Posted by: Moggle | April 26, 2009

Wonderwool the knitty (and spinny) gritty

Mr M, Ellen and I left Oxfordshire at around 8.30 and headed for the town of Builth Wells in Wales. After a quick refuel (my companions were big fans of the scotch eggs) we got down to the serious business of trying wheels. We tried all the Majacrafts apart from the mille (2nd from the right in this picture).


I honestly didn’t plan on buying a wheel yesterday, but the Suzie was just perfect and it was the only one they had there and I had to have her. I was seriously impressed with the Pioneer too, but I was worried that as an entry level wheel (although an expensive entry level wheel!) I would find it too restrictive.

There were some cute Wensleydale sheep, and some Teeswater too.



People that love spinning wensleydale rave about it so I bought some in an oatmealy colour which I want to try overdyeing in the same way I do with Oatmeal BFL.

Mr M took this photo of a poster of sheep breeds. I need to zoom in and study it – there are so many sheep in the fields around here and I’d really like to be able to identify what breed they are.


There were some wonderful looking stands. Jon Arbon here had some delicious UK alpaca, and even a suri alpaca fleece (I ran away before I got too tempted). He also had some beautifully soft alpaca roving which I bought 100g of to test-dye. It seemed like a much better quality than the usual South American alpaca that most places sell.


The Natural Dye Studio had a gorgeous setup as usual. I love her colours – especially the blues, greens and pinks. I spun some of her fibre quite recently so didn’t feel the need to buy more.


Artist’s Palette’s stand was beautiful too. Another dyer whose colourways I love. I regret not buying anything from her (although I really don’t need more sock yarn). They were also selling the kit for the Berry Hill fingerless mitts designed by my friend Liz.


At one point it turned in to a mini Oxfordshire WDS meeting when we met up with Sharon (aka Yarnimals). I also bought some of her cute stitch markers. (Apologies to Mr Yarnimals for accidentally cutting him out of this picture)


My purchases – clockwise from top-left we have: Organic wensleydale batt, UK alpaca (high grade), Kid Mohair curls, Yarnimals, and procion dyes and fixer.


I already dyed some of the mohair curls today. I’m going to try blending them with superwash BFL to try to make a no-synthetic sock blend batt.

The only other fibre/wool festival I’ve ever been to was Ally Pally, and this was way better than that for me. No tat (beads, glitter, etc), a great range of fibre and fleece, lots of hand-dyed yarn, and the nicer commercial yarns (Manos, Malabrigo etc), and also the crowd was really nice and friendly. I ran in to loads of ravellers I had never met in real life before. I might just come back again next year.



  1. You have made me even more jealous that I didn’t get to Wonderwool this year, it sounds like it was fantastic. You bought some lovely things, that Suri Alpaca Fleece might just have gone into my bag! Have fun with your Suzi, a darling wheel…

  2. I definitely agree about Wonderwool being betterh than Ally Pally.

    I made more or less the exact same comment re tat and fleece on my blog.

    I nearly bought a drop spindle, but as I don’t really have time to knit (or sleep) at the mo, I resisted. There was so much in the way of lush fibre though, it was very tempting.


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