Readers of our blog will remember I promised to blog about Northern Ireland's first Yarnfolk Wool Festival which took place on Saturday 5th August in the town of Whitehead, county Antrim. This was my first experience of this type of festival and friends will know I am still in recovery mode as I didn't expect to use all of my energy with all of my senses going into overdrive which I trust you can see how this festival engaged me.
The wool shop in Whitehead, Lighthouse Yarns was the centre of the event. They enter into Woollen Woods fun during the year and this is the bicycle at the front door. A travelling shade card or stash holding idea? Just step inside, there is more to explore. Buttons galore! Take a jar and fill it up, pick n'mix style
I could expound on my experience but realise I often type too much. Our coffee time conversations after the event have been a good old yarn with dad as he now understands more about the knitting world, he can't avoid. I will add a little extra writing at the end of the photos, for anyone who would like to read a bit more. Please use my contact form if there is anything you would like to know more about or leave a comment on the blog. Our photos convey points traditional craft with an old spinning wheel which fascinated both of us. There was a lot of hand dyed skeins, not in our photos but it was lovely to see the interest they created for all visitors to the fair. Check this link for details of the Indie dyers who attended, including the Skein Queen, who many of us know and it was great to see Debbie coming back home.
S Twist Wool is a new, Irish hand spinning company with its operations split between Tipperary and Dublin. This is the company Ysolda has brought into our focus with her Celtic colour wool although this is exclusive to Ysolda, the hat pattern for a different weight of wool was available to buy. As you can see I was asking one or two questions. Carol Feller (Stolen Stitches) featured in the wool shop with her Nua yarn and a shawl pattern for a KAL which runs for 10 weeks. I loved the names of the colours - Madhatter's teal party!
The lady spinning the Jacob wool was most interesting to chat with. Dad enjoyed asking about the wheel and about the fleece and skeins that the lady spun. It was an old fashioned wheel which was lovely to see in action and the awareness of how the lady was given the fleece and she would have knit socks in return as some of the fleece wouldn't be used or sold. This emphasises how much we need to support the wool industry on basic levels too. I love wool despite suffering a little from knitting with the fibres and the more rustic type wool. I have knit with various types of wool and fibre but my heart is in real wool and the history behind it.
This was at the end of our day and Fay, the lady who travelled over to exhibit lifted my weary mind with the tools she had displayed. I couldn't believe how many items I saw that I had visualised or hadn't home made styles to sort my wool stash, labels, pins and would you believe it blocking mats with an excellent surface area with straight edges to complete. This was the biggest surprise of the fair and I have them in use already. Each mat is 52 x 52cm at their widest and if you add the straight border edges to opposite sides it increases the mat space to 52 x 56cm. We bought four but as you will see from the last photos of dad zooming ahead of me (I had no energy left!) we got to the car, I flopped onto the seat but dad drove round and parked outside, ordered me to go in and buy four more! Please check the full size and all of the environmentally aware goods Fay is uploading to her site. Fay's stand was a most welcome sight!
Man on a mission! I had to shout stop, my legs can't keep up!
I have realised through this visit to our first Yarn Festival I can only dream of scenes around EYF I have been totally exhausted to an extent that even today I am struggling to keep walking. I now know I use all of my senses to take in what is happening, colours, feeling, textures, features, people. This is different than selecting colours online as I experienced the sensory part of my mind. I cannot express this in a few words but maybe one day I will share this on my blog. If you have reached this length of reading, well done!
This was meant to fit my wrist so I couldn't let anyone else in.....I kept it on as I was having fun!
I will have to end the blog post here as I really need more rest today. I wasn't online last night and waken up this morning to discover Brooklyn Tweed had featured the Lace top I wore to the fair on their social media....what a week.....recovery mode this week. Brooklyn's Instagram photo of my top. I still have to take this in and my mind is still walking round what I thought would be a tiny festival. Louise from Lighthouse Yarns and The Yarnfolk brought this to Northern Ireland and people from North and South and the Mainland came together for a good yarn, despite anything we see on the news! Northern Ireland's warmth of welcome was evident but Beverley's energy is back in Whitehead.
I will catch up on messages over the next few days, thank you for your understanding.