Wednesday, 26th September 2012
Knitting & Stitching Show 2012 to hit a "Pawsitive" note with Waterford knitters!
A appeal has been launched to encourage Waterford-based knitting and crafting enthusiasts to get their needles out and start "purr-ling" to create toys and coats for hundreds of Ireland's homeless cats and dogs. The Knitting and Stitching Show, which takes place in the RDS, Dublin, from November 1st to 4th, is teaming up with the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for the 'Pawsitive Knits' campaign, where people are asked to use left-over yarn and wool to knit or crochet a toy for cats, or a coat for dogs, as they wait for new homes.
The Knitting and Stitching Show is the largest, family-focused textile and craft event in Ireland and is expected to attract a record 23,000 people this year. More than 150 companies - many of these are selling specialist supplies that you can't find in the shops and galleries in Ireland - will be exhibiting. There will be up to 100 workshops covering areas such as hairpin crochet, hand quilting, creative smocking and braid making.
As part of Pawsitive Knits, easy-to-follow patterns for cat's toys - including knitted mice - are available to download on the Knitting and Stitching Show website, http://www.twistedthread,com , and at the Dublin SPCA home page, http://www.dspca.ie . The knitted toys and coats can be brought to the RDS during the show, or sent directly by post to the Dublin SPCA. Renowned cheese makers Cashel and Crozier Blue, will present baskets of their produce to the top three knitters.
This year's Knitting and Stitching Show features a major exhibition 'Colour Improvisation', curated by America's most revered quilter, Nancy Crown, featuring 26 of the most daring exponents of colour working in the quilting world across Europe and the US.
It also features the 'Fly Away' gallery, which includes quilts designed and made by the inmates of Limerick Prison.
Other Show highlights this year include:
-An Upcycler of the Year Competition involving schools from around the country
-The Irish Patchwork Society's largest ever gallery of quilts
-Dozens of specialist retailers from Ireland and the UK
-Local suppliers and specialist high end Irish shops
-An opportunity to 'test drive' the very latest sewing machines
-A unique chance to meet with textile artists Alice Kettle and John Allen and admire their work
-The Royal School of Needlework's 140th year anniversary exhibition.
According to Knitting and Stitching Show Sales Director, Julian Day, the Show is a complete craft experience for enthusiasts. "Nowhere else can you find such a range of specialist suppliers.
We celebrate textiles in every conceivable form and bring together knitters and embroiderers, cross-stitchers and felt-makers, jewellery artists and quilters. Our visitors include people from schools and fashion colleges, textiles enthusiasts, novice knitters and those with an interest in up-cycling or revamping their own fashions."
He said this year's show reflects the massive growth in knitting and stitching amongst the young, and the desire for individualism, dress making and home interiors, with incredible talent on display.
He said the show is delighted to team up with the Dublin SPCA for the Pawsitive Knits project. "We know our supporters will be thrilled to support this great appeal. The Dublin SPCA is Ireland's largest and oldest animal welfare charity and cares for thousands of animals in its centre in Rathfarnham each year.
Dublin SPCA volunteer Jenny Harrow (32) wants knitters everywhere to get their needles out and help her knit mice and other cat toys for the hundreds of cats and kittens which end up at the charity's shelter every year. So far this year, 1,274 cats and kittens have been cared for by the Dublin SPCA. It has also fostered 627 cats and kittens along with 164 dogs since January.
"They only take about an hour to knit and anyone can make one - even people who've never really knitted before. The toys don't just help to entertain the cats and kittens. They also help them get used to socialising with people, thereby making them more appealing to families for adoption.
"I'm now appealing to Knitting & Stitching Show supporters to get their needles out, pull together some odds and ends from their yarn stash and knit a few mice or even knit a few mouselets using the free pattern provided by Kristiina Kolberg.
More advanced knitters are welcome to knit coats for dogs also cared for at the Rathfarnham centre. "Many of these animals arrive underweight with medical conditions. As the temperatures drop and with the approach of winter you can help a shelter dog feel warm and cosy or a kitten feel loved while they wait for their forever home."
You can post your finished knits to Pawsitive Knits, Dublin SPCA, Mount Venus Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, Ireland. Alternatively, pop them in the specially-provided collection baskets at the 2012 Knitting & Stitching Show in the RDS from November 1 to 4. For people who do not wish to knit, a donation can be made at http://www.dspca.ie .
The long-running Innocent Smoothies Big Knit for Age Action Ireland also continues this year. Knitters are also being encouraged to make little hats which Innocent will place on its popular smoothie bottles. They're aiming to knit 80,000 hats this year and Age Action gets 10cents per bottle with a hat that's sold.
For more information on the Knitting & Stitching Show, log on to http://www.twistedthread.com
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