Monday, 7 July 2014

Weekend Away at WoolFest 2014

Hello everyone and welcome to a new week

Just blogging today about my trip to the Lake District and Woolfest 2014 at Cockermouth last weekend.
Word of warning though, the post is very picture heavy.  

Last year me and a friend went for one day only and then travelled back home, but we had such a good time that this year we decided to go for the whole weekend and take in a few sights too of the Lakes.

We kicked the day off with breakfast at 9am at Tebay Services.  And unlike last year it wasn't raining.  The ducks and birds were frolicking around in the water.

Woolfest doors opened at 10.00am but we arrived there slightly after this so we didn't have to wait in the queue outside.  The clouds looked very bad in this picture but the weather was quite warm

Once in there we had a good look round and admired a bit of the livestock around including the lovely Angora rabbits.

and the Cashmere Goats

and of course the Alpacas

and the award winning Jacob sheep

and these lovely little fellas (whose breed has escaped me)

but I do know that the chaps below on the top left are the Lake District sheep called Herdwicks
Once we'd had a look around the stalls and ooh'd and ahh'd at many many lovely things we went off to watch and listen to the sheep talk in the main ring and then we went back to the stalls.

I've wanted to have a go at Tunisian Crochet for a while now and so bought a book about the different type of stitches and plan on working my way through the book from the start to finish and making a few projects on the way.

Last year I bought a drop spindle and couldn't really get to grips with the spinning mularkey but didn't want to give up so when I saw these lovely resin spindles by Spin City I couldn't resist.  Glitter and butterflies - what's not to like.  After a quick run through from Louise of Spin City I got to grips with spinning and bought some fibres to have a go.  I will be blogging about my escapades with the drop spindle throughout the year.

We moved onto another stall then called Laal Bear and I bought a kit to knit some lovely fingerless gloves which incorporate beads and will be getting to grips with them when I have finished a couple of other projects which are on my needles and hooks.  Gorgeous hand dyed yarn and lovely blue beads, together with a set of DPNs and lovely knit stitch markers and a teeny tiny hook to use for putting the beads onto the yarn made this a great buy.

I bought some lovely hooks and a pair of needles all Knit Pro.  The pink crochet hooks fit the screw on cables I have with my needle set I already have and I haven't tried the Knit Pro hooks before so I thought I would give the 3.5mm one a whirl when I make some 4ply crocheted socks later in the year.  The needles are 2.75mm and are from the Knit Pro Karbonz range.  I've already given them a whirl and they are so light and fab and feel great to hold and the yarn glides on them with no problems at all.

This is the fibre I bought to spin on my drop spindle.  It is lovely and soft merino and the colours are so vibrant too.  Will keep you posted on my spinning exploits.

Last year I had my first go at dyeing some yarn using Kool Aid and so I went back to the same stall (DT Crafts) to purchase some more, this time with little silver sparkles in.  I also bought a blank sock canvas that I'm looking forward to having a go at dyeing, again using Kool Aid.  The blank canvas has been knitted already and once dyed should produce two identical 50gm balls of yarn that I'm going to crochet into a pair of socks.  The Kool Aids are in purple, red and blue colours so I'm hoping they will be bright.  I do know that they sell the Kool Aid range at Tesco and have some already in my stash to add to that I bought at Woolfest.

When I was browsing another stall I came across this lovely 4ply Araucania yarn called Ranco in shades of blue and green. (made in Chile) 
I'm not sure what I'm going to make with it yet but it's so soft that it will be a delight to either crochet or knit with.

My favourite stall had to be the Susan Crawford Vintage one, especially after seeing her lovely garment samples last year.  I had the A Stitch In Time Volume 2 bought for me last year for my birthday and had earmarked a project of a vintage 1930's short sleeved jumper and so bought the yarn to make it in the shade 'Powdered Egg.'

and it came in a lovely bag too.
I've now ordered the A Stitch In Time volume 1 and so when this has been delivered I will be choosing my next knitting project.  I've already made a start on making a garment from volume 2 and will be blogging about it very soon.  The pattern is really easy to follow and the yarn an absolute dream to knit with.

While browsing the many many stalls I came across these two items on display.

On the Friday night we made our way back from Cockermouth down the motorway to Whitbarrow and we stayed at Seasons, a lovely little hotel/timeshare place.  We booked  deluxe suite which was part of the hotel accommodation situated amongst cottages and houses.  It had a swimming pool, gym and a restaurant and bar but as the room we booked had a tv, wifi and a lovely place to chill out we just made a cuppa and settled down in front of the tv as we had eaten en route at a lovely little pub and we had walked our legs off all day looking at the array of stalls.

Day two came and the sun was shining still and we made our way up to Carlisle and had a cuppa at Linton's and then went back to Cockermouth for Woolfest.  We browsed and chatted with likeminded folk again and then made our way to Keswick where we had a browse in the shops and a bag of chips and a look round the market and then got back in the car and headed back off to Tebay services where we had a much needed cuppa and a look at the birds and ducks again and then headed off home to Lancashire.

We had such a fab time and are already looking forward to going again next year.  

Thanks for reading the blog and looking at the array of photos.

Take care
Tanya x 

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