Monday 2 September 2019

Why Is September A Top Month For Knitting Shows?

As knitting as a hobby continues to soar in popularity you can nowadays find a knitting show to go to every month, or even every weekend in the summer months (I've never heard of someone visiting two shows in one day but it's hypothetically possible!)

A Woolly Yarn's blog post back in January listed the bigger shows to look out for in 2019.  We've already enjoyed some of the big names, including Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March (sadly taking a break in 2020) and Wonderwool Wales in April. September though is host to two huge knitting show favourites that have become much-loved over the last few years: Yarndale and Shetland Wool Week (which runs from 28th September to 6th October).

Image courtesy of Yarndale
Smaller, local knitting shows tend to showcase local talent, mainly consisting of small businesses and people who combine working with yarn along with a regular job. The bigger shows like Yarndale, although they also support small businesses, have the pull to entice bigger indie businesses that knitters can usually only buy from online, such as Toft, Di Gilpin, Moel View Yarn, John Arbon Textiles and Baa Baa Brighouse. There will be over a whopping 200 exhibitors at Yarndale this year!

Shetland Wool Week's USP on the other hand is its classes and events based both in the capital Lerwick and also around the island. Rather than just buying products from stallholders - although with the wonderful quality of wool Shetland produces there's plenty to buy and pack in your suitcase - it's a destination event. As well as learning new knitting skills Wool Week gives an opportunity to explore the culture and hospitality of the area.

Why September?

The summer holidays are over, the climate in Shetland is still promising and, more importantly, with colder weather moving in knitters' thoughts turn to knitting jumpers and accessories. Plus it's the time to start planning knitting Christmas gifts.

A few yarn companies launch their Autumn/Winter season in August (see our post on Rowan), but the majority do so in September. New products tempt knitters to increase their pattern and yarn stash and exhibiting at knitting shows is a great way to reach out to new and existing customers. Expect to see businesses saving their launches for Yarndale, and at Shetland Wool Week there being a plethora of yarns, kits and other souvenirs available especially for the event.

If you can't make Skipton for Yarndale or Scotland for Shetland Wool Week there's also the Perth Festival of Yarn on 7th/8th September and The Handmaid Fair at Hampton Court from 13th - 15th September.

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