Saturday, 4 July 2009

Back from the Woolfest and awash with colour

Posted by Helen
Just room for the dog-but she was not impressed
Nearly ready-the top box makes a huge difference to how much we can take
The Stall set up- under the front table was the space for the dog
My inks and new textile fabric paints.I sold most of the sets and some pots but not as many as I hoped
Merino tops in 23micron. I sold a lot of these which was very pleasing as the Woolfest was awash in fibres for felters and spinners. Everyone seemed to be selling multicoloured plaits often of blue faced leicester.
I sold lots of my pottery and slate buttons-intriguing as last year I sold very few-you can never tell sometimes which way it will go This time I heard someone screech in excitement to her friend "where did you get those fabulous buttons?"-then hightailing it to the stall to buy some. I sold books but not as many as I had hoped of my new book "Colours of the Rainbow"
Our sales were down on last year overall.The organisers said they were very pleased with the number of people coming but we felt it was quieter than last year but it could be that this is because there are more stalls and people are spread out a bit more. People attending had a fabulous time they told me with enjoyable workshops and talks.
I hate that customer moment: The twowomen who practically pulled a silk cap apart while one explained to the other what it was ( I think)then threw it down on the counter before walking off.
I love that customer moments: "your pictures are stunning" comment and the two delightful ladies who came and talked to me about natural dyes and brought a kit each.

DH, dog and I lovely few days after the Woolfest staying in a secluded static caravan, one of two beside a fishing lake, and going for gentle walks-we managed one of about five hours alongside Ennerdale where the happy dog swam as we walked.I spent one day spinning, having managed to fit my Lendrum into the top box, sitting on the big wooden veranda of the static caravan looking towards a lake and the hills in utter blissful quietness, disturbed only by the cows coming in for milking and then tearing up the grass in the field next to us.

We came back from the Woolfest to see the garden ablaze with colour. Dyers Chamomile Coreopsis Tinctoria, Yarrow, Gensita Tinctoria and magnificant weld as well as roses and Lilies. Grass a mile high and the pond full of toads and frogs . The sparrows have taken over our bay tree as a roosting space at night and argue furiously and noisily about who sits where


  1. Thanks for the Woolfest pictures, it's good to get glimpses of the event everyone has been so excited about.

    Your merino looks lovely, I don't understand the enthusiasm for tops dyed 3 colours, when you can buy 3 different colours and spin them together? I suppose it means someone else has chosen the colours for you, maybe people find it hard to chose for themselves.

    However, I've noticed on Ravelry that there are lots of traders offering these plaited 3 colour tops, and there's a fashion for them.

  2. I love your description about the women with the silk commen..

  3. Hi Dorothy It baffles me a bit too. I tried plaiting my fibres a few years ago but found it very time consuming and all the handling felts the fine merinos a bit. There smut have been a dozen stalls at Woolfest with them, including the natural dye company.
    Hi Yvette -the only way to cope mentally with these people is to laugh at them! Enys gave me a lovely coaster with a cartoon person on it. On the bottoms it says " always offer your sales expertise to the customer" the cartoon figure holds a banner up" Buy something or sod off"! Shh! don't tell any of my customers it makes me laugh.

  4. Your stall looks lovely, the colours are amazing. This is a great blog.

  5. Thank you Jasmine and thank you for joining as a follower. Colour is very healing.

  6. I love the dog-in-the-car-photo!
    It was interesting to read and see your experiences in the Woolfest, I have also found that it is very difficult to predict what people want to buy, sometimes it is this and sometimes something else. And we have just the same both kinds of people here in Finland:) Luckily only if I am very tired the first kind bothers me, then it is hard not to say something bad:) Sometimes I pretend to think they want to buy it and ask them to try it on or ask what size they want or something like that, and then most of the time they go away.
    Of course most of the people are very very nice, even if they just look:)

  7. Hi Leena I had some lovely people and some fabulous contacts since-strange the way the memory of bad customers linger in the mind-next time I shall try your method its nice to have a few strategies ready.