A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books

A trip to the NEC


This weekend is Sewing for pleasure at the NEC here in Birmingham. I like to go to this every year if I can and preferably in the company of a good friend. This year I had a really fun day out with Jackie and we both enjoyed ourselves so much, we’ve already plotted to do the same next year.

It’s great just to wander around the various stands, natter, have a nice lunch, and later an even nicer dessert, but there’s also the stash shopping to be done. The plan was to have a good look first, to check what was on sale and who had the best prices, but I fell at the first hurdle. As we walked in we spotted a stand with cross stitch kits on it. They were all the type that I like. There were LHN, Lizzie Kate and other US designers. One in particular caught my eye as it was one that I’d been looking at a few weeks ago, but couldn’t find for sale in the UK. I had to buy it straight away – it’s the coffee one in the pic below. We went back to that stand later to get a nice kit for Jackie and I got the owl chart there as it was calling to me. I did only buy one cross stitch kit, at a different stand, which I thought was most restrained. It’s a specialist stitch one with lots of beading. It’s really pretty. I also got the threads to go with Let’s Do Coffee, and believe it or not, they were the only threads that I bought all day.

NECstash05I also bought a few cross stitch related items during the day. I stocked up on gold needles, bought a 5″ hoop that was on my shopping list, and found some gorgeous silk fabric to use with the Hardanger SAL. The buttons are to go with the Cottages. There’s also a Cheeky Owl in the pic. He’s a tiny fabric owl, or rather all the pieces you need to make him. I fancied having a go at that.

NECstash07There was so much fabric there that I was a bit mesmerised and didn’t get nearly as much as I’d intended. I am pleased with what I did get and have tentative plans for it all.

NECstash08I’ve been wanting some bamboo crochet hooks for a while so I was on the lookout for some. We found some sets of ten for a bargain price of a tenner so we both got those. I also managed to find some bamboo Tunisian crochet hooks so I got three different sizes to experiment with. I also managed to get some nice bag handles for a couple of projects that I have in mind.

NECstash06Then there’s the yarn. I’ve spent the past week going through all my patterns and those I have marked on Ravelry, to see which ones I’d really like to crochet. I made a list of the yarn that I’d need for them and I think I succeeded in getting most of that plus a little bit more.

This one is gorgeous. It’s lovely and soft and worked out at £1 per ball. It’s DK and I have a few projects in mind for it.

NECstash02This one is a super chunky for a specific pattern, and a DK for one of two projects that I’ve been considering.

NECstash03I was looking for some sock yarn and found this. It was fairly expensive but I just loved the colours and texture.

NECstash04And then there’s this one. It’s a cotton DK and the colours are just scrumptious. Dusky pink, Strawberry, Lilac and Iris. Yum. I have a good idea what I want to do with these. I just hope they stretch to the two projects that I’m thinking of. I’m fairly sure they will.

NECstash01I had a lovely day out and I’d just like to say thanks to Jackie for the wonderful company. Now I just need to start using some of this beautiful stash.


Author: Carole

The books I read, the things I make, the places I go.

11 thoughts on “A trip to the NEC

  1. Ooooo, what a wonderful new stash pile! The yarns look scrumptious and the cross stitch patterns look fun. I have never seen crochet hooks on the cords??? I am not a big crocheter, but what do you use them for??


  2. What an excellent haul – I’m rather jealous of the tunisian crochet hooks, I’ve been wanting to try that out for a while and what a superb price for the Crofter DK, wow – I have a cardigan on the go with some of that and it cost me over £2/ball I think. Did you find any ribbon for Mabel?


    • I wish I’d known, I’d have picked you some crochet hooks up. The Tunisians were only £1.25 each.
      The Crofter was an amazing buy. You need to check out Black Sheep wools, which is where it came from. They have a very nice website and it’s free postage for a couple of days.
      No luck on the ribbon though. No-one had any 4mm at all. Not even West End.


  3. Wow what a lovely collection you are coming home with…I’m surprised you could carry them all! This trip would bankrupt me! It would definitely be worth it though! Looks like a lovely day 🙂


  4. Wow, that sounds like such a good day. 🙂 I’m a (very) amateur crafter and gave cross-stitch a go yesterday for the first time (you can see the result on my blog http://flowerfaerieliveslife.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/cross-stitch-friday/ ). I can’t wait to get to the standard where I can justify buying lots of crafty things to use! 🙂


  5. you found some great buys! those colors on the cotton dk are fabulous! i really like the i love coffee cross-stitch kit. what fun!


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