I've been to Woolfest. Can you tell?!
Oh, it was like all the sweetie shops in the world, rolled into one! It's been running annually since 2005 and I've only missed one year, so far. In my view it gets better each time. though maybe it helped this year that I knew what I wanted to look out.
There are textile shows in other parts of the UK but none like Woolfest which takes place at Cockermouth, in the Lake District, a little under two hours' drive for me. So it's virtually on the doorstep, and it only costs £5 to get in! For those of you who may be thinking, yeah, but, so what? who wants to look at wool and sheep? I would say GO NEXT YEAR! Chances are if you are reading this you have an interest in handmade textiles in some form, and Woolfest is so much more that wool! As well as the bigger companies (that's big in this field, I don't mean multi-nationals!) there are lots of stands with individual makers' goods for sale - everything from kits to yarns to embroidery silks and fancy beads and fair trade buttons, beautiful rag rugs and felts in glowing hand dyed colours, stunning handknits, amazing angora and cashmere and silk fabrics and so on and on, as well as all the raw materials to make your stuff from scratch, and spinning wheels and knitting needles in all shapes and sizes, and demonstrators and workshops and live music and sheep's milk ice cream...... I've been doing quite a bit of spinning lately and my stocks were getting a bit patchy (honest) so I bought some lovely bright colours of wool fibre, either as tops or carded. There's Merino, Shetland, Corriedale and Wensleydale in the top pic, as well as angora and silk waste.
Below you can see a close-up of some super fine dyed Merino in palest pink and pistachio on the left. Along the top is dyed angora and below and two little heaps of dyed Wensleydale locks. I am itching to get started on new yarns now! And finally, how could I resist Herdy? I mean, no-one needs another mug, do they, but he's designed in Cumbria and made in Staffordshire, and a proportion of the sales gets channeled back into Lakeland causes. Check out the light-hearted website for more info.