Do you fancy coming to an awards ceremony? Come on then, grab your coat and jump in the car - we're heading to the NEC exhibition centre at Birmingham so it's a bit of a journey (about an hour and a half from Winwick) but big daughter has the wheel so we can chat while she drives.
We're off to the British Craft Awards, now in it's 19th year, which recognises people and companies from five crafting areas - sewing, quilting, papercraft, cross stitch and knitting & crochet.
I've been nominated in the Knitting and Crochet Blog of the Year category and I'm super-proud to see my blog listed there with all of these other fabulous entries. I've been writing as Winwick Mum for nearly 7 years now, although I've only been writing the blog as it is now for the last 3 and a half, and to see my blog listed with these other people after such a relatively short time is quite incredible.
We've arrived, we've parked, we've stretched the stiffness away after being slowed down by roadworks on the M6, and now we've found the room where the awards are to be presented. Despite our delays, we're a bit early so there's time to pick up a glass of fizz (it's OK, I'll be driving home so you can have a drink if you want to or there's juice if you'd prefer) and find our seat before it gets too busy.
Have you ever been in an empty car park and not known where to park because of the choice? We're a bit like that here - but it also means that we get to choose the best seat so here we are directly in front of the main screen and also with a good view of the doorway so that we can see everybody coming in. This presentation is being held after the close of business at the Stitches trade show, so there are people from all disciplines of the crafting industry, from scrapbooking to knitwear design, who will be coming along.
It's a bit busier now!
There's a short speech by Andy Marshall who's the Group Managing Director of Immediate Media (in knitting and crochet alone they have 17 different brands so this is a huge company!) and then a quick talk about their new TV channel, Sewing Quarter. We're sitting with Juliet Bernard (I did a continental knitting workshop with her last year) - she's lovely, I knew you'd like her - and we've also chatted to Debora Bradley who's the editor of The Knitter magazine, Sara from my local yarn shop Black Sheep Wools, the folks from Wool Warehouse and West Yorkshire Spinners and Kirstie McLeod who's the editor of Simply Knitting magazine. It feel amazing to be part of this group of people whose lives revolve around yarn much as mine does these days. You can learn so much just from being here and being involved, and I wonder if you're feeling quite as giddy as I am even before the presentations start!
The awards are being presented by the hosts of Sewing Quarter, John Scott and Natasha McCarty and once the presentations do start, it all moves along quite quickly and you have to listen hard or you'll miss something. Did you see me nearly fall off my chair when they announced the winners of the Blog of the Year? I was so busy waiting to cheer for whoever won that I didn't expect my name to be called - I came second! Oh my life! How exciting is that? I'm so proud to have heard my name called out, and very grateful to everyone who voted for me to be there! Thank you!
My lovely friend Lucy won the category and it was such a shame that she couldn't be there with us because of other commitments to collect her award (there was just one for the winner if you're wondering why I've not shown you a photo - I'll leave Lucy to show you her award herself). You can hold it in the car on the way home as we're taking it back with us to save it being posted because it's glass and it'll be safer to hand it over in person, but you must promise not to drink her bottle of champagne!
We're just going to say hello to a few more people before heading back to the car park. The whole event has passed so quickly but it was great fun and I've loved every minute of it. How about you? Don't drop that award you're holding now, will you?
You can read about the other winners of the Knitting & Crochet category here. Congratulations to everyone involved in the awards!