I have finally managed to catch a few moments to tell you about the weekend. As you know, I went to help my friend Sue Stratford on her stand over the weekend at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show. I normally go to the one at Alexandra Palace as a punter, but I am going through my work experience phase of trying to get some understanding of what it takes to make the shows successful, just in case I get a bit braver and contemplate doing a show myself.
Sue is brilliant on all sorts of levels. She is a super talented pattern designer, mostly known for her books on novelty knits. She is very modest and down-to-earth, really approachable, and has a wonderful relationship with the people who buy her books and kits. And just on a personal level it is a pleasure to spend time in her company.
The show was great. I love Harrogate because I am a massive fan of Betty’s tearooms (well, I am a massive fan of tea and cake…), and so it wasn’t too hard to volunteer to help Sue out when she realised she was going to be on her own over the weekend. The days started gently but soon got busier, and it was really interesting to see what things people were drawn to and what questions they asked. Sue was selling her new book (A Bird in the Hand) and the yarn kits to make the patterns, along with some of her other books and kits. We got a lot of positive comments about how fantastic the stall looked, and we did well. I was treated to a fish and chip supper in front of the telly on Saturday night, where we knitted and watched daft telly until it was time for bed. Sue was knitting Christmas presents and I was working on a pair of socks which will be a present for someone when I get them done. The next morning we got up and had a decadent breakfast at Betty’s before getting stuck into a busy Sunday.
On the drive home we talked about Sue’s blog, and she gave me lots of good advice and ideas about how to develop what I do. It has made me rethink my plans for knackeredpsycho. I think I had just planned to keep on doing patterns on Ravelry, and to maybe do a book or something in future, and perhaps look at workshops at some point. But I saw all of that as a long way off in the future. Sue’s advice has given me more ideas and a bit more confidence to be bolder sooner. This has come at a good time because the shieldmaiden shawl pattern has proved to be really popular, and there has been a lot of activity on my Rav page as a result. I am starting to think that maybe I could be a bit bolder. I just need to set some goals for myself, and work towards them instead of bumbling my way through this thing. So am I thinking about doing a one day show next year, putting some of Sue’s advice into practice. So over Christmas I will go into planning mode for this. There is a lot of work to do between now and the show I have in mind, but I think I might just be able to do it.