Carry on Crafting Festival 2023

Last weekend I attended the Carry on Crafting Festival at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex. It was a wonderful event and I thought I’d write a post all about the crafty days I spent there.

© Carry on Crafting Festival 2023

The Carry on Crafting Festival is new to me and I always like to attend a show that I’ve not been to before to see what it’s like. It is a two day festival, this year on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July and it’s held about 200 miles away from where I live.

However a superstar friend offered to drive us both down there so I booked a room to stay in locally and we headed off Friday morning so we would be ready for the show start at 9.30am the next day.

Image of the stalls in a field at Carry on Crafting

Yarn shows and craft festivals always seem to be such great events. A chance to gather with fellow creatives and admire stalls from independent sellers. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to catch up with friends and see some familiar faces!

In fact I bumped into the lovely Eleonora from Coastal Crochet (you can read the designer interview I did with her here) who it was great to catch up with (as you can see I look a bit overexcited!).

Photo of me standing next to the lovely Eleonora from Coastal Crochet.

I also got to have a quick chat with the lovely Kitey otherwise known as The Yarn Whisperer (my MAL partner in crime) which is always a blast – though we do have a tendency to talk ten to the the dozen and get a bit over excited about things (we may have been chatting about future MAL plans!).

Headshot selfie of Kitey (aka The Yarn Whisperer) and me.

There were loads of many wonderful stands and I did buy a few bits and bobs. As you would expect at a ‘crafting’ festival it wasn’t just yarn (though there were a couple including Kitey’s (The Yarn Whisperer) and Bex (The Pigeon’s Nest).

I will confess to buying some yarn and stitch markers (I can’t help myself!) from Kitey from his tarot collection (to go with some I already have) and some pencils (which I love!) and a fun yarn related sticker from Bex.

Image of the outside of Kitey and Bex's tent, featuring a lovely array of colourful crochet and yarn. There are people inside and outside perusing the items for sale.

I was excited to see in the flesh some of the new kits that Kitey had put together for the Peppermint Pageant. This is the first time a new colourway for one of our MALs has been put together after the MAL has finished. The new colourway is so pretty and I believe will be available in his shop soon once his end of show stock take is done.

Close up of the Yarn Whisperers stall where you can see the Peppermint Pageant stocking hanging from the ceiling and new packs of colourways on a shelf alongside other rows of colourful yarns.

The only other bits I ended up buying whilst I was there were some lovely stickers and keyrings to give to my kids and of course the food.

There were several food stands to choose from, prices were reasonable and I would say the sort of prices you would expect at a show. Options ranged from chips, burgers, Mexican food, jacket potatoes and crepes.

Image of a hand holding a crepe next to a blackboard sign advertising crepes.

The timing of the show was brilliant, being at the start of July meant it didn’t interfere with the school holidays. We were also quite fortunate with the weather; all the stalls for the show are outside and it was nice to have a walk around in the sunshine.

We did have a few showers but it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits it just seemed to add more fun to the experience.

The South of England Showground is huge and there were plenty of spaces set up with seating where you could stop for a bite to eat or just sit, chill and crochet. It’s so nice to see folks able to get back together again in a relaxed way – something we definitely missed during COVID times.

Many of my friends were camping so we all sat together for most of the time, gathered around their tents, crocheting and laughing so much that my ribs were sore afterwards (what a tonic!). I also couldn’t resist getting a souvenir Carry on Crafting glass – used as a refillable option from the bar. I loved that eco friendly offering instead of plastic glasses.

Close up of a cute half pint glass that says Carry on Crafting Festival.

As there was a large group of hooky friends attending the lovely Jess (Hook and Cwtch) and Amanda (Mrs G Makes) and I decided to put together a special collab. It meant we could sit around working on the same project which is always a special thing to do.

The pattern I created is called the Festival Fade Shawl (which I will be releasing soon) for which Jess dyed up a gorgeous 100g skein to go with five 20g sparkly minis.

Close up of the Festival Fade colour palette created by Hook and Cwtch.

This was then combined with a fabulous tote bag, yarn cosy and cute caravan stitch marker from Amanda.

Although I’d already completed my Festival Fade Shawl in the original colours Jess, being the sweetheart she is, dyed me up a new special colourway which meant I could join in crocheting the project too. Such a kind thing to do and I really enjoyed working on it again without having to do the thinking part!

Hookers on Tour Festival Fade collab kit; a tote bag, a yarn cosy, to create a crochet shawl in 100g skein of varigated blues and greens and five 20g sparkle minis ranging from blues to pinks.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the show, and although it was a LONG way to travel to it was most certainly worth the trip. I think I’ll definitely be back to Carry on Crafting Festival next year – who knows I might see you there?!

Image of tents all in a row lit up at night with fairy lights on and bunting.

I’d love to hear about any yarn shows you’ve attended recently, and what you enjoyed about them – drop me a comment below.

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx


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