you (our lovely customers) up and down the country. If you are wondering where we will be exhibiting this year, then look no further than the list below. The Black Sheep van will be filled full to bursting with yarn, patterns, books, needlecraft kits and fabric. A taste of everything that we sell here at the Craft Barn and online on tour. If you are visiting any of the shows below please pop over to our stand and say hello to the show team.

Off to the Great Northern Quilt Show

Posted by Amy | Posted in Shows & Exhibitions | Posted on 28-08-2014

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It feels like summer is almost over here at HQ. The new winter yarns are making their way into the Craft Barn to sit snug on the shelves, where they will wait patiently until they are chosen for your next project (and on the virtual shelves online too).  The new sample garments have been arriving in the post to many oooh’s and ahhh’s from us office girls. Keep an eye out for many of the sample garments in future posts of #TryitTuesday.

What’s really making me feel like winter is on its way (not just the drop in temperature) is the start of show season. As I write this the van is being stocked up with many wonderful goodies ready for the first day of the Great Northern Quilt show tomorrow. The show team will be heading off to Harrogate shortly to set up our stand. If you are visiting the show pop on over to our stand where you will find lots of yarn, books, cross stitch kits and fabric too! The show is on until Sunday 31st August.

set_up_quiltThe ‘boys’ filling the van full to the brim of crafty treats.

fabric_quiltBeautiful and bright fabric fat quarters will be making an appearance at the show.

sublime_kitsSublime Lace Jasmine wrap kits waiting to be packed up.

If you can’t make it to the show in Harrogate this weekend, take a look at our exhibitions page and find out where else we will be exhibiting this year.

Save the Children – Woolly Wonderland

Posted by Amy | Posted in Shows & Exhibitions | Posted on 06-12-2013

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Many of you may have heard about Christmas jumper day. A fantastic idea thought up by Save the Children, where for one day everyone dresses up in their favourite Christmas jumper to help raise money for the charity. This money will help to save the lives of vulnerable children in the poorest countries throughout the world. Here at Black Sheep Wools we are all getting quite excited about Christmas jumper day. Lots of members of staff have been busy knitting their own jumpers and accessories for wearing on the day (next Friday 13th December). I imagine the knitting needles will be working full speed this weekend!

This year Save the Children have teamed up with Westfield London W12 to showcase a Christmas pop- up, ‘Woolly Wonderland‘. There will be special guest appearances – including Save the Children Ambassador Myleene Klass, experts on hand to help jazz up your knits – Debbie Bliss and Sue Stratford plus lots of activities for all the family. The events will run from 5th – 13th December at the Westfield shopping centre in London W12.

Here is a little more info from Save the Children –

‘At Woolly Wonderland, the experts at John Lewis will be on hand to help decorate Christmas jumpers at customisation workshops, using fashionable textiles and haberdashery to transform them into exciting additions to this year’s winter wardrobes. What’s more, Dick & Dom will be hosting storytelling sessions – and even The Gruffalo and Elmer in the Snow will be stopping by to help the whole family get into the festive spirit with story-telling, giveaways and fun activities.’

If you would like to find out a little more about the event and how to sign up to the workshops head to Save the Children – Woolly Wonderland page now. This sounds like a week packed full of fun and if you live in the London area a must visit!