Woolfest – Guest Post by Tracey

Woolfest – Guest Post by Tracey

Tracey attended Woolfest recently and was kind enough to take photos and write about her experience for us. Thanks Tracey!

I recently attended the wool and wool crafts extravaganza that is Woolfest, held over two days at Mitchell’s Lakeland Livestock Centre, Cockermouth in the beautiful Lake District in the UK. It is all about creativity and design, amazing colours combined with quality skilled craftsmanship. I think around two hundred exhibitors attend.

So let’s dive in and show some pictures!

One highlight for many is the raw fleece sale. Any individual farmer/breeder may enter a maximum of 5 fleeces per breed for sale. Visitors can then have a good sort through and leave them in the Fleece Creche to be collected later!

Sheep and Alpacas are also on display for visitors to chat with the farmers and breeders. Here are a few photos.

On display in the main show ring were breeds such as Jacob, Manx Loaghtan, North Ronaldsay, Exmoor Horn, Hawkshaw, Hebridean and rare breeds. There is a small seated audience with lots of interesting commentary. I particularly took a liking to this wonderful beast.

There was quite an amount of Nuno felting, scarves, blouses etc, so when I saw these beautiful blouses I thought Nada, one of our forum members would love to see them, as she makes lovely garments, they were gorgeous. If you look to the left of the blue blouse you will see lots of beautifully made slippers too, just like Nada makes!

Then I saw something that Ann (shepherdess) may like to see as she has recently posted a cat cave blog on the this site. They were hobbit hole cat caves, they were wonderful, so solid and well made, I had to take a picture!

The time at the show was slipping away and it was when I saw this quirky teapot cover that I thought yes, it’s time for refreshments!

Suitably refreshed my friend and I continued around the show.

There were many demonstrations going on at various times of the day. Such as spinning, shearing, Dorset button making, needlepunch, Saori weaving. Also how to crochet a simple flower, how to knit faster!, simple felting, tapestry weaving, doll making and a spinning wheel surgery, so lots of advice available.

Here is a picture of a silk paper artists stall.

It was quite hard to choose where to spend your money when all the stalls looked as colourful and inviting as these:

Here is a display of shawl pins:

I was taken with these lovely wall hangings, some were quite large, I can only imagine the work that goes into them.

I came away with a few happy purchases such as Merino wool, nepps, wood and ceramic buttons, slubs, locks, yarn, silks and throwsters waste, lots of little pretty things! Oh and we were there from 10am – 5.30pm, what a fun filled day.

Well I hope this has given you a little insight into the world of Woolfest, and if it inspires anyone to go, I am sure you would not regret it. It is a busy show with lots of visitors, but this is my second visit and I feel it is a relaxed place, you do not feel jostled or pressure in any way. I think it is because you are surrounded by like minded enthusiasts, a lovely calm experience. It is just a wonderful place to be.


Thanks Tracey and it’s great that you were thinking of us as you wandered through Woolfest!




21 thoughts on “Woolfest – Guest Post by Tracey

  1. Thanks for taking these pics Tracey and it was very nice to meet you there.

    I bought 2 fleeces from the Raw Fleece Sale; a Shetland and a Jacob and met Sue Madle there at the inspection table. I’ve watched so many of her Youtube tutorials that I recognised her voice before I saw her face. (” Chicks in Rubber” if anyone is interested in good online spinning videos.)
    I have to admit to caving in around 2pm. No stamina! 🙂

    1. It was lovely to meet you too Judith. You still managed to stay for a decent amount of time. As it is only once a year, we wanted to enjoy it as long as possible!

  2. Lovely virtual tour around the show – thank you Tracey – almost as good as being there!

    The huge wall hanging is absolutely gorgeous.

    Had I gone to the show I think I would have come home with an empty purse.

    1. Thanks Lyn! Yes there were plenty of tempting opportunities to part you from your hard earned cash! A feast for the eyes.

  3. I almost went to Woolfest this year, then thought my wallet wouldn’t appreciate the temptation and stayed home. Thanks for showing us a little of it! Loving the idea of a wool creche 😀

    1. Thanks Leonor! I was surprised how little I spent actually. I think it was because my list is full of little bits and pieces such as nepps, silks etc, which tend not to break the bank. The wool creche is swooped on pretty quickly I reckon. We arrived early and there were plenty of reserved tags on the bags.

  4. Oh, I wish I was there especially if the atmosphere was a relaxed one, without people jostling. in the crowd. So many beautiful things on display. Thanks for remembering us too. .

    1. Thanks Galina, glad you liked it, hope it entices you to go next year maybe!

  5. Thanks for sharing this with us Tracey. It looks like there was a lot of space around the tables which would make it more relaxed. The last wool festival I went to a couple of years ago the buildings were jam packed with little room to move around. This looks so much nicer. I thought you’d come home with a car full. Great self control. 🙂

    1. Thank you Marilyn, you are welcome! Yes I cannot vouch for the next day (Saturday) but the whole of Friday didn’t feel overwhelming to me at all. Believe me, I was ready to spend, but I got everything I wanted.

  6. A great looking show. How I wish we had sheep shows like that here with lots of different breeds to see and fleeces to buy. The problem of being a big country with a small spread out population. The cat houses looked great, very whimsical. The wall hangings are lovely especially that big one with the bottom seem to spill out of the picture. Marilyn try going on the Friday if you show has one, they are always less crowded than the week ends.

    1. I believe we did go on Friday, it was the venue and how much they packed into each building. I’ve been to another that was much more spread out, But they discontinued that one here in Illinois.

  7. Woolfest looks great, thanks for this Tracey! I love the Herdwicks and Gotlands, I’d have loved to see all the live animals 🙂

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