After a gruelling few weeks, what could be better than a trip to a yarn show? I took myself off to Fibre East with a couple of friends for the day about a week or so ago, to soak up the atmosphere.
Fibre East was a new show to me, but it’s become a regular fixture in the calendar. It has a real focus on spinning and weaving, with some people from one of the local spinning guilds taking part in a ‘sheep to shawl’ challenge over the course of the weekend, scouring, carding, spinning and weaving freshly sheared fleece.
The Sheer Sheep Experience was there, exploring some of the UK’s native sheep breeds and the different characteristics of their coats. (Though spot the Antipodean interloper on the far right!)
There was a shearing demonstration, using both electric clippers and traditional hand shears. The lucky owner of the fleece, which had been auctioned earlier in the weekend, was also in the audience.
John Arbon had this beautiful antique on his stand. It’s gloriously steampunk in design.
And there were lots of ways to indulge in some retail therapy. I’ve noticed that the tougher the time I’ve had recently, the more outlandish my purchases are. At Fibre East I kept being drawn to 80s style neon colours, in bright highlighter pen shades. I mostly escaped unscathed, but there were a few I just couldn’t resist.
This pink, called Pink!, from WooSheeps, called to me from across the hall. Paired with a more subdued charcoal grey, it will make a fantastic colourwork shawl. And it comes in generous 150g skeins too.
I loved the neon spatter dye of For The Love Of Yarn‘s Speckled Lagoon, and picked up a couple of skeins in more muted shades. They have some fantastic dyeing, and some beautiful shades. I will definitely keep an eye out for them at future yarn shows.
As always, I had to pay a trip to see Lola at Third Vault Yarns. Lola joked that I probably have most of her colourways in one base or another, but I still picked up these two beauties. The top one (Bad Apples) will be perfect for a pair of socks I have in mind.
And I paid a trip to Sparkleduck as well. If you like purple (and who doesn’t?!) Sparkleduck is the place to go. These are all beautiful laceweights.
But these were probably the most unexpected purchases of my trip, and probably a measure of just how tired and run down I am.
I’ve never spun in my life. But I came home with a sparkly top-whorl drop spindle from Spin City, and two lots of fluff. I nearly succumbed to the one with candy-coloured unicorns, but went for the slightly subtler one with the iridescent heart-shaped confetti and glitter.
So, I guess I need to learn to spin. Does anyone have any good resources they can point me to?