Wonderwool, a magical woolly place… part 2

Hello everyone, I am back! As promised this is part two of my woolly Welsh adventure.
This post will mainly focus on the wonderful yarns I spotted at Wonderwool, so it will be few words, and a lot of visual stimulation.

Friendly Disclaimer: 

I am not responsible for the excessive drooling that the following pictures may cause.

I am also not affiliated to any of the sellers linked in this page, I just really loved their products.

 

So buckle up, we dive in wool paradise!

Variegated and Ombree wool:

This type of wool is definitely one of my weaknesses. I love knitting with self-patterning, variegated yarns. It relaxes me and makes me happy to see the yarn changing colour while it slips through my fingers. It is the reason why I survive sock knitting and why I don’t succumb to “second sock syndrome”. I find particularly interesting yarns that show a slow progress in shades so that the different hues merge into a continuous flow one after the other [see Fall Spirit Shawl on my Ravelry page].

Sock yarn:

There are thousands and thousands of sock yarn out there, but nothing beats a hand-dyed skein. I fell in love with this shades created by the skilled Siobhan Craft [see her Etsy shop for more stunning creations]. The detail that caught my attention the most are those black speckles that are not supposed to create any specific pattern. It is captivating to have some yarn and not knowing how the design will display. I also loved the grey and the pastel colours together. I walked away twice and the third time I found myself drooling over it, I bought it.

Speaking of sock yarn… at Wonderwool I made a discovery. I apologise if you were all aware of this, but I wasn’t. Are you one of those people who has to wear matching socks but doesn’t want to give up the snazzy comfort of knitted socks? Well, ladies and gentlemen, this is the product for you. These swatches have been worked with double strands and dyed once knitted. You just need to unravel them and you will have a perfectly symmetrical pair of socks! And as lovely Michelle at WoollyWumpkins was telling me, they are also perfect to knit shawls and other projects!

Merino mix wool:

Rosie’s Moments needs no introduction, I am positive many of you lovely knitters already browsed her fantastic Etsy shop. I bought these three shades because I was inspired by a pattern for sale on another stall.

I love the grey and I still haven’t decided if I am going to use the topaz blue or the mustard yellow it with. Maybe you can advise me on this. The pattern I want to use it for is called Pale Moon by Helen Kennedy (picture just below). It will also be my first ever attempt with mosaic knitting, so wish my extra luck!

More Merino mixes:

This yarn found its way into my shopping bag without letting me ask anything about it. I touched it… and I simply wasn’t able to let it go. Seriously, for the first time in my life, I gripped the skein and my hand refused to let it go.  It is so soft and light in weight! It’s a mix of 60% merino, 20% silk, and 10% yak hand dyed by The Old Piggery. I haven’t a project in mind for it just yet, but I can definitely see a shawl coming from this beauty!

And what about dyeing? I will admit I am a dye virgin. But let’s not say I fear a new challenge when it comes down to yarn. Stay tuned for some experimental colour adding, mixing and probably finger and house staining!
No matter what the result will be, I believe that this gorgeous undyed skein it’s a perfect starting point (50/50 superwash merino/tencel lace available here).

Plan B is to knit is as it is, and since it’s super soft, it may turn out to be a very nice bridal/christening shawl.

Treasure find of the weekend:

Ok, maybe this will not tickle everyone, and I will admit I had never seen it before myself. I found a mix of baby camel and silk that totally rocked my world. I will be honest, it was a pricey buy (the most expensive yarn I’ve ever come across), but the feel of it in the knitted garments they had on display stole my heart. It reminded me of the feel of a Pashmina because of the lightness and warmth of the knitted fabric. I wish I had the means to purchase multiple colours because the whole range was simply amazing. Well, maybe next year Dye Ninja… you are at the top of my yarn wishlist!

Stunning colours and curious patterns:

Wonderwool was definitely an overwhelming experience for my knitter senses. The beauty of the designs on display and the gorgeous colours of the yarns was simply mesmerizing! And in the middle of this beauty, there was also room to display great craftsmanship and originality.

This fantastic crocodile was all done in crochet! As you can see by reference with the ladies in the back, this “plushie” was GIGANTIC! Its scales may not have been golden, but it reminded me of the description of the “little crocodile” that Lewis Carroll created for the readers of his Alice.

How doth the little crocodile

Improve his shining tail

And pour the waters of the Nile

On every golden scale

How cheerfully he seems to grin

How neatly spreads his claws

And welcomes little fishes in

With gently smiling jaws!

 

And when creativity meets practicality, you end up with THIS! High-Vis crochet coats! They are brilliant! And before someone decides to give this idea a tut-ting remark, I wish to let you know that the lady who made these was trying to raise awareness for her daughter’s poor health (the daughter used High Vis coats for work). The letter she had on display was touching.

So, this closes the recount of my two days of excitement and joyful scurrying between yarns, sheep and knitters in the beautiful setting of Wales.

I hope you enjoyed reading about it and I hope I made some of you curious about coming to visit the event next year. It is really worth it. And don’t worry, there are plenty of food and beverage stalls to keep you going throughout the weekend! Me, being Italian, I opted for a very nice gelato 😀

Happy knitting!

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Wonderwool, a magical woolly place

Hello, again fellows knitters, crochet hookers and all yarn addicts.

Today I wish to share with you the wonderful experience of visiting for the first time A Festival of Welsh Wool & Natural Fibres aptly named: Wonderwool.

If you think that definition is a little exuberant, then my friends you are wrong. It was a truly magical place, where I met hundreds, maybe thousands of other yarn lovers like us.

Let’s start from the beginning: Wales.

Wonderwool happens in the same spot every year aka the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, and from what I learned it started back in 2005!

I have been living in England for a little over six years now, and I am a little ashamed to admit that I never crossed the borders either into Scotland or Wales. I suppose that has happened to all of us: we plan grand trips to visit the marvellous places that are at our doorsteps, and then as life happens, these project often remain in the air.

However, this year I made a commitment to myself and to a good friend of mine, that this trip was going to happen, no matter what. So on April 28 off we went towards our woolly adventure.

Wales was such a pleasant discovery. The green, the scenery, the hills! I have to say I really enjoyed my driving trip there, even if I had no clue where I was heading and my SATNAV decided to bring us through the smallest villages and roads available on the route.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the road trip, because I was driving. I have however taken a picture of the view from the village while I was walking to the hotel on Saturday evening.


The yarn festival takes place in a three big “hangars” where exhibitors have their own boots where they can showcase their products which vary from yarns to buttons and tools for your favourite fibre craft.


Some wool producers also like you to meet their sheep and goats. Of course, we were not allowed to touch them as they didn’t need to be stressed, but I really couldn’t have enough of these little sweeties.


I was particularly keen on this little chap, an angora goat who was irresistibly charming.

So after having spent a good amount of time admiring the animals, I started scouting the exhibition. It was a sensory overload for someone who loves yarn as much as I do.

I surprised myself “oohing” and “aaawwing” as I was walking from stand to stand. The best part? I didn’t have to conceal my excitement and admiration as everyone else there was having my very same reaction! The exhibitors were all so nice and helpful, you could really see how much they loved their products and what they were selling.

Some of them had some items made with their yarns (which was super helpful to understand how the wool was going to look and drape once knitted), while others were there to demonstrate their skills as spinners, weavers or machine knitters.


I was particularly impressed with spinning, although I haven’t decided to add it to my list of new crafty adventures. This lady was selling handmade drop spindles. Check out how easy she made it look! (apologies for the vertical video *hides in shame*)

I was lucky enough to have the whole weekend to attend the festival so after a first day filled with excitement, surprise and wool overload, I went to bed early to discover the wonderful wool on sale the next day.

In my next post, I will show you some of the most interesting bits I found there, the yarns and items that caught my eye, and I might also show you which wool made it home with me…

Stay tuned, and happy knitting!