Sunday, 7 July 2013

Woolfest again

Organic rabbit on a mole hill planted with grass seeds
This little chap was a lucky find at Woolfest 2013. As you can probably tell, he is organic. I am not 100% sure but think he was from Garthenor Organic Wool and was supposed to be a present for a small child but on reflection he is a keeper.

This time last week I was riding on a Woolfest wave of pure happiness - in my opinion it was the best one yet and learning from previous years I had saved up my pocket money to avoid disappointment. There were the old favourites like Susan Crawford (the Frances pattern is on my list of projects to do, only the Nile green Excelana yarn has sold out at the moment) ...and even though I know that it will take about 5 years before I get around to it (because of the affliction of having TOO MANY HOBBIES), I was far too excited to find the Kate Davies Paper Dolls pattern on sale to let it slip by. Although I was very much tempted by the gorgeous Titus Yarn at the Baa Ram Ewe stall, every time I went to look I found it full of people squashed in like sheep in a pen, so maybe next year...
Kate Davies: Paper Dolls
Susan Crawford: Frances
Speaking of squashes, the Textile Garden trestle tables were as popular as ever - can't think of a simile for the throng of beady-eyed women rooting through the tubs of beautiful buttons - like bees on clover? like seagulls on chips? Though nearly scared off by their intensity, I braved the crowd and it was worth it for these tiny wooden buttons:
The Textile Garden: wooden engraved buttons
A nice Estonian man accompanied by his daughter (both dressed in the traditional costume of the island of Saaremaa), told me all about how they are working hard to keep the traditional craft alive and are travelling far and wide to tell people all over the world all about it. The Nordic style knitwear was so beautiful- each district has a different distinctive pattern. Because they had travelled so far and got dressed up so nicely and had such lovely mittens and socks, I bought these too: 
Saarema Wool Association mittens and socks
Although I have been sewing more than knitting this last year, in the run up to Woolfest I dusted off my spinning wheel and have had a few (tricky) alpaca projects on the go (more of that later). I have also been buzzing with Fair Isle ideas so I was delighted to discover Polly Purl who designs and makes these Fair Isle sweaters with playful original Fair Isle patterns. I especially like the burnt orange and grey and the raincloud design. This is very suitable for Cumbria and is top of my birthday wish list.
Polly Purl
This is just a little selection of the many marvellous things to be discovered at Woolfest. Just writing about them has made me happy all over again. On that note, I think I'll go and do some tricky knitting in the sunshine. 

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