Got yarn show plans for 2019? Are you a show veteran? or have you never been to a show? Somewhere in between?

In this episode I share some top tips for getting the most out of attending yarn shows, including where to find which ones are happening. Looking at why you want to attend (social, shopping, work or a mixture) can help you to narrow down the wide range of options available these days, and ensure you get the best experience. Also, we revisit episode 129, and I share some feedback from the community abut which knitting trends they expect to see in 2019.

Volt Sweater by Sue Stratford. Image Copyright Sue Stratford. Pattern available from Ravelry.

Community Predictions on Knitting Trends for 2019

The Shinybees Podcast Community has spoken and here are some of the suggested predictions for 2019.

Intarsia will make a comeback. Looking at the popularity of the Volt sweatshirt by Sue Stratford, people are willing to knit the technique.

Art yarn may become more popular along with the continued interest in weaving and spinning.

The triangular shape of shawls will give way to longer scarves and lacy stoles.

Mini skeins will continue to increase in popularity. Patterns such as Rainbow Relay by Jane Murison which make use of mini skein sets will be more popular as a result.

There will be a trend towards less fussy and complicated projects and simpler techniques (so intarsia won’t be a thing after all!)

Much more will be made of the connection between knitting (and making in general) and wellbeing.

Thanks so much to everyone who contributed ideas to the trend predictions. If you would like to add your thoughts, you can do so in the comments at episode 129.

Bilum Yarns Gradients

Where to Find a List of Yarn Shows and Yarn Events

For a UK-only list, check out Travelknitter’s annual UK yarn show guide for 2019. For a comprehensive list of worldwide shows and events, Clara Parkes’ Knitters’ Review has a huge number of options.

How to Choose Which Yarn Shows to Attend

There is a plethora of yarn related events to attend both domestically and worldwide these days, so there’s no need to feel that you are missing out if you don’t go to every single one. Depending on the length and the distance, attending shows can be a costly exercise, so it pays to think carefully about which ones are worth your while to go to.

The best way is to decide whether you are looking to go for shopping reasons, social interaction, work or a combination. This is because different shows offer different amounts of each of these things, so you’ll be able to choose one that is most likely to meet your needs, instead of just choosing one due to FOMO.

Tips for Shopping at a Yarn Show

On the shopping side, it’s worth saving up if possible, so you have a kitty of money to spend at the show. This can help with planning and budgeting. Some people collect £2 coins all year for instance. Make a list of what you want to make, and consult the stash to see where the gaps are. Once you know what the requirements are, make a list of what you need to get in terms of yardages and weights. This will mean you don’t need to find wifi to look it up at a busy show stand, and can have the information easily to hand.

Having a priority route planned out can help with avoiding distractions. Check out the guide online in advance of the event, so you know where you need to go, and in what order. This means you are less likely to succumb to random purchases, and can ensure you get what you need, and see the vendors you definitely want to see.

Hanging out with Gill of Mina Loves Designs at Woollinn

Tips for Socialising at a Yarn Show

On the social side, make sure you have made firm plans with anyone you definitely want to see. If you say you will ‘see them there’ there is every chance you won’t, because it is busy and full of yarn fumes. Fit in coffee breaks with catch ups and save money by getting a group Airbnb if staying over.

If your budget is a little bigger, you might decide to travel to a show in Europe, and stay only for the day or just one night, as an alternative to staying at a longer UK show, so you get a different experience.

Don’t be afraid to leave the venue to eat and have drinks with people you wish to see. Event catering can be very hit and miss, and the queues can be long with limited seating. Take advantage of being in a new area to look up good local cafes and pubs and go there instead. This will give you some quieter time away from the hubbub of the show, and make having a relaxed catch up that much easier. Plus, you never know, you may discover a gem of a place you will return to next time!

Don’t forget to check if your favourite podcaster is hosting a meetup. This is a great way to say hi in person, and to meet other people you may have been chatting to through the show.

Case of goodness at the Travelknitter/Woolkitchen stall

General Tips For Attending a Yarn Show

Be a toddler. Take snacks and drinks and go to the toilet way before you think you need to!

Make use of the bag check to shed extra baggage and layers, so you don’t get too overheated and have your hands free to shop or knit.

Layering is advisable. Some venues (especially agricultural ones) vary wildly in temperature, so whilst it is tempting to wear every piece of knitwear you own (and why not?) you might need to consider some lighter garments so you can remain comfortable.

Take plenty of extra totes or bags for purchases. It’s better for the environment and avoids taking paper bags, which can be more fragile, especially in crowds.

Lastly and most importantly, ensure you pack an appropriately easy project to work on, such as Louise Tilbrook’s Fuss Free Festival Shawl or some vanilla socks.

What Do You Think?

Do you have any top tips for attending yarn shows? I’d love to hear them! Leave them in the comments below, or head over to the Shinybees community and let me know what you think there.

Music for this episode by Adam and the Walter Boys with ‘I Need a Drink’ with kind permission.

4 comments on “Ep 131 – How To Get The Most From A Knitting Show

  1. Lorna Reid says:

    I wrote this blog post prior to Perth Festival of Yarn last year about festival survival and the Five ‘F’s – Friends, Food, Feet, Focus and Fibre! (worth it for the pic of me and Bear Grylls – not irl sadly!!)

    1. Jo Milmine says:

      Oooh what a cracking blog post – and yay for Bear!!

  2. Regina M says:

    What a well thought out episode. I live across from the location of a large annual festival and spent many years in a state of chaos and panic, even to the point of not attending! Everyone of your suggestions is rock solid!!

    I look forward to future episodes.

    1. Jo Milmine says:

      Thanks so much, Regina! Which show is that?

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