It all started a few months ago on an unseasonably warm 14th February. I was opening my first Valentines card as husband and wife, and out fell two pieces of paper. My husband was giving me two tickets to Wonderwool Wales. A marvellous weekend in Wales together.
I know. Best Husband ever!
We booked a stay in the Brecon Beacons as everywhere nearby was full, and early Friday 21st April we headed over to Wales. It was quite a long journey but this was mostly because of heavy traffic on the roads. Don’t worry though as I made good use of the knitting time!
The next morning we woke early, filled up our energy stores with cooked breakfast, and got in the car for the hour long drive. We drove through the stunning Brecon Beacons towards the Royal Welsh Showground. Even I was a little surprised at how many people were there!
Now my initial plan was to see everything on offer before making a purchase, but this was scrapped pretty quickly. I didn’t even make it round the first hall. And there were three halls! Plus food.
Hall 3 and the first purchase
We started in Hall 3, and I quickly became overwhelmed with the how much there was to look at. Yarn obviously, but also patterns, projects, bunting, accessories, fibre, fleece, and everything else in between! Hall 3 also contained the exhibits of the show. Such as the knitted map of Llandysul, the Llareggub village model, the Centenary Stiches Exhibition, and the Interactive Poppy Making area.
Part of the way around we came across Ewe and Ply, and the gorgeous Shilasdair yarn. Although I knew right away I would be buying some, the choice of colours available was astounding. After what felt like an hour of pondering the colours, I chose three skeins of Hawthorn, a dark dusky pink.
Dyed by the Skye Yarn Company using natural dyes, this a DK weight yarn with 300 metres per 100g. Composed of 10% baby alpaca, 10% baby camel, 40% angora, and 40% merino lambswool this was definitely the most luxurious of the goodies I left with. And I left with 3 of them.
Hall 2 and the fleece
Yes we are working the halls backwards. We didn’t intend on this, it just happened. Immediately upon entering hall 2 we saw angora goats. Both adorably cute. Though surrounded by people admiring this cuteness!
My next purchase came from The Vegetarian Wool Company. I chose a dark brown organic Shetland fleece, which to my eye has some black in it. My particular fleece came from Rencae Mawr Farm, where their 70 sheep reside on the slopes of the Cothi valley in West Wales.
Whilst I am predominantly a knitter, I do enjoy spinning on a wheel too. And Shetland fibre is wonderful for spinning. There were many other fleeces available, but the depths of the dark brown had me entranced.
Continuing with the dark brown trend, I then spotted skeins of Welsh Black yarn in the British Naturals range from Woolyknit. A DK weight and 400 meters, I couldn’t resist two of these British yarns. Especially as it was on offer for two of them.
I also could not resist a delicate shawl pin from The Knitting Gift Shop. It was displayed on a shawl at the front of the stand, and was made to replicate a branch of leaves. Very pretty!
John Arbon Textiles
Whilst this was located in hall 2 as well, I feel it needs its own section. I do adore this company. If you didn’t know, it is where I buy all my fibre tops for dyeing from. I didn’t buy any fibre tops today, but I did have a feel for future considerations though!
I also browsed the Knit by Numbers wall. This is a wall of yarn with pretty much every colour you could imagine, in all shades and tones too. If I ever get so fussy that I will need a very particular colour, I have no doubt that this is where I will go.
But my main reason for visiting the stand today was to get my hands on the new Devonia yarn. This is a 4-ply weight yarn blended with purely Devon grown wool. If the is 50% Exmoor Blueface, 30% Blueface Leicester, and 20% Wensleydale. And whilst there aren’t as many colours as the Knit by Numbers section, I would be happy knitting with the colours available for the rest of my life. My favourite on this day was Ocean Rain, a heathered teal colour.
I was thoroughly pleased, as always, with the John Arbon stand.
Hall 1 and the last of the cash
And there was more! Goodies for fiber lovers everywhere. At this point, the one thing that was captivating my attention the most were the fibre felted pictures. There were a lot of landscapes and sheep, understandably, but the quality of them was divine!
This however is the hall that contained Midwinter Yarns. I had been knitting with their yarn the entire drive to Wales. I needed more. Not for that particular project, but for something for myself.
I was making a baby blanket for friends during the car journey to Wales. The yarn was a delight to work with. I had squished so many of their yarns whilst at Fibre-East two years earlier, and walked away with two skeins of the Ohut yarn. This is the now discontinued thinner version of the Vahva Pikkalanka.
This time round I chose the Red on Grey colour of each Ullcentrum. Just my kind of red. Strong, vibrant, and warming. Made with 100% Swedish wool, each skein comes with 200m of 3-ply yarn. I came away with 3 of them. It was all the remainder of my cash could afford.
I would have liked to purchase something from one last stand. Watercolours and Lace. The colours here are dreamy, and the completed projects on display are beautiful. But with a plethora of lace yarn already at home, and no cash, this will have to wait until another time. Who knows, maybe it will be another Wonderwool Wales.