12th Annual Wonderwool Wales Huge Success
- Let’s Knit
Fibre fans from all over the UK, Europe, the United States, Canada and even Australia flocked to the small market town of Builth Wells for the 12th Annual Wonderwool Wales on the 22nd-23rd April.
This year the event was the biggest ever, with 220 stalls all selling quality products to more than 5,000 visitors. 2017 also was the first year the event expanded so that guests were able to learn the unique crafts of Mapuche spinning and weaving from two experienced weavers from Chile who demonstrated their skills on añañuca’s stand through both days of the show.
Other opportunities at the event included learning about the Japanese art of Saori weaving and visitors were able to purchase beautiful Qaria Cashmere fibres and yarns from Afghanistan, artisan products from Ukraine, tribal textiles from China, clothing made with textiles from Africa and Asia and recycled yarns from India and Nepal.
Needle felter, Lydia Needle from, www.blackdogandgingercat.co.uk was exhibiting a collection of near life-size woollen bees, the start of a big project to create tiny representations of the 50 species of bee left in the UK for which she has invited 50 artists to create companion pieces. It wasn’t just felted animals present at the event though, live animals bred for their quality fleece also featured, including a Crafty Goat Club with Angora goats.
The quirky fashion show – the Sheepwalk occured once more too. This year, the Sheepwalk enabled exhibitors to show off their creations whilst commemorating the Great War which included re-enactors wearing authentic clothing from 100 years previous and a sing-a-long led by Wool Zone’s John Macrae.
Guests were also treated to fascinating exhibitions including the Llandysul Map, a 10ft x 6ft knitted map produced by a small group of knitters from Llandysul who encouraged other crafters to get on board and knit their towns. The Centenary Textiles Exhibition also explored the role of handmade textiles in the first World War and included Centenary stitches which showed how a modern day international army of knitters was created almost by accident to help to costume the WW1 film, ‘Tell Them of Us’.
The sense of community that Wonderwool Wales has always resonated was even more apparent this year with one of the bigger rooms being decorated by metres of yarn graffiti created by more than 140 knitters, crochet and craft enthusiasts. Many of the visitors also contributed to the ‘Curtain of Poppies’ creative project marking the centenary of the end of the Great War. If you would like to contribute a knitted or crocheted poppy to the project you can find out how here.
If this event sounds like something you would enjoy, the 13th annual Wonderwool Wales festival already has a date set – April 28th and 29th 2018, put it on your diary!
Do you feel inspired by Wonderwool Wales? The next big event is Yarn Shop Day – find out why this Saturday is so important on our blog.
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