The site was reviewed by Carol Chambers in the July 1998 issue of Machine Knitting News.
Craft UK is the home of the Internet Craft Fair - the url is http://www.craftfair.co.uk/ It is a new site and great for us UK users, who up to now have mainly been provided with USA addresses when we searched for anything to do with machine knitting or indeed any textile crafts. It is not that there were no UK suppliers on the net, it's just that they were not nicely gathered together.
EXPLORING THE SITE
Enter the address given and Picture 1 appears (perhaps the featured product will have changed by the time you read this). As you can see, the options for a search are very clearly laid out.
The top of Picture 2 shows the main listing for the Products heading whilst the list below that is produced by clicking on the Everything for the Crafter button (a bit of artistic license allowed the showing of both lists on one picture - at the site they are on their own pages).
Clicking on any underlined word takes you to another page which displays the content under the heading you've clicked. You'll be pleased to note that this is a fairly speedy process and attractive as the page pictures are, they are not so large as to slow down the loading time (good news for the phone bill!).
KNITTING AND CROCHET
Who could resist trying out the Knitting and Crochet button? This produces a list of suppliers, their location and (on the whole) a contact telephone number. As Picture 3 illustrates, there are a few details missing here and there - but as I said, this is a new site and further information is being added all the time.
The ultimate in information availability is supplied by those firms or individuals whose name is underlined once more. Clicking on Edward Hill and Co took me directly to their web page which featured an order form. Clicking on the items on the order form revealed a picture, description and price details for that item.
AND THERE'S MORE
There's a lot more information on this site. If you want to know about a craft guild or organisation there's an impressive listing under the Craft Guilds and Organisations button already. I'm sure that the regional organisations list will expand rapidly - is this the place to add your knitting club I wonder? Look under the Craft Publications button for Machine Knitting News and a host of others which feature such diverse interests as woodworking to patchwork and pottery collections to 'The Teddy Bear Club'! The Learning Zone button will lead you to a long subject list - pick your interest and a further list will give details of classes and courses available and/or teaching sources.
A FAMILY DIARY
Looking for a day out with the family? Check the UK Craft Events for details of the local and national craft, stitching and hobby shows. You'll find the listing impressive. When I visited there were masses of exhibitions, shows and events to choose from. They are placed in date order. One page features around two months worth. I was able to look up potential activities for the next four months!
From what I saw I think that this is one site which has to be added to 'My Favourites' folder. I shall be returning to it often, as I suspect that as awareness of The Internet Craft Fair grows, there'll be even more to explore in the future.
INTERNET ADDRESS TIP:
Occasionally an url is printed incorrectly or is copied or passed on incorrectly.
If you are trying to reach a site which appears to have an incorrect address, try one of the search engines (Yahoo, Alta Vista, etc..) and do a search on the name part of the url. If the address seems long and involved, try leaving off some of the latter parts of it. Although this won't always help you in finding the site you want, you may be pleasantly surprised at how often it will!