Ooooh I was filled with utter joy when I found about this lovely festival !! Two and a half hour journey to Cockermouth with a 21 month old toddler? Not a problem! Alex behaved perfectly throughout the journey deciding to sleep the entire way there. WIN WIN.
Arriving at the venue I can see the stairs decorated with knitted/crocheted banners… Already I can feel the excitement !
When you step inside you’re immediately greeted by the vast array of stalls, instant colour overload and the smell of sheep! I felt like a little kid at the sweet shop haha. I think the first moments I sped around the whole venue just absolutely flabbergasted by the amount of wool, spinning and animals around. It took me a while to get over that initial grinning stage. I could see a lot of the other enthusiasts whizzing around with massive smiles on their faces. I loved this aisle with all the flags… it pretty much sums up the feel of the day. Everyone is smiling!!
Alex, Alain and I headed off to see the animals and here they all are… I like the rastafarian dread sheep a lot. He/She did look very hot though… and I think he was glad of the shear later on in the day. The alpaca’s were so shy and generally quite edgy most of the time but that didn’t stop them chomping down on hay when offered and it did settle their nerves. They look so cute and kinda quirky when they have been sheared.
Shearing is fascinating to watch – it’s like a elaborate dance the shearer has to do just to keep the sheep still and eventually get a beautiful coat from them. You can see how much effort she has to put in even by just looking at her white knuckles in the pictures below.
Art was at an incredible high standard and the theme was so whimsical! Alice and wonderland, red riding hood all part of the ‘Once upon a time’ theme. LOVE LOVE LOVE. They were created by a group called The Materialistics, a group of knitters that are truly an inspiration and their creativity is just mindblowing. You can find them on facebook : http://www.facebook.com/Materialistics2009?fref=ts If you feel you want to make a donation please let me know! They are always looking for support. The other group that contributed to the stunning display was Bill Quay Wool Group and they created a masterpiece of ‘Where the wild ones are’
There was also music ! Folksy sort of music. It really made the atmosphere magical. It added a whole more happy factor to the celebration. Little Alex did join in with clapping 🙂
After all the shearing, skipping merrily around all the stalls and a short coffee/lunch break it was time to step into new territory of spinning. After looking at the lovely ashford wheels I wasn’t quite ready to spend a large amount of money on a spinning wheel although I did have a good perv over them…. and those looms were pretty inspirational too.
Here is my collection of buys from the woolfest:
I spent a fair bit on wool, I can’t deny that… but I also invested in a drop spindle and some shetland roving wool. This will either end in utter disaster… or it’ll be the start of something magical. Either way… you will all see the journey unfold at some point in the future of my blog. I did go a step further in my madness by buying some koolaid dyes, because you cant have handspun yarn and NOT dye it right?!
The other two skeins ; one is a laceweight green skein, and the other a purple handyed sock weight skein. I have never knitted with laceweight yarn… apart from the one time I used mohair garnstudio drops yarn and Rowan kidsilk for these projects of mine on ravelry. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/littlefairyknits/blushing-lace-cowl and http://www.ravelry.com/projects/littlefairyknits/white-rabbit-wrist-ees
Speaking of handspun yarns, there were two stalls I loved. One where the wool ranged from 22 pound upwards for a skein and the other offered small skeins for a few pounds. I unfortunately couldn’t afford the full skeins (my heart did pang over them like a fairy would over mushrooms and all things mystical) but I did pick up one very small sample and another small skein. They make me skip a little bit inside when I look at them… even though I have no idea what I’ll make with them but I just had to get them.
Another addiction also made me succumb to buy some mini skeins for my ‘currently in hibernation’ beekeepers blanket. EEEEE! Aren’t they so cute?! Little squidgy pieces of JOY!
I was given this very vintage yarn by my gran and I had no idea how much was in it… so off I trotted to the vintage knitting stall where a lovely lady took the yarn skein apart and showed me it was made up of four sections! 25g each. So i have a 100g skein and now I have an idea of how much yarn I have to play with – I just have to decide what to make. Suggestions are welcomed! Drop them in the comments! I was thinking along the lines of a shawlette maybe… but open to any ideas. I will probably be visiting their site after I knit something from this wool to get their garment wash which revitalises vintage wool as it has slightly felted with age. Here is a link to the website: www.susancrawfordvintage.com
I very very much enjoyed my day at Woolfest and would highly recommend it to everyone, even non-wool enthusiasts! It’s such an amazing festival and the volunteers really did do a wonderful job at making it run all smoothly.
On the way back we stopped briefly to take some pictures of Cumbria because I have never been to Cumbria before and this is like a little keepsake of a happy day. Enjoy!
PS: On another note of madness, I have had to clip my lionhead rabbit. His fur was becoming matted and was literally getting too thick for him now summer is here. I now have a small bag of angora…. will I be able to blend it with other wool and spin it? That is what you can see that appears in the picture of all my buys as a bag of black fur.
Me and alex are shown on the left and my husband alain with alex on his back on the right 🙂 such fun!