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Vibrant fibre festival
6:02pm Thursday 26th April 2012 in News
Visitors to the wool and natural fibres extravaganza Wonderwool Wales on April 28 and 29 are promised a show that is full of colour, interest and creativity. The event, at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, Powys attracts wool and fibre enthusiasts from far and wide, eager to choose from the wide, vibrant and colourful selection of yarns, fibres, equipment, books and designer-made products from exhibitors covering all the fibre crafts such as knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving and felting.
Set up seven years ago to promote the market for Welsh wool, the festival is run by a small group of producers who formed Wonderwool Wales Ltd. and who have succeeded in growing the show and its reputation year on year. It is now Wales' premier annual festival of wool and natural fibres and, since 2011, an official supporter of The Campaign for Wool. Organiser Chrissie Menzies said: “The show is one massive splash of colour, with yarns and fibres just waiting to be snapped up and made into something even more beautiful. With more than 160 exhibitors, visitors will be spoilt for choice and will definitely feel that they need two days to get to see everything properly and take it all in. The whole event just oozes creativity and enthusiasm and I know nobody will come away without at least a few purchases and the urge to get going as soon as they get home, if not before.”
Woolschool workshops are regular and enthusiastically supported features of the event. There’s a choice of short workshops from 12 noon to 1pm each day and longer ones from 2pm to 4pm. Short course subjects include fibre choice, hand carding, drop-spindle spinning, understanding your spinning wheel and beaded knitting. On the longer courses participants can learn skills such as rag rug making, how to make chunky bracelets using the traditional rug-making technique of lockerhooking and creative crochet on big hooks. Award-winning textile designer Alison Daykin will also be attending to give a two-hour course on design for the drawing-challenged. Her tricks and tips will help participants design for spinning, weaving and other textile projects. The 2012 festival will also include a two-day workshop on shirbori and ripple nuno felting techniques led by Birmingham-based textile designer and maker Emma Jackson of Silversoles. The course will run on April 30 and May 1. The full Woolschool programme is on the website and advance booking is recommended.
-more- -2- There will be lots more opportunities to gets creative as Wonderwool Wales 2012 will also see the return of an interactive area where visitors can try their hand at a range of techniques under expert guidance, get advice on a particular subject, watch the demonstrations or just catch up with friends and knit and natter. The Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, who have had individual stands at previous shows, will be combined into one large area, where there will be displays, a spinning area, a weaving area and other demonstration areas. A firm festival favourite, the Sheepwalk, will also be back again. This woolly take on the catwalk will be showcasing garments and accessories made by exhibitors. There will also be a dedicated area for Woolsack, where cushions can be stuffed and visitors can learn more about the project which is part of the Cultural Olympia and which encourages people to make a cushion from British wool, to be given as a personal welcome gift from the people of Britain to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Jenni Stuart-Anderson's new book 'More Rag Rugs & Recycled Textile Projects' will be available on her stand, where she will be signing copies and Susan Crawford, knitwear designer and author, will be signing copies of her new book, A Stitch In Time Volume 2, on the John Arbon Textiles/Fibre Harvest stand at 2pm on Saturday.
On-site caterers will provide a variety of hot and cold food and drink throughout the weekend, there are disabled and camping facilities, plus free parking. Admission is £8.00, which includes a show directory, and under 16s are free. Weekend and coach party tickets can be purchased in advance via the website. For more information visit the website www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk.
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