Dearie me – Wonderwooling, part 2

What can I say? Sometimes life just catches up with you.

But the slight delay in posting has given me time to think a little bit more about my Wonderwool Wales experience. The show was just packed with colour,

and I had given myself one rule: buy colour.

Well, apart from the other rules, such as ‘I’m not buying anything’ and ‘don’t buy a new spinning wheel’ [or a sheep, ed].

It shouldn’t have been difficult. I love working with colour. I was surrounded with colour. All I had to do was get my purse out. Oh, and make a decision. Hm.

All the colour was inspirational, even when understated

(just consider the effect without the yellow ochre, or the lemon, come to that), and there were plenty of gorgeous reds and I love red. (Didn’t see much turquoise / jade / peacock, though.)

So what happened to me?

I lost it.

I naturally gravitated towards naturals – or what my mother used to call ‘shades of shite’ – but at least I’d migrated away from black. As a spinner, I’m inevitably drawn to natural fleece colours, so the Gotland fitted right in.

It’s delicious. But brightly coloured it isn’t. It does take a dye beautifully, yes – but of course the underlying colour means the dyed wool is still subdued. Lovely, but subdued.

And then I predictably made my way to the Garthenor stand,

Definitely Welsh (and it is Wonderwool Wales, after all), all organic, all fabulous. But not coloured. Move away from the browns…

Of course, the root of the problem is me, buying colour for me to wear. I don’t wear colour, you see, except as – hang on, shawls… so I started looking at the single skeins. Of which there were many. But I did find it, the skein, dyed by Helen at Ripples Crafts of Lochinver. And I’m sentimentally drawn to her colours – inspired by Sutherland, where I spent so much of my childhood.

This is called ‘lichen and rock’ and I could easily identify similar inspiration on the walls around me in Snowdonia, especially the lime green – or rather a subdued acid green, as I described it later.

There is some colour in that skein. I plan on making a shawlette when I can manage smaller needles; it’s a 4 ply BFL and nylon mix – sock yarn, but I don’t do socks.

And then I encountered the girls. What had I bought? I showed them, and got a predictable reaction, so we went to a couple of stalls and I asked their advice on various shades of green (which is one colour I do occasionally wear as a garment). They were negative, but we were close to Curlew Weavers,

and their cones (their blankets are pretty wonderful too). I tried every one, with the girls saying ‘that one’, and ‘why not?’ a lot. In the end I was really brave. See that purple, goth-like cone at the front? Guess whether I bought it.


It’s a colour…


14 thoughts on “Dearie me – Wonderwooling, part 2

  1. Lydia

    I am pretty sure that all the excitement, colours, noise, people, actually being where you can see and feel yarn and fleece in real life, spinning wheels, sheep and so on and so on would be just totally overwhelming. Mind you I would bravely give go into battle if I had the chance. It sounds to me as if you did amazingly well with lots of support from your comrades!

    1. kate Post author

      It is fantastic – last year the impact on entering the halls struck two of our Wonderwool virgins silent (one even snapped at her husband when he had the temerity to phone at just that moment – a never-before witnessed event).

      I think it’s spoiling me for all other woolly shows, but I’m quite happy to try some more out!

    1. kate Post author

      Oh they are, just a pity I couldn’t make up my mind for so long!

      (I’d happily have bought everything, just to look at it. Couldn’t fit it on the coach, though.)

  2. karibu57

    I love the skein of lichen and rock, it will make a beautiful shawlette…4mm needles I’d say…should be possible soon?? and the purple…I am proud of you

    1. kate Post author

      It’s yummy. And dark purple IS a colour…

      I’ve just had my wrist slapped – metaphorically – about doing too much and not wearing a brace when necessary, so maybe I should just say that it will be my winter knitting, and get on with my Shetland chunky in the meanwhile. The nurse – a fellow knitter – looked thunderstruck when I said I was knitting already.)

      1. karibu57

        I bet she did…must have thought you had gone totally bonkers. She is clearly not as dedicated a knitter as us 😉

    1. kate Post author

      Well, I wasn’t planning on it… but I had wondered… actually, I know someone else who reckons that too – thinks WW has got a bit too big and with too many indie dyers, and that there’s more variety and more interesting fleeces etc at Woolfest, and… what am I saying? NO!!!!

      Seriously, I think the op on my right hand will probably nuke the summer. They wanted to do it next week but I’ve got too much work on right now, and as I’m a self-employed hack, ‘too much work’ is vital since I lost time with the first op. I think I might try and get to Masham in September, though……….


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