How-Tuesday 9: how to decide what not to buy

hello loves

Now, anyone who knows me will tell you that I love a bit of shopping. I get all gimlet-eyed and sharp-elbowed at the first whiff of a retail opportunity.  Elevated pulse, dilated pupils, the lot.  So I was REALLY looking forward to a trip to the Stitch & Craft Show 2012 at Olympia.  Shopping AND sewing. Squeak!

We went on Sunday, Sara, Nikki and I, and were not really sure what to expect, having never been to one before. I was trying to be resolute.  No more fabric, as the stash is now so big that it's probably eligible for representation at the United Nations.  No more gadgets that try to make up for lack of honest technique and ability.  Perhaps a quilting ruler.  Maybe an embroidery hoop for Junior.

But I'm a total pushover.  How would I decide what not to buy? I feared for the health of my Mastercard...

But, it was all rather easy in the end.  This was partly because the venue was smaller and a bit emptier than we had thought it would be, but also due to the fact that the stalls were so well-styled that it was immediately obvious which ones were meant for me.  I got quite good at spotting the signs: bunting, polka dots, oilcloth, Liberty prints = good chance of a browse/chat with stall holder/purchase.  Swarovski crystal, tie dye, quilting bundles, glue guns = not so much.

As I am not a quilter or a cross-stitcher, nor a scrap-booker, card-maker, beader, decoupager (is that even a word?) or crocheter (or that?), lots of stalls held little interest.  I do like knitting but fabric, patterns and haberdashery are my faves.

I was interested in the way that the styling of the stall and products has become so pivotal. This should come as no suprise really, I mean, branding is after all king and craft is now a huge industry.  But on the day, perhaps due to the concentration of sellers, it seemed to me that we'd all been super-tightly pigeon-holed.  I either liked almost everything on a stall or almost nothing.  On close inspection of my choices, I think I'm a midcentury-print-geometric-brights-sustainable kinda gal.  How would you define your type or tribe?  What are your signs?

So, applying this method meant that we whirled through three floors of stalls, including a knitted model village and Olympic quilt exhibition, in under 4 hours.

In the end, I bought two bits of wide-striped mustard and grey jersey (after a brilliantly middle-class face-off across the bargain remnant bin - smiling and not letting go...) which are intended for raglan sleeves on a dark grey sweatshirt, a bargain quilting ruler and an embroidery hoop, thus only straying slightly from the rules. Nikki picked up some Hoopla yarn and bits and bobs. Sara scored some stripy jersey and some lovely thick white towelling to make clothing for her kids.   There was even time for a pizza before heading home. Yum.  I had a great day: thanks ladies! 

Here are some highlights for me:
The amazing Hoopla Yarn - upcycling at its funky best

Craft Council workshops

Fabric printing blocks from The Indian Block Company via Jamie Malden of Colouricious

Luscious Liberty prints

Knitted model village, of course! Nice to see our yarn-based friends recycling.

Well-earned espresso at the end of the day
Were you there too and what were your highlights?  How do you know what not to buy?  Perhaps you LOVE Swarovski and tie-dye and feel I should open my eyes to the possibilities thereof. Do let me know!

S x


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