Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Woolfest 2010

Oooh what fun we had! It was my first time at Woolfest in Cockermouth and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I went with some ladies from my sewing group - 5 of us - and we had a really great day, totally indulging ourselves in all things woolly, creative and crafty. We paced ourselves - regular breaks and a packed lunch - and took our time looking at each stall and gathering hundreds of ideas and inspirations along the way.

I have to admit that I didn't take any photos of the show - because I'm a bit shy when it comes to getting my camera out - but I can tell you about come things that really caught my eye. Firstly, there was the lady who was knitting with what appeared to be broom handles! Her needles were huge! She was knitting with huge balls of strips of fabric, about an inch or two wide and making rugs! Fabulous idea. One of the girls bought 4 balls and a set of needles - enough to make a sizeable rug. Perhaps I'll get a picture when she gets going with it.

Secondly, the whole place was ablaze with stalls selling the most beautifully coloured yarns. Mostly hand-dyed, fabulous mixes of natural fibres - angora, alpaca, mohair, etc. It was very hard to know where to begin with it all - I was thinking in terms of knitting scarves and hats as xmas pressies this year, but I ended up being seduced by the wonders of knitting a lacy shawl. Oh, they were as light as a feather and just so beautiful. I don't know if my photos are going to do the colours justice - this is a lace-weight yarn that is hand-dyed and has flashes of orange, pink, rust and 100 shades inbetween.

Here I have started my first ever shawl, and first ever project with lace-weight yarn - I can tell you it's a bit like knitting with something as thin and delicate as a spider's web! Also - bizarely - and it took me ages to get my head around this - instead of starting at the V part of the triangle you are creating, i.e. the pointy bit - you actually start at the longest straight edge, but only cast on 7 stitches. Eh? And they you increase with the lacy pattern in the middle so that it pushes the edges out and when it's off the needles it will be straight. Guess we'll have to wait until it's finished to get a grip on that.
Here is a yarn - oh - it's kidsilk! It's like candyfloss (only not so sticky!). And again, the most beautiful shade of tuquoise with hints of grey.

And another shawl yarn - this time in a rich plum and this time a sock weight. Lace weight or sock weight are fine for shawls, I discovered.

And here is a DK weight in a fabulous blue - about the same colour as the boy's eyes, so I'm going to make him a tank top with it.

Skeins seemed to be the order of the day, although there were regular balls for sale too. I guess it's because people are spinning and dying their own.

Ahh - now this one is another DK weight one which I simply could not resist - look at those colours! Makes you want to dive right in there, doesn't it? We thought perhaps a long, thin scarf for this one.
And finally a few notions - the above are little felt beads - there were some fabulous examples of necklaces and bracelets around, made from felt beads, large and small.

And some interesting buttons! I also got some patterns for the shawls and some bags. So all in all, we came home loaded down, happy, exhausted and eager to get knitting!!

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