Monday, 1 July 2013

Woolfest 2013

What an exciting three days that was! I haven't really come down to earth yet and I feel almost jet lagged. I have been helping my friend Helen again on her stall My Fine Weaving Yarn at Woolfest which is held every year in Cockermouth, Cumbria. After a four hour drive up the M6 I was in time to help Helen and her husband John set the stall up ready for the start of proceedings the next day. This is what the stall looked like early on the Friday morning.
As you can see we had a small demonstration area this year with four rigid heddle looms warped with a variety of fine yarns. This proved very popular and Helen makes a very good and patient teacher.
There were lots and lots of interesting things to buy and lots of interesting people to meet. Both days were very busy and we had difficulty finding the time to walk around the other stalls to see what was on offer. Here are a few photos to give you a flavour of what I saw.
Teeswater sheep.
This is Ziggy Rytka playing his hurdy-gurdy to entertain the crowds as well as selling his lucets which you can find here.
Wensleydale sheep
"I think this is my best profile"
These are Herdwick sheep which are local to the Lake District and play an important roll in creating the spectacular landscape beloved of walkers.

These people had come all the way from Estonia and Sweden to showcase the breeds of sheep native to the Baltics. I couldn't get to photo the lovely knitted mittens and socks at the far end of the table as it was a sea of interested visitors! But I did manage to get a closer look at the weaving hanging at the back.
I think I shall have to try something similar to this with my handspun wool in the future.
I was fortunate to have the chance to meet Owen Poad of Majacraft who was demonstrating his spinning wheels on the Hedgehog Equipment stand opposite ours. I had a nice chat with him and discovered that all the wheels they make are signed by whoever made that particular wheel. I wasn't aware of that fact even though I have had the wheel for quite a while. So when I got home I had to have a quick look underneath and found the signature of Glynis, Owen's wife, who was also at Woolfest but was not around when I was chatting to him. It made my day!
There were lots of other interesting people, some had come from far away just for the show, and we met a lovely American couple who now live in Provence, a couple of ladies who had flown in from Austria, and a Finnish lady who has lived over here for a very long while and weaves the most gorgeous wall hangings. I also bumped into Dorothy Stewart who's blog I follow. What a nice lady! It was lovely to meet and have a chat with her and see some of her lovely woven shawls. It goes with out saying I managed to buy lots of lovely things which I will post about later.
Even though the weather was horrible - cloudy, wet and cold - and it was extremely exhausting being on your feet for three days I can't wait until the next Woolfest and will be keeping my fingers crossed that we get the chance to go with our stall again.


  1. What a great post and wonderful pictures, I could almost smell those sheep again and hear them !! many thanks for you kind comments and link !


  2. Hi Dorothy,
    Glad you liked the pictures. Didn't we all have a great time!
    best wishes,