How to get the most out of the Knitting and Stitching Show...plus free tickets!





Seeing as I have 5 pairs of tickets to giveaway for this year's Spring Knitting and Stitching Show in Olympia, I thought I would share with you my best tips on how to make the most out of your visit. I'm sure plenty of you will have your own advice as well so please do leave a comment...I'm sure there's plenty I'll have missed because there's so much going on! Details on the giveaway and how to get discounted tickets are right below....





Get me in!

First off, you need a ticket! If you want to enter for a pair of free tickets then head over to my Instagram @petitepassions where there's a post with all the details (look for the Knitting and Stitching Show logo at the top of this post). The freebies are valid for Thursday, Friday and Sunday only, so if you want to go on Saturday you might want to use the following discount code:
PETITEPASSIONS19 
which gives £2 off advance adult/ £1 off advance concessions.  Tickets will be £12 instead of £14/£13, plus £1.75 fulfilment fee per transaction.  This discount is for advanced bookings only and can be redeemed before 23:59 on Wednesday 27th February.  Tickets can be booked online https://www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/spring/ or by calling 0844 581 1319 and quoting the discount code.  

You might also want to take time to plan your rail journey. Though Kensington Olympia has its own 'dedicated' rail station, different lines serve it at the weekends and it might mean a few more changes. I like to arrive ready for when it opens as there's a few precious minutes to head over to your favourite stall before it gets really busy. Alternatively, towards the end of the show it's also a little less crowded so have a think about what suits you best. (At one of the shows I've been to there were also some great discounts at the end of the day, but that might have been a one off).


Learn

I also highly recommend trying to book a workshop when you visit. There is a real range of topics and skills to pick from with some very talented tutors. Personally, I wouldn't travel far for a 1 hour workshop on overlocking techniques, but if I'm already at an event I could be interested in picking up a new skill. Previously I've learned about sewing yoga pants with Jade Earley (3 hour session) and learned how about how to use 4 specific sewing feet (1 hour)...both of which have made a big difference to how professional the finish is on my sewing. 

If you can't get on a workshop, there's also the Creative Living Theatre which has a full programme of talks which you can just drop by and have a listen to. 

(Both of these are a handy sit down if you are getting a little tired too!)

SHOP!

It's mainly about the shopping, right? So where are the bargains?

Patterns:
Patterns are a good buy at shows because they are often discounted when you buy bundles (say 3 at a time).

Fabric:
The biggest brand names don't usually reduce their fabric for the show, but it is nice to have an opportunity to examine them up close. Here I'm talking about Sew Over It, Fabrics Galore, Guthrie & Ghani, Higgs & Higgs, for example. Now that Sew Over It also includes Lisa Comfort's brand there can sometimes be discounts on her other products. 
Others, like The Textile Centre, Fabric Time or M Rosenberg & Son don't post all their fabrics online anyway - they carry a wide and ever changing range which means there are some great prices to be had. My matching Astoria fabrics are from one of these (£12pm), along with a gorgeous silk panel (£30pm) and the fabric for my Sewcialite Soiree dress (£5pm). If you fancy a print, you will find one at these.
It's worth having an idea of how much you might need for a specific project that you know you want to find fabric for beforehand. I know that usually I can get a knit top out of 1m, a dress or blouse from 2m and a maxi or wrap from 3m. This year I'm after 2m of stretchy blue denim, for example.
If you fancy a Liberty print bargain, you have to head to the Sewbox stall. They have ready cut packs of varying lengths in lots of prints, sometimes at half the price of current fabrics in Liberty.



Kits: 
There's a fair few sewing and knitting kits that you can pick up too. This year I'm keeping my eye out for a Guthrie & Ghani Grainline kit (pattern and fabric) which I've seen them have a few times - they often have a good one for your first pair of jeans too. 

Bulk yarn:
Have a few ideas ready to go and if you know how much you need you can pick up a (potentially discounted) sweater quantity. There is a mixture of independent hand dyed yarn and established brands such as Rowan, all with different offers. Most often you will get the best price with larger quantities though.

Notions:
There are lots of stalls with other knitting and sewing related items that are basically just splurge! Beyond Measure will be present this year and I think I might just treat myself to one of their gorgeous trinkets. 

Machines:
If you know you are going to buy a new machine soon, do some homework on a few you might like and see if they are available at the show. This is one of the best discounts you can get so really worth investing research time in first, but with a possible great deal at the end of it.

Nourish

It is a long day. There might be a few places to sit and have a rest (VIPs have their own designated lounge) but don't count on it. There's also lots of food and drink, with the exciting addition of the Prosecco Bar now. Prices and queues are as you'd expect at an event like this. Personally, I take a bottle of water and a protein bar for when I need something really immediately. It's also going to be warm in there so either use the cloakroom or be prepared to carry your coat (as well as all your shopping!)

So there's my top tips and things to look out for. Please add your ideas if you think I've missed some out.


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Hi, I'm Laura. Welcome to my journeys with modern, feminine dressmaking; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm a lifelong foodie, so you'll also find some delicious recipes and places to get that foodie fix.
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