Monday, 11 April 2011


On Saturday I went to Llanelwedd for the annual Wonderwool. It's a great showcase for wool of all descriptions whether on the hoof or finished articles made with amazing skill. There was so much yarn on display that I had to go all the way round before concentrating on the stalls that really took my eye.

It's also a place to catch up socially. It was great to meet one of my old friends who was busy buying from Snowdon Angoras. Being a spinner she has been nagging the same organic farmer as I have to keep some specialty sheep especially for the fleeces. Most of his flock are Welsh Mountain, ubiquitous but not good for spinning. We both agreed that we might be better off with rabbits!

The one good thing about this show is that you can get up close to the star turns.

The Manx posed beautifully on the Manx Loaghtan Sheep Breeders' stall but the Wensleydale from  West Yoe Farm was having none of it. This is the best I could do.

Around the corner the Shetlands were posing for everyone.

From my previous blogs you might have gathered that I'm not the best at calculating how much yarn I need. Determined not be be caught again making that mistake I went back around to look for some hand dyed organics. True to form every colour I really liked was in limited quantities.

A chance conversation took me to a demonstration of dyeing given by Helen Deighan. Having talked to Helen and bought her book, Dye One Knit One,  I think this might be the way forward. Of course it also helps that Helen's friend and colleague Linda De Ruiter also stocks a range of organic wool at Tall Yarns just screaming out to be dyed. I will have a go - one day.

Uppingham Yarns also did a good range of organics. If I had sat down during the show and read Helen's book I would probably have bought some but they gave me a flyer and said to phone when I know what I want.

Stalls that took my eye, well apart from the sheep. I was really taken with Excelana It's a collaboration between knitwear designer Susan Crawford and John Arbon of Fibre Harvest here. They've produced a range of 100% British wools in vintage inspired shades to complement Susan's designs

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