Wonderwool: I came, I saw, I screamed a bit…

and, and, AND I bought stuff – but I stayed on budget!

I’m not quite sure how that happened, but it did. Evidently I’m quite good at walking past things I want when I know there’s going to be an immense bill – no, that won’t do it justice, it will be a William – from the garage two days later. But it was an excellent Wonderwool Wales, nevertheless.

knitted dragon

(Loved the giant knitted dragon, and the almost equally tall knitted books.)

The excitement started early, leaving the house at 6.35 in rain and meeting my friends 45 minutes later for the long drive south. The car was full but the roads were empty and we arrived in plenty of time – time enough to scream at someone we knew in the next-door queue: the WW magic had started. Unfortunately so had the drizzle, and we were allowed in a few minutes shy of 10 a.m. The first thing I resisted buying was indeed a sheep, but I don’t think Woolyknits would have sold her to me.

Doris

This is Doris, and I want her. I consoled myself for the fact that she wasn’t for sale by buying an immense quantity of almost-black Hebridean DK yarn here, three giant hanks of about 500g each. Lovely, needs a wash as good wool does – bit lanolin-y – and when I asked how come such a good bargain I was told that they’d just got fed up looking at it in the mill.

yarnHere it is. Not the easiest thing to photograph, but hey.

The next thing I had to do was resist the urge to buy a small loom. A couple of my friends (and WW companions) have just got into saori weaving and, having seen the work they’re producing, I am also hooked. Ever seen something new and thought ‘I have to do that?” I had to have several espressos (!) in order to calm down. Garage bill. Garage bill.

yumBut then I saw something I couldn’t walk past, the balls of faroese yarn on Namolio’s stand. I’ve seen these knitted into shawls, and the effect is wonderful. I could feel my entire knitting group hovering invisibly over my shoulder as I reached for one in black, purple and green and picked up one in blues instead. But of course I had to go back for the Goth one too – and en route I bought a skein of Manos’s silk blend in colours which seemed to merge the two. That will make a little short-row scarf. Plus it was only a fiver.

yum squaredI’d been practising resisting Oliver Twists’ stall several times before I was eventually dragged in – think the Millennium Falcon being hauled inevitably into the maw of the Death Star. The only difference, really, is that Han Solo and the gang found themselves in a garbage dump, not rootling about in plastic bins full of silk. OK, I wasn’t disguised as a storm trooper either, but hey.

What else did I get? Some pressies, which I can’t show; some bits and bobs which do not an exciting photo make (T-pins for blocking, notably).

All in all – great. For the first time the show had expanded into a third giant hall, which made it a much more pleasant experience all round. Ok, there were still some stalls where an electric cattle-prod would have come in handy (as it would occasionally when walking around), but the last time I went – in the deeply scarring cold of Wonderwool 2012 – it was almost impossible to move at all by 11.30. The catering was also much better, and much better organised – even if I was so excited that all I managed was a Scotch egg and a tart from Love Patisseries, grabbed on the go. I took about 48,000 shots as well; here are just a few. Click on one for a slideshow.

 

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27 thoughts on “Wonderwool: I came, I saw, I screamed a bit…

  1. Elizabeth

    It was a good day, but looking at your pictures just reaffirms the feeling I have of not seeing half of it. That’s not to say that I didn’t end up spending all my money (and then some)…. I succumbed to two of the reduced packs of dk from Woolyknits, and I’m mid-swatch right now. Get me!

    Reply
  2. TextileRanger

    I love being able to virtually attend fiber shows! Thank you for the glimpse. Looking forward to seeing how you use your finds! And good luck with the garage bill!

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Erm, I think vitally would be best perhaps (at least there’s absolutely NO risk of walking off with Doris the sheep if you’re online – I found myself wondering if, when they were busy, she could be manhandled woman handled into the back of a Volvo estate….

      Reply
    1. kate Post author

      I kow, I know. Am looking at Ashford rigid heddle, 24 inch, plus stand. I haven’t woven a think since I was about 12 and in school. Our RE mistress (girl’s school, or should that be gel’s school?) did weaving as well. Much more interesting!

      Reply
      1. Pia

        That’s the one I have, sans stand. Just completed my first saorish piece yesterday, for a jacket. (well, it’s being washed as of right now)

        Reply
        1. kate Post author

          Oh dear, that can only mean it’s meant to be – three swallows make a summer, and you’re the equivalent of the third bird…

          Garage bill first!

        2. kate Post author

          Ah yes… Saw them at WW, talked extra drums… eek… Why didn’t I pay attention to my lawyer friends when I was at Uni and change course? They said I’d never make money, and they were right (mind you, they’re not – generally – happy campers, so I know what I’d rather be)…

  3. Elaine

    Perhaps you can save towards a loom. With your yarn you could do lots of great items. Your pictures are great and I look forward to more. Anxiously awaiting the results of your purchases.

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      I’m going to do exactly that – I saved towards WW, so now I’m going to start with the £2 coins again and I’ll do match funding – I save £50, I add £50. Hopefully won’t take too long that way, and I won’t feel so guilty!

      Who need to eat, anyway?

      Reply
  4. Lydia

    Loved to read all about Wonderwool…. great purchases too. I almost, just a little bit, feel as though I have been as well, a sort of proxy part of the group. I am not sure at all how I would be at such an event – I suspect the idea of being surrounded by wool and yarn and sheep in great quantities would all be too much for me and I would have to go and sit outside for a long time. I am glad you had such a wonderful time……

    Reply
    1. Irene - FeltVisual

      Thank you so much for sharing, great pics, so many goodies, I must go to Wonderwool next year 🙂 The dragon was brilliant I saw him at the NEC in Birmingham in March, and the delightful fibres from Oliver Twists. At least I can console myself that I have had access this year to 2 of the amazing “stuff” you have seen and experienced.

      Reply
      1. kate Post author

        You must, and I can honestly say that this year. A couple of years ago I’d have said ‘yes, you should, but…’ There are still buts, but (ho ho) they’re easily countered – like wear warm clothing whatever the weather forecast says, take a bottle of water, etc etc. Oh, and don’t get too excited and blow everything at the first stall!

        Reply
    2. kate Post author

      It was SUCH fun this year. Not sure how much that was down to the fact that I didn’t go last year because I wasn’t well enough. And I did have to go and sit outside – hee hee – but it started raining, so I was forced into close proximity with wool again. Sigh.

      Reply
  5. Terri

    Oh yes, death star, that’s EXACTLY the image – HUGE magnetic gravity pull…
    Bought some of that faroese wool too – I was doing so well at resisting up to that point.
    But as we all know – ‘resistance is useless’!

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      DUM DUM DUM, DUM-DI-DUM, DUM, DUM, DUM DUM-DI-DUM… Sad, isn’t it?

      That Faroese looks lovely – can’t wait, but I have the hand injury to accommodate, also biggest pile of UFOs seen since Roswell.

      Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Indeed…! And it is – I just have to work out what bits of equipment I need to wind it / skein it / work out roughly what yardage I’m dealing with. Then I can go pattern diving, which is always fun. And a quick way of starting another UFO…

      Reply
  6. knitsofacto

    It looks fabulous 😀 And I missed it 😦 I am consoling myself by repeating the mantra ‘next year’ over and over! And of course it’s not long to Woolfest 🙂

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      I missed it last year, and I can recommend having a year off. We’ll have to arrange a bloggers’ get-together for next year, perhaps? Might distract us from trying to buy everything we set eyes on, up to and including a sheep (it had pretty eyes)…

      Reply

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