Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Creative Stitches

At the weekend my daughter, Kirsty, and I went to the Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts Shows at the SECC in Glasgow.  We had a lovely, girly time away - travelling by train, going out for a pizza and staying in a nice hotel.

The Hobbycrafts show is largely for card makers and scrapbookers, and although I do use scrapbooking techniques to file away my photos, I tend to find it a bit of a chore rather than a pleasure.  I'm about 2 years behind with my photo albums, which makes it a daunting prospect to get started again.

The Creative Stitches show is much more my cup of tea!  I managed to be fairly restrained with my purchases, but did treat myself to a couple of new things to try out. 

One was this rubbery substance that you mix with acrylic paint and then heat to produce raised effects.  It can be used on fabric or canvas, and the photo below shows what happened when I had my first play with it yesterday.
The most stunning exhibit at the show was the incredible "Above and Below The Waves" knitting project.  It comprises knitted donations from 2000 knitters of all ages and abilities. 

These photos don't really do it justice.  Everywhere you look you see something new - all kinds of sea creatures, lifeboats, gulls, lighthouses, seaweed etc.

You can find out more about this incredible piece of work at

Another outstanding project on display was Afghanistan Inspiration.  This is a scheme whereby women in Afghanistan embroider 8 x 8 cms square panels which are then sold in Europe with the intention that they will be integrated into a larger piece of work. 

In the UK a number of these squares on the theme of jugs, dishes, pots etc were sewn into larger pieces that are now being sold to raise more money to help the Afghan women.  One of these really caught my eye and (with Kirsty's approval) I have reserved it - we won't see it for a long time as the exhibition will be on tour for some time!  You can read more about this project at

Kirsty spent some time at a stall that was promoting the teaching of crafts in schools.  There is a real danger that skills such as hand knitting could die out and they are working hard to prevent this. 

She was shown how to cast on and do a couple of rows of stitches and was given the needles and a huge ball of wool to take away so, filled with enthusiasm, she sat and knitted on the train home!  Unfortunately I haven't a clue about knitting, so helping her with dropped stitches is going to be a bit of a problem!

Finally, before taking the train home we had a quick bite to eat on our way up to Queen Street Station, and passed by the famous statue of the Duke of Wellington.  When I lived in Glasgow I met a guy who told me that if he ever walked past the Duke at night and saw that he wasn't wearing his usual traffic cone, he felt it was his obligation to climb up there and replace it!

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