Kendal Wool Gathering, 27th & 28th October.

We were very lucky to be exhibiting at this wonderful show for the first time this year. Originally, we had been placed upstairs, but had to be moved downstairs in the main hall due to fire & safety regs. We didn’t mind, we had a wider stand and so could spread out a bit!

The whole event was very well managed. We were sent some fliers a few weeks before the show, so every customer had one of those in their parcel. We were greeted at the venue, and given passes, information, carpark passes, and all the staff were so helpful. During the show it was a delight to see a tea trolley with the most delicious brownies being brought to the vendors! Thank you, just what we needed to revive us!
We know Kendal very well, and so had booked into a hotel up there. Mike, my husband, and Jack, our border collie came too. I must admit that the journey up was a bit of a nightmare with the road works on the M6, but after 4 hours we got there and hastily set up. We have this amazing shelving system from that very well-known Scandinavian furniture store and it is brilliant! This time we added project bags and Christmas cards to our stand.
Our stock included “The Knitter’s Companion”, “The Crocheter’s Companion”, the travel kit of the knitter’s companion, and a smaller A5 version of “The Crocheter’s Companion”. We also sold a range of stitch markers, Christmas cards that incorporated stitch markers in the design, notions kits, crocheting notions kits, project bags and a few Halloween goodies.
As usual, The Knitter’s Companion is our most popular item, but it was nice to see the smaller Crocheter’s Companion was very popular too.
We sold lots of the cards, and had requests for specific ones. I had a lady ask me for a “Thank you” version, not Christmassy, and this was done and posted after the show.
We can tailor make Companions to suit specific needs, such as coloured paper, or a smaller A5 Knitting version. We had a couple of specialist orders to compile after the show too!
We had a raffle for each person making a purchase, and I was pleased to send the goodies to Tilly Kelly, she won a Christmassy project bag, a Knitter’s Companion, a notions kit, lavender bag with progress marker and Christmassy stitch markers!
It was a very busy show and when talking to fellow vendors, it seemed that everyone was happy. We were directly opposite Emma Cross and her amazing yarn bowls, she had some gorgeous pin dishes and needle savers. I was eyeing up her bowls and thinking of treating myself to one, but she was so busy, and so were we! Every time there was a lull, the bowl that I had been watching had disappeared! I didn’t want to miss my chance so went over and told her to hide a gorgeous royal blue one and that I would pay her later! This is to be my birthday present off my parents! Look her up on the internet, her designs are fabulous!
I had a wander round when Mike came in and I was a bit anxious that he wouldn’t really “know” the products. I nipped to the ladies, and on my return he was surrounded by a group and he was chatting away to them, talking about the design of my book, and how it supports the knitter! He was brilliant! I was so pleased that he was enjoying it – and doing well with selling, that I went to gaze at yarn. It is really difficult when you do a show surrounded by the very thing that stimulates your passion!
I found myself drawn to the Doulton Border Leicester yarn stand and saw a lady trying on a beautiful lacy cardigan. The fit was wonderful, quite vintage and tailored. The wool was wonderful, the stitch definition was so clear, and the colours were all scrumptious too. In the hotel that night, after a long hot soak in the bath (my feet were killing!) I was looking through Facebook and saw that very cardigan being modelled and discussed by the Doulton Border Leicester ladies, – that made me more determined to buy some. I bought the Scarborough Lace Jacket and the gorgeous 4ply in a warm, pale shade of grey called “Wainstones”. I love wearing grey and it will go with lots of things in my wardrobe. The wonderful thing about this wool is that it comes “from sheep that live to grow old…” I spoke to Hazel Stokeld who designed the pattern and was delighted to hear that the button band is incorporated into the actual knitting of the sides. Her description of this design and indeed other patterns that she has designed was inspirational. I wanted to buy about 5 lots to be honest but had to control myself.
I also had a chat with the Wensleydale Longwool team, what gorgeous wool to knit – I was totally delighted with my “Beryl” jacket and would have worn it, except for the fact that it is pale pink and too special to be pulling down shelves and packing boxes at the end of the show! It was lovely to catch up though!
Lots of friends were there from previous shows and we managed to have a chat when things got a bit quieter. Clothfelt had some fantastic things for sale as usual, and her Christmas decorations were selling like hot cakes!
I am loving this new activity in my retirement. The other yarn vendors are so supportive, give sound advice to a newcomer like me, and are friendly and full of fun. I love hearing their experiences and tips to promote my stock.
I have lots of ideas for expanding our range, and one is something currently being developed that should be available this time next year. I won’t say anything about it until it has been completed, but feel very positive about it!
In the mean time I have had a few days in the South of France with my best friend, and now am back, knitting like mad to complete projects for Christmas. Juggling with a crocheted blanket, re-knitting the yoke on my “Blossom”, knitting a cardigan for my beautiful Grandaughter, Edie and a birthday pressie which will not be done by next Wednesday!!!
Of course, while I am juggling with these beauties, I am gazing at my Border Leicester, itching to get started, and waiting for some beautify alpaca that Mike has ordered for Christmas! I adore the cold, long winter nights, being tucked up in front of our fire, knitting away with no other pressures!
We have a tremendous offer on at the moment in our Etsy shop, all p&p in the UK is free until the end of November – just in time for those Christmas presents! So, pop over, have a look and make the most of this offer!

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