Last Friday I treated myself to a day at the ‘Handmade Fair’ at Hampton Court Palace in London http://www.thehandmadefair.com/
There are so many wonderful crafty days out to be had but some such as ‘Yarndale’ -(have a great time those of you who are going this weekend!) and ‘Wonderwool’ are just that little bit too far for me to travel to without it becoming a whole weekend away (not always so easy). I can drive to Hampton Court Palace in under two hours and that’s what I did!
The ‘Handmade Fair’ experience is that your ticket includes a session in the ‘Super Theatre’, a ‘Grand Make’ and a ‘Skills Workshop’. I only just made it to my session in the theatre as the weather had turned after days of late summer hot weather and I drove in a downpour of heavy rain with huge traffic delays. But I did make it just in time and enjoyed a Q&A session with Kirstie Allsopp as well as a ‘How to turn your craft into a business with Etsy and The Great British Exchange’ talk.
The stage was framed by two walls of crocheted flowers- so gorgeous! As well as crocheted bunting along the bottom!
Kirstie as many of you will know is a British TV presenter and she was delightful to listen to and my little claim to fame is that I actually asked her a question in the Q&A session! The theatre was only half full at this point because I assume many others weren’t so lucky to get there in time through the travel delays. There was an awkward silence when the audience was asked if anyone had a final question that I just felt compelled to fill. I asked Kirstie if she liked the sea and the coast…
Her reply was great and yes she did like the sea and regularly swims in it. She described a place in Devon where they swim in the sea and then rinse off in a pool up the river- sounds idyllic. She also talked about her sadness at the amount of plastic pollution that she has noticed increasing over recent years, no matter how deserted the beach, there will always be plastic. And yes, Kirstie found the sea and coast very inspiring (as do I!).
After the ‘Super Theatre’ I had time to have a wander around…
It had the feel of a music festival as I walked around the tents and stalls, and wish that I’d worn my wellies! Here’s a view from under my umbrella…
There were huge shopping village tents and there were so many amazing crafts people selling their creations and products…
My ‘Grand Make session’ was to make a felt brooch…
There’s something really special about sharing a tent with over a hundred other people and all making the same thing at the same time. It was a lot of fun and quite funny as so many of us struggled to keep up with the steps.
I didn’t manage to finish mine and knowing that I never would if I left it, as soon as I got home I finished it.
The skills workshop was brilliant and we were shown how to make tassels in a variety of ways. I really liked the finished product which fits perfectly on my bag…
The sun even managed to come out later in the day- as always what a difference that makes…
There were many smaller workshops and activities going on throughout the day. I watched a ‘crochet workshop’ and was amazed to see all the different ways that people hold their crochet hooks. It’s astounding how different they all were!
So I had a really great day. As well as the things that I got to make, I came away with some yarn and a pom pom maker…
…and I definitely recommend it as a full, fun and crafty day out. Yes I would go again but maybe I need to plan ahead and do Yarndale next year! 🙂
Has anyone been to both? Would love to hear your thoughts… 🙂
If you are within reach of Farnham in Surrey you may like Unravel. It’s been going for many years and worth a visit. http://craft.farnhammaltings.com/portfolio/unravel/
Wow, thanks so much Winifred! I hadn’t heard of that one- I’ve had a look at the website and it looks great too. I may well go along in February 🙂
That looks like my perfect day out! It’s a bit far for me at the moment but I’m very lucky indeed to be heading to Skipton this Saturday for my first trip to yarndale. Excited is an understatement! You should definitely make plans to go in the future xx
Lucky you Vicki! I hope you have a great day- pretty sure you will as Yarndale always looks amazing on the photos! 🙂 🙂
Thank you! I’m sure I will 😊 xx
I’ve never been to anything like this. It’d be my idea if heaven though. One day I will go to Yarndale. (I know, my ambitions aren’t very grand!)
Sounds like a perfect ambition to me! It’s definitely one of mine to get to Yarndale one day 🙂 🙂
Wow! Looks fabulous. I’d love to go next year. The tassels are great, I might have to give them a go. How did you decide on which workshop to go to?!
It was very much determined by times- lots of things are happening at the same time so that limits you somewhat. I made sure I chose things that were evenly spaced out throughout the day. 🙂 🙂
Yes, I’ve been to both and found them quite different. Yarndale was, as you’d expect, mainly yarn stalls – LOTS of them, with quite a few workshops at the back, all of which you have to pre-book. The Handmade Fair was a real mix of crafts and workshops, but half the size and you could easily do it all in a day, whereas we hadn’t had enough after two whole days at Yarndale! Glad you had a great time and that the sun made an appearance towards the end:)
Thanks so much. That’s really interesting, thanks for sharing. Yarndale is a long way for me so it’s a bigger decision about whether to go. I’ve got a year to decide though as there’s no way I’ll make it this year! 🙂