Wonderwool 2019

img_20190505_170653This 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.

img_20190505_165950Blacker 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.

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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.

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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.

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Nettle necklace

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I got some wonderful nettle yarn from yarnyarn, who sell really exciting yarns that are ethically and environmentally produced, something I want to focus on a lot more. I wanted to make something that showed the lovely texture of the yarn so decided on this chain necklace. I made a very long chain on a generous-sized hook and folded it over to give 8 strands to the necklace. Then I bound black yarn around the chain at intervals to add some interest, and a chunky clasp that can be worn either decoratively at the front, or hidden away behind the neck. I am very pleased with the result. A statement necklace that has already drawn compliments.

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Project 4 returned

My bag was judged to be very good and I got some very useful feedback, which I have now acted upon. The original handles were a bit flimsy and it was suggested that I put in extra rows of dc above and below the handle to strengthen it. I decided to return to the yarn used for the Tunisian and to do a couple of rows of Tunisian as this fabric was much stiffer and stronger. Dc rows were added as well. The result, above, is more functional and, I think, more attractive.

Project 4 Bag

I’m so pleased. I made this . . . 20190322_113052-1

into this . .

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This was my final project that had to include Tunisian and broomstick crochet so I designed this myself. The yarn from Wool and the Gang was great and I think it’s somewhat sustainable. I’ll be looking at it again and I’ve got more ideas for using the raffia and the broomstick. I found the Tunisian hard work, especially with a 4mm hook but am quite taken with the Broomstick. The raffia holds its shape so you can take all the loops off together, instead of trying to prise them off in groups, which can be a pain. All the details are here.

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Norfolk and Norwich Makers Festival

I signed up for a couple of workshops and discovered felting isn’t for me. I had a great chat with a spinner who almost convinced me to take up spinning but I have enough to do at the moment. One to keep in mind for the future.

And I saw Margaret’s yarn Great Yarmouth.

               

 

What an inspiration!

 

 

 

There were also some lovely crocheted blankets,

a whole knitted and crocheted room,

and this amazing weaving.