This weekend saw the return of one of the UK’s most popular annual yarn festivals, Fibre-East. Discover our five favourite things, as chosen by magazine designer Jen Kessel!
Last weekend was my third year attending Fibre-East in Ampthill, Bedford, and I have to say that this year was the best yet! Inspired by everything I had seen, I decided to share what I thought were the best bits of 2014…
1. The furry friends!
The most enjoyable part of Fibre East for me is seeing the animals, and the sheep shearing is always top of the list! It’s such a wonderful treat for us to get so close to the creatures that provide us with our beautiful fibres and yarns.
2. Manfield Crafts sheep kits
These are some of the most adorable kits I’ve ever seen - so cute in fact that I added to my flock this year by purchasing another kit! The patterns are quick and easy to work up, leaving you with the most delightful ornaments ever. Or why not give a loved one a sheepy present? www.stores.ebay.co.uk/manfieldcrafts
3. The spinning materials
As a spinner, I’m always inspired by the vast range of roving, tops and batts available at fibre shows, and this year has been no exception! Top of my spinning pile are my newly acquired tops by Wheeldale Woolcrafts. They are hand painted in the most sumptuous colourways ever! www.wheeldalewoolcrafts.co.uk
4. The Mercerie hats
These hat designs really caught my eye! The Mercerie’s stall was full of colourful, quirky designs, especially this bowler hat with ears. The designs are available to buy as patterns, kits or ready-to-wear, which makes them accessible for all. www.themercerie.net
5. The delights of Drops
Most knitters will know Drops for its beautiful and extremely well-priced range of yarn. Well, imagine a stall with box upon box of stunning Drops yarns, in every weight, fibre and colour imaginable! The Nest stall really was a feast for the eyes, and if you didn’t make it to Fibre-East, their website is definitely worth a look. www.nestknitting.com
Thanks to the organisers and stall holders at Fibre East this year; it was great to be able to spend the weekend with like-minded people, and extremely encouraging to see a growing list of companies providing us fanatics with our supplies! For those looking to connect with other crafters, learn a new skill or simply have a great day out with your friends and family, Fibre-East is fab. This festival has gone from strength to strength in the few years I have been going, and I for one can’t wait until next year! Keep up to date at www.fibre-east.co.uk