A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


Playing sardines

We went to the new craft show at the NEC today. I’d been sent complimentary tickets so it seemed rude not to 😉

We got there for opening at 10am which was lucky as had we gone later, we’d have had to wait for hours to get in. The show was in one of the smaller halls and was absolutely rammed with people. I’ve been to many shows there and I’ve never experienced crowds like that. You could barely move!

We left just after 11.30 and saw a massive queue waiting to get in. They’d stopped people from entering presumably because it was a health and safety issue with so many people crammed into such a small area. The queue wound almost back to the entrance and there were still people coming in. Apparently they’d sent out 5000 complimentary tickets plus there were loads of people who’d bought tickets.

I’m thinking that they’d seriously underestimated how popular the show would be.

Still, I did get the one thing that I’d really wanted to get.

slidelock1It’s called a Slidelock and I’m hoping that it’ll make it a lot easier for me to cut fabric. I still have problems with my shoulder so find it difficult to put enough pressure on a normal ruler when using the rotary cutter, so I end up with wonky cuts.

slidelock2I’ll let you know how I get on with this as I have fabric, all laid out ready for cutting, for Rosie’s quilt.

I got one or two other things as well. Stephen spotted this bag and persuaded me to get it. I’ve been after a messenger bag for a while but hadn’t found one that I really liked. This one has lots of pockets and compartments so it’ll be brilliant to take on holiday.

bagI got a jelly roll, which Stephen picked out.

jelly rollAnd two charm packs which I chose. I love all the colours!

charm packsThere were a few places that had quite a few cat-themed things and I was all over those. I got these which will be nice for making a small tote bag perhaps although Stephen has requested a cushion in one of them.

Cat fabrics 2I got these cat fabrics which I’m thinking will be nice for quilt backs. Most of the quilts I make are for the cats plus the fabrics were pretty.

Cat fabricsI spotted some gorgeous quilts and wall hangings on one stand and was tempted to buy a couple of kits to make them. I love this one. It’s quite small but is such a pretty design.

Lucky cats wallhangingThis one is larger and looks really fun.

Crazy cat quilt kitLastly, I visited the Black Sheep stand and dived into their yarn pile to grab this.

baby bambooI’ve no idea what I’m going to make with it yet, but I’ve been wanting to make something with bamboo for ages and it’s such a pretty colour.

So overall, I think it was worth going but they really need to sort out the overcrowding if they’re going to do it again next year.



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.