Back to Wonderwool – wonderful – Wales, 2016

I have had a mixed relationship with Wonderwool Wales. It’s varied from wild excitement (the very first time I went) to slight irritation (the next time, when there seemed to be nothing but one indie dyer after another, which must have been annoying for them too) and to suffering from near frostbite (the Very Cold Year, when stallholders wore their stock and I thought my feet were going to fall off despite wearing walking boots with thick socks). Last year I decided I couldn’t be bothered and, apart from a slight pang, I didn’t miss it. I didn’t miss the huge crowds, the not being able to get on a stand, the half-hour queue for coffee and the lack of a seat once you’d got it, the inability to get anywhere near a food outlet for lunch…

This year I went. And I went on the Sunday, though I feel I should be keeping quiet about this as too much attention may kill the thing, rather as tourists destroy what they come to see if they come in enough numbers (my old Paris, I’m talking to you).

It was fab.

Heeeeeeeeee heeeeee:

Wonderwool haul 2016

We have: undyed DK for natural dyeing and some dye material (old man’s beard lichen for pink, barberry bark for green, dyers’ broom for a yellow – I’ll probably get khaki for all three), some Rowan cocoon at a stonking price which I couldn’t ignore, a single skein which I said I wasn’t going to buy but somehow did (‘that would be the fairies’), and some fluff. It’s all fab. So are/were the scotch eggs. And the meringues.

We started the sensible way, which is possible on the Sunday: with coffee and cakes and the show schedule:

planning

and worked out where we wanted to go, where we had to go and where we’d better avoid (temptation cannot be easily resisted before lunch), and then we set off. We bumped into friends, visited a particular stallholder, separated, bumped into more friends, took the scotch eggs back to the car, bumped into each other, bumped into someone else, bumped into a stall or two, bumped into a sheep or two,

sheepy

(this splendidly Roman-nosed job from Home Farm Wensleydales is wearing a rather pretty collar, which could easily have been missed – well, it’s the old daisy/sheep connection, Father Ted), bumped into another friend, separated again, did a quick whip-round all the halls, including Hall 3 with its amazing exhibit/artwork,

lovely!

bumped into more friends, managed to miss out completely on greeting some others because their stall was wonderfully far too busy, looked up and saw the decorations,

bunting

bumped into more friends but managed to miss the part of the sleepwalk in which someone else we knew was modelling (a human, purrrlease, not a sheep), bought stuff, went back to the car to change out of a heavy sweater into something less hot, bumped into more people…

What a fabulous day. I am so glad I went back. And now I need to track down that skein of yarn which I didn’t buy (because I wasn’t buying single skeins, ok, and, yes, I am aware of the fact that I did actually buy one) but which was the most glorious, incandescent, emerald green. If I could sum up the day in one word it would be ‘colour’. Yes, that’s about right. Colour, scotch eggs and meringues. And friends. Colour, scotch eggs, meringues and friends – in no particular order. And yarn: colour, scotch eggs, meringues, friends and yarn. Lots of yarn. One word? How could that be possible?

Here’s a gallery of delights; just click on an image for a slideshow, with captions. How on earth did I manage to choose?

And, amazingly, I stayed in budget, even allowing for the scotch eggs, meringues and delicious pirog I grabbed for lunch. In fact, I was under budget by £20. Wonder if I can track down the sellers of the emerald green skein?

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8 thoughts on “Back to Wonderwool – wonderful – Wales, 2016

  1. sawp2013

    Lovely evocative description of your day 🙂

    The ‘splendidly Roman-nosed’ sheep with the pretty collar is a Blue-faced Leicester, though, not a Wensleydale. And no, its face isn’t blue. It would be if it were a Wensleydale ;). But only some BFLs have blue faces, and clearly this one doesn’t.

    (Sorry, can’t help being a sheep nerd, and these are sheep from t’north of England – my locale.)

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Hi Sally…
      Thank you – my only (personal) experience of BFLs directly is in crosses, so heaven only knows what other characteristics come into play. These were, however, on the Home Farm Wensleydales stand, so presumably they’d brought some of their BFLs (which they also have) along too. They’re in Oxfordshire!

      Reply
    1. kate Post author

      It’s at the Royal Welsh showground in Builth Wells, almost slap in the middle of Wales – about a two-hour journey for me, well worth it. It’s fabulous!

      Reply
  2. welshhillsagain

    Lovely to see you there! It was only my second time. I’m a bit of a beginner at this woolly lark. Didn’t buy loads but did buy some and had a very good time. Also loved the scotch eggs! Must try to get together and see the gardens again sometime too!

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Good to see you too – and we must indeed… glad you enjoyed it (also the scotch eggs); definitely one of the better Wonderwools!

      Reply
  3. hebrideanwoolshed

    Well having read this a second time and finger-licked every last delicious morsel of loveliness about it, I find myself thinking only of woolly heaven – with scotch eggs!

    Reply

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