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.
(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.
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.
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.
But 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.
I’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.