Yes, I've been on my travels again- this time to Wales. First stop was Wonderwool Wales. This show has been going for some years now but despite having family in Wales circumstances have always seemed to conspire against me attending.
This year, however my very well organised friend Laura made all the arrangements and all I had to do was hop in the car and we were off!
The weather was brisk and springlike and the venue was airy and spacious which meant it was really lovely to potter around. Plenty of space between stalls, lots of places to sit and drink coffee, chat enthusiastically to complete strangers and friends a like as well as to guiltily gloat over skeins of yarn that might have followed me home...
There were also plenty of 'when I have the space and the money' spinning wheels to sigh over.
Rows of woven surfboards to admire and wonder at.
Tempting displays of yarn.
One of my personal favourites, Jillybeans Yarn where when I asked to take a picture everybody scattered. I can assure you the stall wasn't often this empty!
Sometimes the array of colours was quite overwhelming.
Overall I was really impressed by Wonderwool Wales. There was a good mix of well known sellers and more local craftspeople. As I think about the sort of work that I want to do, I am increasingly drawn to wanting to design with yarns that are locally produced from interesting and different wools. I'm pleased to see that quite a few indie spinners and dyers feel the same way as there was plenty here that met these criteria so I am going to be busy for quite some time!
Having come all the way to Wales it seemed silly just to turn around and go home so we took an extra couple of days to do some exploring and meet up with my lovely sister!
We based ourselves in Lampeter in a frankly rather grim hotel only relieved by the hard work of it's long suffering young staff team. Lampeter is not a large town but well worth a visit for crafty types. There is a very well stocked quilting shop as well as the Welsh Quilting Museum. The highlight for me, however is a very newly opened yarn shop, The Red Apple, which has taken over the old Post Office. Even though it has only been open six weeks, the knowledgeable mother and daughter team have a really well chosen range of stock from the big box brands to local independent producers. I wish them every success because they deserve it.
We also visited the National Wool Museum near Newcastle Emlyn which is based in a former woollen mill whose equipment is still in working order and continues to produce the distinctive Welsh cloth.
They also have displays of equipment used before the advent of the mill.
And plenty of opportunity to try new skills. My sister, a very talented felter seems particularly pleased with her progress on the giant knitting needles.
Even the weather was kind to us.
I will definitely be coming back to Wonderwool Wales and am sure that many of the yarns that I brought home with me will be featured here very soon.