Woolfest 2018

Woolfest 2018

Well another year has rolled by and it was time to immerse myself once again into the wondrous spectacle that is Woolfest here in the UK, held at Mitchell’s Lakeland Livestock Centre, Cockermouth Cumbria.  I know, tough job but someone has to do it…….

A fabulous day was had spent amongst fellow crafters, fibre enthusiasts and livestock folk.  There were 158 exhibitors this year,  I think there has been over 200 in previous shows.   There seemed to be many new demonstrations going on such as silk papermaking with found and gathered materials, lino cutting and printing on fabric and stitching on felt, braiding with a Manx loom, cutting hand woven fabric for garment construction, quick threading on the rigid heddle loom, broomstick crochet,  speedy warping and Tunisian crochet.  A lot going on, and a lot of things I have not the first idea what they are!!

I know how we all like photos so here they are, no real explanations, I just took what I thought would grab your interest.

The first picture is the show ring, where each breeder gives a talk about their particular livestock.  I was particularly taken with the magnificent sheep that the lady on the left in blue was showing, a close up in pic two, and even better in pic three.  Star of the show for me.





He was a huge gorgeous chap!  The breeder Joanne very kindly told me he is a coloured Ryeland, a five year old tup that they use for their main breeding.

Joanne has said that the fleece is better for needle felting rather than wet felting, and here are some of her wonderful pieces.



Now we have a few more fibre providers!!






This next beauty had four horns, two on the top of the head and two curling around the face.




There was also some home grown, ethically produce angora rabbit fibre for spinning and felting, and here are the bunnies.




There seemed to be more beautiful garments and clothing on display this year, here are some pics.









Some beauties amongst those don’t you think?

I thought you may like to see this folklore spinning song I saw.


A few more goodies, yarns and some beautiful knitting bowls.




Fabulous fibres.





And of course the fleece crèche where you can buy your raw fleece and collect it at the end of the day.


This next lady is from the Eden Valley Guild of Spinners, Cumbria, demonstrating weaving.




So the time flew by as it always does when you are having fun, and before we knew it from arrival at 10.00, the clock had whizzed around to 5.30 without us noticing.  However in this time I had ample opportunity to adequately purchase feed for the hungry beast that is my Stash Monster, we all know how they are happier with regular tops ups………! The offerings this time include Shetland, Gotland, Jacob, Suffolk and Cheviot tops, lovely buttons, Merino, Jacob x and Teeswater locks, silk boucle, silk laps, hand painted paper, nepps, small piece of tweed, pot of fabric dye and a wooden stamp, little sample packs of sari silk yarn and carded sari silk, big block of olive oil soap and white scrim….I think that is everything…….Believe it or not that was the epitome of restraint !  Stash fed and I can continue being a happy crafter!

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my day at the show.  It was over too soon but it will return to delight again next year.

24 thoughts on “Woolfest 2018

    1. Thank you very much Lyn! A truly great show, and a few bags of treasures at the end, what’s not to like?!

  1. What a lovely day you must have had! Are you going to Fibre East too? 🙂 I’m betting if you are, you’ll also have lots of restrained shopping to do there 😀

    1. No I won’t be going to Fibre East Leonor, but it looks fab, I didn’t know of this show. I am happy with my Woolfest fix, having said that I am attending a smaller wool show at the beginning of next month, and that will be my next blog! I bet it seems as if I spend my time just swanning from fibre show to fibre show………ooh how blissful would that be??!……. 😉

    2. Yes Leonor, I must admit I do have a large box of embellishments that I am quite fond of, and a trip to Woolfest to expand it more makes me even fonder of it! 🙂

  2. Thanks for a great post Tracey. It would be so much fun for all of us to go to Woolfest but you certainly have given us enough photos to feel that we saw a bit of the show. That first Ryeland sheep looks a bit like a dog. Maybe just the way the ears are in the photo. But the needle felted sculptures made from that wool are gorgeous.

    Glad you got your stash fix 😉

    1. Thanks very much Ruth, glad you enjoyed it. Joanne has needle felted a fox too, I will try to get the pic and post on the forum. Regarding my stash top up, it is nice to go with purchases in mind, but also nice to pick up new things that may take you in a different direction.

  3. Lucky lady, what a wonderful tour for those of us who can’t get there. Certainly diverse selections of fiber, sheep and garments. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You are welcome Marilyn, I am glad you enjoyed reading about it all again!

  4. Great looking Show Tracy. Lots to choose from and lots to see. Our fiber shows never seem to have sheep shows too. I wish they did. Will you be felting with all of it or will you be spinning as well?

    1. Thanks Ann. The livestock section does seem to play as big a part as the fibre section. The talks in the main ring are always well attended. Nice to listen to people who are so passionate about their animals. Then you can go off and buy their fleece maybe. I will be felting with it all, I don’t spin.

  5. I am so jealous! Woolfest is my favourite show, I only wish it was a little closer, on second thoughts my stash monster would cost me a fortune if I went every year. It looks like they have outdone themselves on the demonstrations this year. Did some of your purchases come from the raw fleece corner? Another great feature of Woolfest that leaves a dent in my wallet 🙂

    1. You could go and only take cash as I did Teri! The raw fleece section is a massive draw, I think they are all snapped up pretty quickly. My Suffolk, Jacob, Shetland and Gotland were from Wingham Wool. I thought I would try something different.

  6. Thanks for the summary and lovely photos. I’m a bit jealous too. I’ve never been to Woolfest & would love to go. Its a bit too far to get to and from in a day so the cost of staying somewhere would eat in to the fibre fund. I think I shall to combine it with a holiday one year as it is a beautiful area of the country.
    Fortunately Wonderwool Wales is much closer and the local Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers hire a small coach every year to take willing victims/addicts to their regular stash expander.

    1. Thanks very much, glad you enjoyed it. We had a holiday in Wales this year and Wonderwool was the following week, bad planning or what?? I did not know about it. Yes do try and get to Woolfest whilst combining it with a hol in the Lakes. Keswick would be one great base for it. We could meet up and say hello because I will be there!!

  7. really enjoyed the blog and pictures of the different breeds of sheep. It would be great to have a list of the vendors and contact information .. thanks for sharing!!

    1. That is very kind of you Dianne, thank you, glad you enjoyed it! Here is the link, if you contact the ladies at the Woolclip (the organisers) they may be able to furnish you with any more info you require. https://www.woolfest.co.uk/

  8. Thanks for all the photos and info Tracey, I really must put the date in my diary for next year. I’ve never been yet but it looks like a great day (or two) out! Hope you have fun using up your purchases!

    1. You are welcome Karen! You would love it I am sure, I hope you get there one year.

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