Life With Yarn

Woolfest 2012

Posted on: June 25, 2012

So this weekend was Woolfest in Cumbria – two days of yarny sheepy goodness. After some negotiations with my husband, I managed to spend the day there on Saturday. This was the first time I’ve done any big wool-related gathering and to say I was excited in the few days before it was putting it mildly.

I set off on Saturday morning from Newcastle to drive across the country to Cockermouth. On the way, it occured to me a couple of times that this was possibly a sign that my yarn addiction was serious, considering there were flood warnings in place in some parts of Cumbria and Cockermouth has been known to flood previously in quite a devastating way. But onwards I went, driving through the rain and arriving at Woolfest as it opened.

I was like a kid in a candy store. I grabbed a programme and started wandering round. I’d been advised that going round once making notes was the best thing to do and I’m glad I did but it was just completely overwhelming. After months of not being able to buy everything I wanted, I had quite a generous budget from my savings. I didn’t want to blow it all in the first 30 minutes – which I could quite easily have done. So I wandered, marking on the programme the stalls I definitely wanted to return to and then had a sit down to recover. I’m the same in bookshops, by the way, if I have some money to spend on books, I wander round for ages completely overwhelmed by the choice of it all. When I think about it, it’s no wonder my eldest has a terrible time choosing between two or more things she likes, I am the same.

It took a while to start buying, but once I did, boy did I have fun! This is my haul:


Among this lot is some gorgeous 100% silk lace, 2 different sock yarns & some dark red lace from Ripples Crafts – the red lace is for a cardigan for me and the grey sock yarn is for socks for the husband. There’s some lovely silky camel lace and more sock yarn from YarnAddict, more lace and sock from Artisan Yarns, sock and some mini skeins from Laal Bear, some gorgeously coloured sock yarn from Easy Knits and, finally, some undyed sock yarn from Bluefaced. This last is going to be my first attempt at dying my own yarn, I picked up a starter kit from DT Craft & Design and plan to have a go in the next couple of weeks – watch this space! Not pictured are a couple of patterns from YarnAddict and a copy of Barbara Walker’s 2nd Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

But it wasn’t just all about boosting the economy and supporting indie dyers. I also learned a few things along the way. I had an informative chat with Debbie from DT Craft & Design about dying and the best way to achieve the result I wanted, I watched a demo from Anni of YarnAddict about adding beads to knitting a crochet hook (looked so much simpler than threading them onto the wool beforehand!) and saw someone using a drop spindle which looked really interesting and definitely something to look into in the future. There were some spinning wheels for sale (a bit out of my budget) but I’m not sure I have time to start spinning large amounts of fibre.

So, all in all, a very good day. I met some great people, everyone was really friendly, and I enjoyed being able to wander the stalls without anyone nagging at me or complaining they were bored. The biggest problem I have now is that the socks I was knitting before I went to Woolfest (the ones that need to be completed by June 30th for my 26 pairs in 52 weeks challenge), well, they seem quite plain by comparison. I can’t wait to get working with the new yarns and make some beautiful things from them. Oh, and of course, I’m already saving for next year!


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