Needlework Fair in Paris

Paris Needlework Fair Poster Aiguille-en-Fete - English 2012

Grab your knitting needles, embroidery threads, patchwork and hoops. The Paris Needlework Fair (l’Aiguille en Fête) takes place in February (February 9 and 12, 2012). The fair is not restricted to age or gender. The men are knitting alongside the women and there is even a sporting event: Speed Knitting!

The annual Paris needlework fair began in 2004, and continues to grow and attract talent from around the world.

Susan O’Connor is flying in from Australia giving special classes in English. Her classes (January 31, February 1, 2 and 3) are being held at the famous Au Ver à Soie.  The cornflower pinball and scissor sheath class is being held on Wednesday February 1 and the stumpwork class is on Friday, February 3. More details below. Contact Nathalie @ auverasoie.com  Susan is the Editor of the Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine published quarterly by Country Bumpkin.

Judging from the other needle and craft shows coming up, it appears that Paris is the kick-off for the festivals. Some examples of shows that follow the Paris show are the International Craft & Hobby Fair in Kent, England; the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival in Ontario, Canada and the Craft & Quilt Fair in Tasmania. I had no idea!Colette Cauchy during the Speed Knitting competition

Be sure to use Google Translate  to read the French pages of  l’Aiguille en Fête in rough English. Two of the exhibition “Expositions” pages (“When the big schools put on a show…” and “Men Only”) contain interesting information and photos.

Fashion Schools
Some of the larger fashion schools and designers of textiles are exhibiting from France, Russia, Austria, Sweden, England, Japan, Holland, Belgium and Germany. One of the schools representing England, the Royal School of Needlework, sewed the lace flowers on Kate Middleton’s bridal skirt and bustier. The sewers were required to wash their hands every thirty minutes to avoid “tarnishing” the white fabric. Read more about the schools participating (use Google Translate) in the needlework fair.

Knitting men at l'Aiguille en Fete-Annual Needlework Fair in Paris FebruaryFor those of you enchanted by the art of creating with needles, this ninth edition of the international fair of leisure textiles, is gathering together 250 exhibitors from around the world. The 2012 edition expects over 38,000 visitors interested in sewing, knitting, patchwork, crochet, embroidery, lace.

Some exhibits to look for from around the world: Furoshiki and the Amigurumis from Japan or from Italy, the Punto Antico, an Italian embroidery technique. The fair Web site provides the list and location of all exhibitors from A to Z.

Men Are At The Event, Too
James Hunting, Richard McVetis, Nigel Hurlstone and Gavin Fry are four English embroiderers in the spotlight … Four styles, four approaches to embroidery and demonstrate. Embroidery is not just for women.

Knitting isn’t just for women either. Men are participating in the speed knitting competition. The winner last year, however, was a woman.Colette Cauchy 2011 Champion in Speed Knitting - 235 stitches in 3 minutes

Speed Knitting
Speed knitting has been THE sporting event at l’Aiguille en Fête since 2006. In this sport of needles in 2011, 200 knitters participated during four days of competition. Colette Cauchy was the speed champion in 2011, knitting 235 stitches in three minutes!

Step Up To The Bar
Go to Bar à Couture© to make your shopping bag. It is simple, free, fast and fun.

In twenty minutes, you discover the newest sewing machines and make yourself a shopping bag to use during the show. The Bar à Couture© is a concept created by the Aiguille en Fête in 2011.

British clubs and schools – use Google Translate to read about their exhibits

Au Ver à Soie Visit the British flag at the bottom of the page or in English: Silk Thread
Visit Country Bumpkin for details on Susan O’Connor’s classes, including kit costs, level and class requirements. (Flyer)

Dates of Susan’s classes (9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Au Ver à Soie:
January 31: Smocking for beginnersSusan O'Connor, Editor of Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine
February 1: Cornflower, Scissor Sheath and Pinball
February 2: Cot or Knee Blanket – The Softest Touch
February 3: Stumpwork – Loves me, loves me not
Please contact Au ver à Soie or email Sally Bradshaw: sallyb@countrybumpkin.com.au
Book online at http://www.trybooking.com/bbFi
If you have any questions regarding class requirements, please email: susan@countrybumpkin.com.au
Susan will be in Eton and Windsor (choose “Events” on their Web site) between February 16 and 18, 2012

l’Aiguille en Fête Practical Information
When: Thursday, February 9 to Sunday, February 12, 2012
Thursday, and Friday 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Grande Halle de La Villette
Metro: Porte de Pantin (Line 5)
Admission: 12 euros; Four-day pass available for the event: 26 euros – @Laiguilleenfete

Read about Ultramod the old mercerie shop (buttons, ribbons, hat makings – new and vintage)

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