Saturday, 9 May 2015

Adelaide Stitches & Craft Show

Rounded enamelled badge with the rounded logo which says "The Stitches & CRAFT SHOW Est. 1987"
This badge was given to me
when I collected my ticket.
After a short break from the online world, and with renewed vigor, I am here to tell you about the current Stitches & Craft Show in Adelaide,  South Australia.  

You have 1 more day (today) to visit the Wayville Showgrounds and enjoy some crafty goodness. The show started on Thursday and runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily until Saturday 9 May 2015.

Waking up with extreme tiredness and flaring symptoms, Thursday was not the best of mornings but I persevered and was rewarded with a happy day and some photographs.

I was keen to get to this show because I was suffering spiritually from craft community withdrawals!  

It had been years since I last attended a craft show and this one has a few more yarn stalls, including new exhibitors (new to me, anyway) and, for the first time in my experience, some yarn exhibitors and suppliers from South Australia so I was compelled to go and support the local talent.

cardboard tray of paper flowers sealed in clear cellophane.  There are 6 large tea roses on the left in pale pink, apricot and white with yellos stamens. On the right are 10 miniature roses in pink (2), apricot (3) and creamy white (3).
The first 100 people to arrive received a parcel
of paper craft flowers.
I arrived at opening time and was happily entertained and occupied with the yarn exhibits alone for the entire morning. It was a lot of fun meeting all sorts of people–exhibitors and other crafters alike.  I love meeting people and hearing their stories. How gratifying it is too, to have one’s passion for yarn, colour, crafts and creativity reinforced by everyone. That crafty communion is uplifting but also dangerous because there is no one trying to talk you out of spending money either!

Getting There

I had planned to catch a train to the Adelaide Showgrounds station because it is cheap and reliable but, because I was feeling so tired, chose to use a taxi instead to drop me right next to the pavilion.  I didn't want to be exhausted before I started by wheeling up and down station ramps and across the showgrounds with its cambered walkways and uneven paths.

Upon arrival, I received a complementary box of paper flowers (which my eldest daughter has already claimed for her own crafting), an enamel badge and a raffle ticket.  Every show raffles off major prizes in exchange for participants' email addresses.
International Access Symbol (white wheelchair symbol on a blue background) created with crochet by Jodiebodie using a freeform technique to create the shapes and finished with a white crab stitch border.
International Access Symbol
crocheted by Jodie

The organisers handled people with mobility issues very well.  Anyone using a cane, wheelie walker or wheelchair was ushered out of the bustling queue to wait alongside the main entrance.

It can be claustrophobic and also dangerous to be sitting low down in a wheelchair amongst a tall standing crowd. I am too low for people to notice me in their peripheral vision and they don’t look down! When a crowd is moving, people will look straight ahead at where they are going or to the person next to them having a chat.   

Hazards for wheelchair-users are people’s bags and backsides in the face! For any slow-moving or unsteady person, it doesn’t take much of a bump or nudge to lose balance and fall, and then there’s the hazard of people tripping over you!  Also for safety of other participants, those standing don’t want to accidentally get stabbed with the handles on the back of my chair or have their feet run over or shins bruised by the footplates.

When 10:00 a.m. arrived, the organisers allowed all the mobility-impaired people through first and gave us a minute or two to move off and see the displays without being blocked or hindered by a surging crowd.  I was impressed with the thoughtfulness shown by the organisers and it is so nice to not have to be the one initiating such things.

Yarn Exhibits

OK, I’m in!  First stop: Prudence Mapstone

Prudence Mapstone Stall B08. Yarn is displayed across the walls, hanging from long hooks. Across the top of the walls is a display of freeform crochet 'scrumbles'. Scarves and blankets etc. are displayed as samples, hanging from hooks on the wall and draped over the display on a table at the front. Tables surround the edge of the stall, displaying more yarn, books and accessories.  Prudence can be seen in the right hand side with her white hair and back to the camera as she talks to a visitor. Prudence is wearing a vest constructed of her own freeform crochet designs.
Prudence Mapstone's Exhibit (Stall B08)
Prudence is too shy to pose for photos.
You can see her on the right hand side with her back to the camera as she talks to a visitor.
Prudence's colourful stall is filled with gorgeous yarns, accessories, needles, hooks and books. Yarns include all sorts of fair-trade and natural fibres including wool, linens and my favourite silk mohair 'Haiku' (by Alchemy Yarns).  Lots of knitted and crocheted samples adorn the exhibit, including the lace weight Haiku knitted into ethereal Shetland lace

Two bamboo hooks photographed on the diagonal: (lower left) 6 mm diameter double-ended hook 15 cm long; (top right) 4 mm diameter tricot (Tunisian) hook 30 cm long. The head of the hook is at the top left and the stop is on the bottom right end.
Prudence Mapstone is a great source
for bamboo knitting needles and crochet hooks.
She is one of the few suppliers of
tricot hooks in Australia that I have found,
and I am always searching!
I was saddened that many admirers of the silk mohair samples felt discouraged from using this fibre by their own perceptions of it as impossible to unravel if a mistake is made. Like all fuzzy yarns, it certainly will be impossible to unravel if tangles are wrongly handled.  I have successfully unravelled mohair (entire rows of the stuff) and my tricks are shared in  "Method to the Mohair". 

How sad though that these crafters are missing out on a beautiful and luxurious fibre.  It need not be this way!
Prudence is conducting three “Pop Up” classes at this show:
  1. Create a button brooch.
    Prudence was wearing one–it looked stunning;
  2. Learn to use a double-ended crochet hook.
    I booked into this class to make an alpaca scarf using the double-ended technique;
  3. Freeform crochet spiral pendant.
    Prudence’s pendant was sparkly and spectacular. She is famous for her freeform crochet with samples on display.
As usual, Prudence and her team are a welcoming, friendly and cheerful bunch and ever so patient as it took me an absolute age to narrow down a whole armful of yarn into a choice of two colours to use for my alpaca scarf. Part of the problem was the distraction of so many beautiful colours, yarns and fellow yarn lovers to talk to! Colour heaven!

The yarn is Frog Tree 'Alpaca Sport', 100% alpaca, made in Peru. Frog Tree Yarns promotes fair trade practices and recommends that this 5 ply equivalent (sport weight) is perfect for "sweaters, cowls, and shawls that can be worn year-round".  I love it for its softness and warmth. It is perfect for working tricot because it isn't as bulky as a regular 8 ply or DK weight but has enough body to make suitable fabric for scarves and other wearable items.
Two skeins of Frog Tree Alpaca Sport yarn  in deep magenta (#26) and bottle green (#43) on the left hand side connected to the striped scarf on the right. Above the scarf is a 6.0 mm diameter, 15 cm long, double-ended bamboo hook. A pink stitch marker in the shape of a safety pin keeps the active loop in magenta yarn secure at the top left corner of the scarf.
Prudence's class included two skeins of yarn and a double-ended hook. 
I chose deep magenta (colour 26) and bottle green (colour 43) for my scarf.
This scarf made with a 6 mm double-ended hook uses tricot techniques (a.k.a. Tunisian crochet) to interweave the colours. A variation of a basic stitch gives each stripe a 3-dimensional quality.

Prudence is such a patient and passionate teacher that it is always a pleasure to attend her classes. This class was full of  happy crafters eager to try a new skill. The double-ended hook concept was not new to me but I always learn something new from Prudence's classes.  

In this case I learned how to reduce the bulk and stiffness of the simple stitch fabric by adjusting the insertion of the hook to provide more movement between rows and add drape to the scarf.  Use of a sport weight yarn with a thicker hook made working easier.

Two bamboo hooks: 4 mm tricot hook (30 cm long) and a 6 mm double-ended hook (15 cm long)
I came home with two new bamboo hooks from Prudence Mapstone:
6 mm double-ended 15 cm long
4 mm tricot hook 30 cm long

The ladies in the group were a lot of fun as they intrepidly struggled to master their tricot (Tunisian) stitches. Just like regular crochet, the first couple of rows are always the hardest.
We had a laugh at our "J-table" at which sat: Jodie (me), Jean, Julie, Jen and good sport Anne!  

It turned out that Julie runs a craft shop in Goolwa (South Australia) "Cotton Pins & Crafty Things". Julie tells us that she stocks all sorts of yarn but doesn't knit or crochet!  She likes to do patchwork but was looking forward to trying something new. "A change is as good as a holiday!" She described the class as "me-time" which is precisely what my day at the show was too!

I enjoyed the company and hoped that the ladies forgave me when I dashed away after only 40 minutes to catch the only knitwear parade of the day showing off Lola Lovegrove's handmade fashions.

Front view of Lola Lovegrove stall with patterns displayed on a table at the front, with boxes of yarns behind.  Knitted and crocheted samples are hanging on a rack on the right hand side and on the back wall. Some of the sample items are for sale. The back wall stocks more yarn with suitable patterns displayed above.  The wall on the left is full of needles and accessories.
Lola Lovegrove (Stall E09)

This exhibitor is new to me and comes from Melbourne.  Lola Lovegrove is an Australian family business (named after their grandmother), a stockist for the Spanish Katia label and luxury fashion yarns plus patterns and KnitPro accessories. I've heard many praises about KnitPro in the past and got to see first hand what all the fuss was about–so smooth and beautiful!
KnitPro Shawl Pin in tear-drop open shape with straight pin, model  "Symfonie Lilac Carina". Woodgrain has waves of lilac, orange and grey-blue and brown.
I purchased this
shawl pin.

I was disappointed about the sparsity of crochet hooks on offer. There were a few single hooks for sale and one large set.  I thought this was strange considering the crocheted samples on display such as bags and blankets made of granny squares and a scarf made in the specialty of broomstick crochet (also known as peacock lace) which grabbed the interest of many visitors. If you are looking for large 'broomstick' needles, this is the place to find them.

When choosing new tools or yarns, I like to examine them in person before I buy and that is one of my purposes for attending craft shows. I also like to buy things that are not readily available in my local shops like shawl pins.

Lola Lovegrove has many individual patterns for sale with the offer of a free pattern with every yarn purchase. 

It is pleasing to hear that this business is interested in finding and creating unique yarns and employs Australian knit designers in Melbourne to create original patterns for their yarns.  

The back wall of Lola Lovegrove has two rows of patterns on display and underneath each pattern is the yarn for that pattern. Across the top of the stand are handcrafted garment samples.  In the top right corner one can see a crocheted granny square blanket.
The back wall of Lola Lovegrove's stall
with many luxuriously soft yarns!
It is a sad state of affairs that Australian wool growers and yarn suppliers are forced overseas for the 'value-added' stages of their products; e.g. Australian wool gets sent to Italy where it is processed and then returns to Australia as yarn or woollen fabric or clothing because the mills in Australia either do not want to do it, are not equipped to do it or the costs are too high to do it.  I had heard this in the past from wool growers and at the show I heard it again from Lola Lovegrove representatives.

Next time you are purchasing merino yarn made in Italy, it is highly likely that the raw materials came from Australia.

Lola Lovegrove introduced a brand new yarn with which I instantly fell in love: 'Bellissimo' which is a 5 ply extra fine merino. I was surprised at its softness. I'm told the source fibre measures 18.5 microns (µm)*. Finer fibres often have more crimp per unit length which makes them warmer to wear.  I expect this new yarn to be great for winter garments, keeping one warm but remaining light weight to wear.

The other luxurious-feeling yarns  had blends using alpaca, cotton, silk, viscose and others. It was interesting to compare the properties of Katia's silk mohair offering compared with Alchemy's 'Haiku'. Lola Lovegrove had plenty of ideas for combining different yarns to great effect.  If you want to crochet modern fashions, you will find plenty to stimulate your senses here.

Sheepish by Sarah and Yarnarama combined stall has an L-shaped table at the corner which is decorated with pink and green bunting and a black Yarnarama sign. Undyed yarn is laid out on the table above the black sign with dye powders next to them. An assortment of accessories are crammed onto the left hand side of the table. Above, on the right one can see a row of socks hanging from a line. A knitted shawl can be seen on the black wall on the left.  Skeins of yarn are displayed along the wall behind the woman in the red top on the left hand side of the picture.
Sheepish by Sarah & Yarnarama (Stall A39)

These two South Australian small business enterprises are run by two friends: Sarah Purl and Charmaine Summers respectively.

Working from their homes in the Adelaide suburbs, Sarah (Sheepish by Sarah) specialises in her own hand-dyed yarns and related supplies. Charmaine runs an online yarn shop (Yarnarama) which stocks "indie" yarn dyeing supplies like yarn blanks (which I hadn't seen locally before but that may be because I do not dye my own yarn), yarn accessories such as lace blocking wires and KnitPro cable needles, and artisan yarns, including Sarah's own hand-dyed products.

I was disappointed at the focus on knitting at the expense of crochet but I was excited to see another favourite yarn of mine in stockElla Rae Lace Merino–and thrilled to have discovered another local supplier of high quality yarns.

Wooden buttons with decorated skulls painted on them, packaged with Yarnarama's business card.
Yarnarama had a great selection of buttons.
These are just perfect for a special project.
Both Charmaine and Sarah were happy to explain their products and share their expertise and pattern suggestions for their products.  I learned a little bit about dyeing yarn and had a lovely conversation with Sarah as we appreciated the qualities of the Ella Rae lace merino. The exhibit was decorated by Sarah's knitting–pretty shawls made with Ella Rae and a row of socks all made by Sarah with her own hand-dyed colours.

While admiring Sarah's work, I asked whether I could take a photograph of her with her stall. When I told her it was for my blog, 'Lupey Loops', Sarah immediately exclaimed, "Oh I've seen your blog!" I think she was just as excited to put a face to a name from the blogosphere as I was excited to put a face to the name of some local yarn! 

Suffice to say that we are no longer strangers and look forward to catching up with each other again. Sadly, the photo is not of suitable quality for the blog so I am sorry I cannot share that with you, because Sarah and her stall looked so great, I really wanted to have a photo to share.

Other items for sale included knitting needle canisters, stitch markers, needles and buttons (I purchased some fabulous buttons); sachets of dye powders for all sorts of fibres and plenty of undyed merino yarn ready for you to use 'au natural' or to create your own colour combinations.

Charmaine and Sarah are very friendly and would love to see you at their stall. 

* Glossary
1 micron = 1 millionth of a metre
crimp = waviness of the fibre


Other Things to See, Do and People to Meet

This craft show has a reasonable balance of interests, covering beading, teddy bears, cross-stitch, patchwork, general sewing and quilting, with displays from the Spinners and Weavers, Embroiderer's and Knitter's Guilds, and Woodgroup S.A. There are many paper craft suppliers servicing scrap booking and card making fans. Exhibits even included the latest pastime enjoyed by many European and UK blogging friends–colouring-in for adults.   

There are many lectures and demonstrations of various products and craft techniques, practical workshops and 'pop up classes'. There was plenty to keep me amused; even if this May Craft Show is not as big as some others, for entertainment value, it was worthwhile for me. 

Fiona Hammond

Fiona Hammond's stall has mixed media wall art and necklaces displayed on the walls with sculptural pieces and jewellery in display cabinets. A large display cabinet features on the right hand side. On the left of the photograph are a table and chairs where Fiona can be seen wearing a royal blue top conducting a beading class.  Her sister Kate is standing in the centre wearing a patterned top and her hair in a blonde ponytail, talking to a visitor. A large green sign acros the top of the stand has "Fiona Hammond" emblazoned on it.
Fiona Hammond is a feature artist at the Adelaide Stitches and Craft Show.
Fiona can be seen conducting a beading class while her sister Kate greets a visitor.

Fiona Hammond is a mixed media artist, designer and tutor and guest exhibitor who works with beads, textiles and fibre.  I was fascinated by her beautiful artwork which included wall displays and wearable art, jewellery and sculpture.

Fiona was conducting a beading class and, while admiring her work in the meantime, I met her sister, weaver Kate Marshall, who had accompanied Fiona to the show. I love meeting creative people and learning about what they do. Kate summed it up nicely when she said, "I trained in textiles and Fiona works in it!" 

The sisters have had different craft interests during their lives but they come together and learn from each other. Kate trained as a weaver and textile artist (now a farmer of truffles and owner of alpacas) while Fiona is a trained teacher who has developed her skills as a reowned mixed media artist.  Her business is called Chiatanya Designs.

Fiona's work is exquisite. I could have sat and enjoyed it all day.  The detailed workmanship of her sculpture and jewellery is awesome.

The right hand side of Fiona Hammond's exhibition contains a glass display cabinet containing jewellery and sculptural works. A dressmaking mannequin on the far right displays wearable art pieces with fashion accessories like bags on the wall behind. On the left hand side of the photograph a visitor is viewing the necklaces on the back wall underneath the green sign and inspecting the contents of a smaller display cabinet towards the back of the exhibition space.
A large display cabinet contains jewellery pieces and sculptural works.
The mannequin displays wearable art pieces with fashion accessories displayed on the wall behind.

Fiona kindly allowed me to photograph her stall so that visitors to my blog can see the kinds of activity and work displayed.  She does not usually permit photographs because of people who steal her ideas and try to copy her work and I don't blame her. 

As crafters, we need to respect each other's intellectual property. That means not using or sharing other people's work or designs without their permission. To do so is simply stealing and an infringement of copyright and intellectual property laws. Even lower behaviour is taking credit for an idea or photograph or work that isn't even one's own!  Don't do it people!  If you see an instance of such plagiarism, be sure to inform the original copyright owner and let it be known to the perpetrator that it is not an acceptable practice.

In this day and age of internet communications, it usually doesn't take long to contact an author, designer or copyright holder to ask permission. Fiona said yes to my request because I had taken the courtesy to ask her politely and respect her wishes.  I offered her the added courtesy of viewing the photo before posting it here.

I recommend coming down to the craft show to see the beautiful detail of her work in person and perhaps be one of the privileged students to join her classes.  Kate tells me that Fiona is a dedicated teacher who likes to make sure her students understand each step very well and she supplies thorough notes to all of her students.  

At this show, Fiona is offering inexpensive classes to make:
  • Beaded earrings using branched fringing technique
  • Chinese Lantern earrings using glass beads and felt balls
  • Felt Flower bracelet with wool felt flowers, beads, needle and thread and satin cord 
  • Spiral Topped bracelet using the spiral rope beading technique
Not all classes are offered every day. While I didn't get to do any classes with Fiona, I learned a lot about beads during my visit.

Lunch with Friends

It is always fun to experience these events with friends. In fact the whole event was friendly. People I had met at one yarn exhibit became familiar faces at the next exhibit to have a chat. Occasionally they approached me elsewhere at the show to say hello and compare notes.  

A collection of 'animal buttons'. At the top and bottom are 2-holed buttons of brown monkeys, some in a sitting position and others in a climbing position. On the left hand side is a set of four 3 cm 4-holed round buttons painted with owls. On the right is a collection of farmyard animal shank buttons - clockwise from top right, black and white houndstooth cow, yellos and white polka-dotted chick, pink and white diamond patterned pig, sheep with a grey face and feet with yellow daisies on the fleece, and a yellow and brown gingham horse!
These cute animal buttons needed a home!
My sister-in-law collects owls, my youngest
loves animals, and all my children were
(and some still are) little monkeys!
We found these on our tour.

At lunchtime I was joined by a fellow crafty friend 'M'. We enjoyed lunch together and did a methodical tour of the rest of the show. 

M is very clever–she makes scrapbooks and cards and hand quilts.

As I am a total newbie to paper crafts, it was great to learn about it from someone who knows. M was able to show me some of the products and explain what they are for or how they might be used.

Once M had stocked up on supplies, it was time to go. It had been lots of fun but I was worn out and grateful for the drive home.
I went to bed and slept a happy sleep from a happy day.

to everyone who made it a great day
 a special thank you to the exhibitors
who kindly allowed me to take photos.

References & Links

Alchemy Yarns of Transformation, "Haiku" 40% silk, 60% mohair, made in USA:

Chiatanya Designs (Fiona Hammond), 461 Covan Creek Rd, Lake Bathurst NSW 2580:
Web site: 
Telephone: 02 4849 4489
"Textile art, bead embellishment, contemporary quilts, jewellery, off-loom beadwork, coiled basketry & sculpture." 

Cotton Pins & Crafty Things, 9 Railway Terrace, Goolwa, South Australia 5214:

Ella Rae Designs (Leanne Prouse):
Ella Rae Yarns (Facebook):
Ella Rae yarn information (including "Lace Merino"):

"Alpaca Sport" yarn information:

Lola Lovegrove, 688 North Road, Ormond Victoria 3204:
Web site:
Email: (Kim Sharman-Smith) 
Mobile phone: 0413 551 402

Lupey Loops, "Method to the Mohair", blog entry, 9 April 2014:

Prudence Mapstone, Knot Just Knitting, web site:

Sheepish by Sarah (Sarah Purl), Blackwood Craft Market on first Sunday of each month, Blackwood, South Australia:
The Stitches & Craft Show, Adelaide Event and Exhibition Centre, Jubilee Pavilion, Wayville Showground, South Australia:
Expertise Events, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales, Australia:

Yarnarama (Charmaine Summers), PO Box 292 Mitcham Shopping Centre SA 5062: 
Web site:


  1. so jealous...those booths look amazing and I am sure you came home with lots of new yarn to pet.

    1. It was a great show, I could have spent a lot longer browsing through the yarn baskets but I am on a strict budget. So I came home with two balls of yarn and a very long list of yarns to get in future! ;-)
      The Frog Tree Alpaca Sport is very soft and squishy when worked up into tricot stitches and warm! I am looking forward to wearing that scarf when it is done.

  2. It looks like you had a great day - if only I could come and visit the craft show I'm sure I'd LOVE it! How wonderful for them to have catered for mobility impaired people - especially at the start of the show which is usually a bit of a horrid crush. I went to a May Fayre on Monday and was knocked by an elderly gentleman reaching for a cake he wanted and it was enough to make me fall to the floor and so would never underestimate such thought and planning. I'm glad you had a great day and met some lovely people. Your post has made me want to search for one in my area! Happy weekend, J9 x

    1. Oh my goodness! That's horrible that you were knocked down. People can be so inconsiderate.
      What were the reactions when you fell? Did that man help you? Fancy pushing someone hard enough to knock them over for a mere piece of cake. That seems very rude to me. Was the cake made of gold?
      I'm sorry that you have a real life example of what can happen in crowds. I hope that someone involved in the craft fair gets to read this and bear it in mind.
      I hope you can find some local crafty events to explore - perhaps when an event comes to town you can phone ahead and ask about access.
      Perhaps it is worth telling the May Fayre organisers about your experience and give them the example of how mobility issues were better managed elsewhere. Give them the solutions to the problems that aren't even on their radar.
      I hope you haven't suffered too much from the being knocked over but the consequences of such a fall can last for days and weeks. It isn't always a simple matter of just getting up and brushing oneself off. I hope you were lucky and are okay now. Hugs, Jodie xx

  3. I shouldn't be surprised that you ooohed and aaahed over almost the same stalls and items that I did on my visit. Sadly I didn't think to take photos, well done you!

    1. Hi Adrienne! I am glad you had a chance to get there. How big was your haul? ;-)
      Did you get to see the knitwear parade? We are going to have fun at our next show and tell!

  4. This sounds like the perfect outing! I wish I would have been there with you!

    I am glad to hear the organizers where so thoughtful about mobility impaired people!!

    Take care

    1. How great would that be if we were all able to go to these things together? I am jealous about some of the big big shows that you get to see in Europe though! I was pleasantly surprised and pleased about the organisers' crowd management. Perhaps other event coordinators can learn a lesson.

  5. Textile artist, Fiona Hammond can be seen conducting a class on Channel 9 News (Adelaide) on 7 May as part of Virginia Langeberg's weather segment promo: