For the past couple of years Teri has organised an annual woolly event in our home town of Oswestry. Wonderful Wool Day started as a biannual do, in a deconsecrated chapel. We quickly outgrew that home, and to be frank it was a little chilly even with all that fluff about. The last two have been held in Oswestry’s Memorial Hall, which is much warmer, and can hold more in the way of stalls and workshops.
2016’s WWD was a corker, and it really feels like this could become something special for a lot more people, let’s face it for the core group of helpers and attendees it already is pretty special. We spent a bit more time looking for yarn artists and textile creatives to take a table at the hall, to show off what they’re making. As a lot of these kinds of shows are very large and quite expensive, it is a huge undertaking for the home-experimenter to produce enough stock to look good at such an event, let alone cover the costs of the stall, the display, travel, accommodation and food. We’re aiming to run a show that will enable first-timers to have a go without breaking the bank or inducing a nervous breakdown! The day coincides with a much wider weekend event in the town - Oswestry Makes! This is a festival of textile creativity, with an exhibition in our local library and displays, workshops and demonstrations throughout the whole town.
On Sunday morning we set up as usual, our friends helping out by running the kitchen, baking cakes to sell and taking money at the door (what we would do without KnitClub I don’t know!). This year was a bit special though as Teri and I set up our first WWD Ewe & Ply stand. Our beautiful Shropshire Ply went on show for its second outing, and we had more of Sam’s highly desirable drop spindles, as well as our felting kits and fleece tops selection packs. As ever the Orphan Lamb table filled quickly with de-stashed yarn for sale or swaps, so many temptations there.
We had some impressive guests, including Cauldron of Colour with beautiful hand-dyed yarns; Gemmipops Designs with her laser cut jewellery alongside crochet kits, hooks and buttons; Hilda Fix from Valley Arts and Crafts with hand-produced crocheted garments, and Linda Thomas and her gorgeous hand-spun, hand dyed yarns (we have some of these for sale in the shop, worth checking out in person as we can’t list them on the website).
We were busy all day, and there was a definite and happy hum of people deep in discussions. The tables set out for the tea-takers and cake-eaters were filled all day as people chose to stay and work on the WIPs whilst they sampled the home baking. Whirring spinning wheels gave an extra layer of contented noise. Our yarn sold well, and again received some lovely compliments, and best of all we have started to hear what people have been doing with it. No finished garments as yet, do let us know if you have one.
We packed up around 4pm, a little reluctantly- no one likes to leave a good party. We did well enough on the door to ensure we can do it again next year. So, if you’re a budding fibre creative, or a wood worker developing your own range of crochet hooks, or a dyer, weaver, spinner, whatever, and you fancy testing the retail waters, email us and add yourself to the list for next year’s Wonderful Wool Day, let’s make it even better!
Our next adventure will be StitchFest in Totnes on November 5th and 6th, in Totnes Civic Hall. Shropshire Ply will be there in all it's glory, do come along and let us know what you think of it.