This was my first ever yarn festival and it was quite overwhelming at first. I thought I had a plan but it turned out I didn’t. I just walked around marvelling at the beautiful colours and textures and eventually bought skeins of random colours that I loved, mostly without a project in mind. My well-thumbed brochure was very useful and I got to all the stands I wanted, my main mission being to try and locate sustainable and fairtrade yarns and colours. This meant avoiding acrylic and superwash although I wasn’t very vigilant about enquiring about the nature of dyes (chemical or otherwise). Interestingly, Janie Crowfoot had written about this very topic in her newsletter this week.
Blacker Yarns are from Cornwall and I struggled to choose something from their stand, which was full of beautiful, unusual yarns. In the end I chose this wool/linen mix but I have no idea what I will do with it yet.
Namolio was a relatively small stall with some amazing linen yarns. These are quite tough and shiny so I think they will be ideal for jewellery. I got two big skeins and a little sample pack of different colours. I also bought about 700g of hand-dyed wool that I can use to make a new jumper.
Wooly Chic had a small stall with a lovely friendly owner and a huge range of organic cotton. I was spoilt for choice of bright colours but, in the end, opted for black and grey as I want to make a tapestry crochet evening pouch, which I will bead, to brighten it up.
I couldn’t resist these yarns from Watercolours and Lace who, it turns out, come from somewhere near Diss. The colours and yarn mixes are absolutely beautiful and in the end I chose 100% baby camel; lambswool silk; and alpaca/mohair. I can’t wait to try them out. Similarly, the silks from Willow Knits were beautiful colours and all silk.
Manos del Uruguay produce fairtrade yarns and I chose a pack of contrasting colours in a merino wool/silk mix. Various sellers stock them.
I bought one more set of mini skeins – Scheepjes cotton, which is not organic but I really wanted some more colours of cotton. And I visited Midwinter yarns on purpose because I wanted to see their linen (I believe linen, like wool, is environmentally friendly). Unfortunately they had not been able to bring their linen range to the show but I took this photo so I can order online.
As well as buying luxury yarn, I also went to two workshops. The first was Jane Crowfoot’s beaded crochet masterclass and the second was spinning. It was great to meet Jane Crowfoot and see how she worked and I picked up some really good tips from her. She also admired my freeform bag!! I made a little beaded motif that I hope to turn into a card for Gill. I had already tried some spinning so it was great to get advice from an experienced spinner. I am not proud of my resulting yarn but I did learn where I was going wrong and I think I would like to pursue spinning when I have time. It could be a very relaxing hobby. I also met Pauline Turner, who was full of energy and tried to persuade me to sign up to part 2 of the Diploma. I’m not tempted as I’m so busy at the moment and I want to do it when I have time to savour it. In the meantime I need to finish a shawl I am making for Pearl, a teddy I am making for Yuki, Gill’s card and the evening pouch for me that I haven’t started yet. Then I need to start making my jumper and, most importantly, start exploring the wonderful yarns and ideas I have for making necklaces.