How is already a week since I went to Fibre East with my mum and lil sis Katie?
This annual two day event celebrates every aspect of British fibre and craft, literally from the sheep to the finished jumper! it’s not just about spinning and hand knitting wool, although both those crafts are strongly represented. It also covers crochet (yay!), felting, weaving, rug making, machine knitting, button making, and… I can’t actually think of any more, but I’m pretty sure I’ve missed quite a few!
The event took place at Redborne Community College in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, and one of the benefits of holding an event in a school instead of a big venue like Alexandra Palace in London (I still shudder when I think of the crowds at the Knitting and Stitching Show last year) is that there is more room to spread out all the stalls across lots of different halls and tents, as well as plenty of outdoor space to sit and enjoy the sunshine with a picnic when you get hungry!
The yarn bombing of the venue was nothing on the scale of last year’s Yarndale – not that I ever saw it in person 😦 – but there was still some cute bunting around the venue and on the individual stalls.
And there was some impressive yarn bombing.
One thing that you are unlikely to get at a wool show in the middle of a city is the Sheer Sheep Experience.
You get to see a sheep being sheered, as well as hearing a fascinating talk about the qualities of the wool of different native breeds. You can even buy the fleece of the sheep you just saw being sheered, which of course my sister did! She still hasn’t spun the fleece she bought at last year’s show, but when she realised that the ewe we saw being shorn was named Jennifer (our older sister’s name) she couldn’t resist! The only trouble is that our sister Jenny may feel as if that wool has her name on it!
The sheep weren’t the only woolly critters at the show, there were plenty of handmade ones too!
Here are some of my favourites!
Of course there were loads and loads of AMAZING stalls selling, well, EVERYTHING!
If you’ve ever wondered how any fibre crafts are done, chances are there was a demonstration going on, or there was someone only too happy to show you. There was a tent where you could have a go at a lot of the crafts, and I tried a bit of rag rug making.
Hmm, that picture isn’t very inspiring, is it? Maybe I should show you the picture of all of the gorgeous finished rugs on display!
Tucked away in a hall with the winning entries of the spinning and knitting competitions were these amazing panels that were originally supposed to be displayed at the Chelsea Flower show. It was tough to get decent pictures because they panels weren’t displayed very well, which was a real shame because they were stunning and so full of detail!
Fortunately there is an online gallery with photos of all the panels on knitrunforsanity’s blog.
It would have been an impossible task to pick just one handmade item that was my overall favourite, but out of all the ones I managed to take pictures of, it would have to be the Kissing Circles Blanket, designed by Amanda Perkins for the Natural Dye Studio.
Needless to say I bought a lot of yarn, but I’m not going to post any incriminating evidence!
Well, maybe just a little….
This is Mum and Katie heading back to the car with just some of the goodies we bought that day. note the bags full of raw fleece and the shopping trolley stuffed full to bursting point!