Woolfest: Are you Ready?

It is this time of the year already, when we are getting excited because Woolfest is approaching. In fact, it is approaching so fast that Woolfest 2014 is happening… next week! Those of you who have been following the blog for a while might remember that we went last year: it was my first Woolfest, and Janice was returning after a few years. We had a nice time, met lovely people, and might have bought a few skeins of yarn, a few “bumps” of “pre-yarn” and other tools too (related blog entries can be found here).

So we are slowly getting ready to head (South-)West again. Like last year, we plan on taking a bus starting from Edinburgh, and doing the journey to and from Cockermouth (Cumbria, UK) on Saturday, allowing for a few hours at the wool and fibre festival. Before going back, however, we tried to play a little game of questions/answers, that we wanted to share with you…


Question: Have you used something that you bought last year? If so, what? If not… why?

J: errrrrhhh… well… Have you?

A: Well yes! (Janice whispers: “I hate you”). I have used the “non-fibre-ry” stuff! My swift! The kit to make a purse from Bag Clasps! And (some of) the needles I bought in Woolfest… (Janice adds: “It’s ok I don’t hate you that much after all”)

J: Ok, last year I promised myself I wouldn’t return until I had knitted something purchased on a previous visit. I will be casting on in the bus…

(Edit: since we had this chat, Aurelie has decided to take the bull sheep by the horns, and spun some of the fibre bought at Woolfest last year! Hee hee!)

Question: Any lesson learnt from last year? Any mistake to avoid?

A: It’s hard to be on yarn fumes. I need to remember to breathe…

J: I’ve learned from last year that it’s very healthy to buy wool and not knit it… Just because it is nice to look at it and stroke it. It’s not just yarn, it’s the memories hidden inside!


Alpacas at Woolfest

Alpacas at Woolfest last year. Remember how cute they were? Who can resist???

Question: Any “plan of attack” for this coming Woolfest? What will be different?

J: Let’s start at the opposite end of the hall.

A: Good plan! What difference will that make though? Still yarn fumes everywhere!

J: Yes, but they will be yarn fumes we didn’t smell last year!

A: And this year there will be 5 of us, right? So, perhaps we can “help” each other to resist the yarn fumes… Perhaps? … Ok, perhaps not. You all are evil.

Question: Have you considered making a “shopping list”? Printing and studying the list of exhibitors beforehand?

A: I have! I have 3 items on my list already. Blocking wires, HilltopCloud, and a skein of lace weight yarn in a specific colour (note to self: remember to take inspiration picture with me). You?

J: No, of course not. But now that you mention it… perhaps I should?

(Janice switches on computer and starts scrolling through the list of exhibitors, opening the links one after the other…)

(edit: check out the Woolfest website!)


Question: Was there anything you saw last year, which you didn’t buy, and which has been hunting you all year? So much so you plan on buying it this year?

Angora Rabbit at Woolfest

Note: this ball of fluff was not for sale anyway…
(Angora Rabbit at Woolfest 2013)

A: Yes! I missed one stall I really wanted to see last year. And spotted the sign just as I needed to rush out the door to go back on the bus. This year, no way I’ll miss is: I’ll be heading straight to HilltopCloud’s stall to drool over pretty fibre… What about you?

J: Aurelie, I bought something from 5 stalls last year. This year there are almost 150 stalls to visit. Come on! …


Question: Anything else you’d like to add?

J: If it was possible, I think I’d quite like to go to the Rare Breeds talk!

A: And I’d like to see some sheep shearing if there is any. I’d love to have a look at the fleece sale, but I can’t commit to one really. That wouldn’t be reasonable…

J: I didn’t know reasonable was in your vocabulary…


Question: Do you have some advice for anyone who would attend Woolfest or a similar event?

J: Take lots of dosh.

A: … no credit card though (do as I say, not as I do). That could be dangerous! … and remember to breathe. And look at the programme and the map. All the fibrery goodness won’t just vanish the second you blink. Promise!

J: Seriously though, it can be a bit overwhelming the first time you attend a festival that big, though. And it’s probably quite easy to overdo it the first time (and perhaps the second too…). It can be a very very busy place!


The Adventures of Rambouillet and Bue-Face -- Back from Woolfest

This is what we ended up doing last year… What will this year bring?
(The Adventures of Rambouillet and Bue-Face — Back from Woolfest 2013)



PS: There are a few things we wanted to add about The Auld Woolly Alliance Ravelry group:

  • First, thank you so much to those of you who joined, and chat and participate. You are amazing!
  • Do not forget to post pictures of you/your knitting in public! This week was Knit in Public day week, and you have until midnight to enter our wee contest. Thank you to all who already played the game, and posted some lovely photos.
  • Finally, we would like to remind you that there is a KAL (knit-along) going in the group, based on the idea that we want to get ahead of Christmas/gift-knitting, make an early start and fill the gift box! Congratulations to those of you who have already completed a gift. The KAL runs until the end of July, so there is still plenty of time to participate! To learn more about it… check this thread in the group!
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