Sunday, 6 May 2012

A Wonderful Wonderwool experience

Wonderwool celebrates all that fibre is. Much has been written about it this week. Here are the snippets  that tickled and delighted me. 

I love the the way we all express our creativity in a myriad of ways. Today the photos are mostly of displays and sights that inspired me, completely self-indulgent I know,  but here for you to enjoy too.

I spoke about this little van in an earlier post so we will continue from here.

On entering the hall, the fibre extravaganza began.

The Pembrokeshire Guild of Weaving, Spinning and Dyeing was a stall I spent quite a lot of time in. A friendly lady was carding fibre as we walked in. This lead to drum carder envy and temptations.

These two batts of white-faced woodland fibre were carded while we chatted so they had to came home with me.

The guild display had handspun samples of rare breed sheep with photos to identify them

and a blanket of squares made from samples 

each one carefully labelled.

There was a blanket of handwoven squares each dyed with different natural dyes

and a sheet next to them identifying the dyes.

I enjoyed the weaving collection and the handspun too.

From the guild booth we went to the back hall which was quite empty.

The Toft Alpaca Shop is a place to go to stroke gorgeous creations.

At the Thomas Shop

there was a man in a kilt was spinning. He made me smile.

Rag Art was a stall of constant discovery.

The creative owner ingeniously recycles all kinds of discard goods and makes the most beautiful art pieces.

She created this piece from the bits left at the bottom of  her children's toy box. There is even a mobile phone cover. The Recycle piece above in the corner is framed with the lids of old felt tip pens which she made into beads.

The Gansey stall brought back many memories of knitting museum pieces when I was in South Africa many years ago. I had a wonderful chat with Debs who told me the pattern names.

I knitted sweaters from books like the ones below.

Somewhere in the world there are some sweaters very similar to this one that I knitted.

I wondered if the boyfriend's sweater' curse existed in these times.

A happy customer bought the first kit of mitts.

The International Feltmakers Association offered pure inspiration. I really was surprised by what could be accomplished with felting. It makes me itch to try something... I love these pictures of trees

These were at a different stall. Aren't they gorgeous?

The Woolsack stall was busy with ladies stuffing cushions for the Olympic players. I enjoyed their booth at Unravel too. There were some great designs.

I had to prevent The Saint from buying one of these for me after we had see the one in action on the guild stall. I do covet one secretly but I am not convinced my hip will agree with it.

I was delighted to find the Fivemoons stall as I was able liberate a skein of yarn from it. I discovered this yarn in Devon and love the colour ways.

Selena - Colourway Waterlilies

I have lost the leaflet and failed to identify the stall that had these beautiful pieces. If you know please let me know and I will add their name to my blog. They sold knitted baby blankets and pram covers which were a delight to behold, such beautiful work.

The tractor is such fun.

When I saw this stand it made me think of Hoxtonhandmade. It seems that we both share the enjoyment of good facial hair.

McAnaraks' pretty handmade buttons. Sometime soon I plan to own some. 

The British Coloured Sheep Breeders Association 

and some goods they had that I just had to fondle. 

This banner made me smile

and this yarn label made me laugh out loud.

It was time for coffee. I met a lovely man who lives in Bristol had been spinning for 30 years and we had a long chat while I waited. The Saint, being the saint that he is, stood in this queue and brought coffee to her ladyship who was sitting comfortably at a nearby table knitting upon a sock. 

'Did you take a shot of me in THE QUEUE?' he asked me. 'No' I said, 'but I did take one of the queue.' If looks could kill.

There were alpacas and sheep for sale all over the place.

I discovered a 'new to me' Indie dyer, Eden Cottage. Her dyed yarn was gorgeous with subtle changes in the colour ways. I had to go back to liberate a skein from her too.  My photo was blurred as I was shaking with excitement. There is a small shawl sometime soon in my future.

Titus - Colourway Springflower

Funky Felt and Fibres sold kits for these garments cleverly packaged in very pretty cardboard gift boxes or suitcases. I had to rein myself in once again. Someone I know did not and I plan to live vicariously through her. 

My love for indigo dyed goods was also indulged.

Although I was delighted by many of the decorations of the stalls, the one that stole my heart was The Easyknits booth. I laughed at the funky drawings

and I adored the way the patterns were highlighted and included.

Sadly, there are many booths that I failed to photograph. I needed time to support all the local shops that I love. The greatest pleasure I had during the day was meeting and chatting to all the Indie dyers that I support online,  on Etsy or Folksy and as a result, few of them were photographed. I apologise to them.

This is why I had to rein myself in in several places. I have not bought so much for along time although most of it is for specific projects which include 2 handspun sweaters and a dyeing workshop I am attending in July.

 I discovered Adelaide Walker LLP who had beautiful fibre in the bags. I bought cashmere and a BFL / silk blend (in the middle) which will grow up be a cardigan.

The plaits are Woodland Spring Falkland or Corriedale. I obtained a jumper's worth from Easyknits. I have stared spinning these already. It is a dream to spin. Three ounces spun, twenty five to go...

I bought fibre from 2 of my favourite Etsy Indie dyers both of whom are fabulous dyers and do amazing things with colour and fibre.

Camel/bfl blend from FeltStudio. 

Bfl/Silk blend in the greens and the red one (which is sooooo not me, but I fell in love!) is Black Shetland/silk from Freyalyn. 

My WonderWool adventure is over but I have plenty of superb fibre and yarn to keep it fresh in my memory for a while. I will be spinning and knitting for many hours with lovely memories for company. 

Thank you to all of you who I met, chatted to and spent time with. It was these encounters that made the day a special one for me.


  1. Yes what a nice event Wonderwool is. The good thing about having a stall is it reins you in. Most of the time..

    1. It is a great event. No sure I wanted to be reined in!

  2. oh this was so much fun to go through and to live vicariously through your camera eye.

    i'm so intrigued by the felting and the beautiful yarns and fibers...and oh those fibers at the end....shetland and silk...yum!!

    thanks for alerting me!


    1. I am so intrigued by the felting too and it is fast finding itself on my list of 'to do' things !
      Lovely to speak to you again:)

  3. What a wonderful tour of the festival! I have knitted Arans from those same books. You made me smile with the story about The Saint standing in line for coffee for you while you peacefully knitted on your sock. I can imagine that scene happening with me. Sometimes my husband calls me "Bwana" when he is waiting on me like that. Thanks so much for your time in sharing this event!

    1. Thanks, Paula. The Saint went to the car and donned the latest Guensey that I have knitted for him and paraded it for her. I hid!! She told him the names of all the patterns and he was delighted. Of course, now he wants me to knit him another one!

  4. I feel I can comment now I have met you, what a wonderful tour and images. This is definitely on my calendar for next year.
    Looks like you have some lovely things to use and the Woodland Spring you are spinning looks beautiful in the image and in real life.

    Dawn x
    (the other Dawn at the Guild!)

    1. It was lovely to sit and spin with you during the week. I look forward to many more times:)

      I am not sure that I can afford to go again next year after the spend this year...

  5. Els, your photo tour is awesome and thank you so much for posting your adventure. What a wonderful event and so inspiring :)

    1. Always a delight to hear from you, Tina. I enjoy your adventures immensely too:)