Friday, 20 July 2012

Wool Festival

England has been having some amazing weather, actually we are still waiting for spring to arrive:)  This past weekend we were to participate in the Festival of History at Kelmarsh manor, but due to torrential down pours the river overtook the bank and the whole festival was a complete washout.  So I found myself in a unique position of having nothing to do this past weekend.  Luckily a facebook friend informed me of a Wool Festival happening in the next county and it was going to happen rain or shine.  So the kids and I hopped in the car and went to see what happens at a Wool Festival.

While today it was sunny, the ground was still drenched from yesterday's rain and the field was a muddy mess.  But this being England you just put on your Wellies and solider on:)

Lots of demonstrations to be seen and wool in every color imaginable displayed.  Lots of wool crafts, some I hadn't heard of before.

Children tried their hand at felting

Making pencil wool covers with felt...Felting crafts are popular in the UK and this is the first time we tried it.

Princess trying her hand at spinning

Rag rugs...I haven't seen this before but Princess loved working on it.  I had to pull her away from it.  Looks like it would be easy to replicate so we are going to find the material and see if we can do this at home:)

Just one of the many completed rag rugs done by a local artisan.

There was a booth were people could help put together handmade woolen pillow that are going to be given to any athletic who asks for one
My two helped to stuff a couple of pillows for the cause

Then tags were added with special messages from the public to the athlete

The completed pillows

A poster of some of the athletes who have already received their pillows

I thought this pillow was so cute, made by residents of a local nursing home

Of course you can't go to a wool festival without seeing sheep:)

Watched a sheep shearing demonstration using modern tools

I was amazed how docile the sheep were during this process

what the sheep's wool looks like once removed from the sheep

Demonstration of the old shears used

We had a great outing!  If you would like a better view of the sheep shearing, take a look at this video it is amazing!


  1. This is something I have wanted to do for a few years. My mother goes to a wool festival every year in Michigan and loves it. She takes classes over the entire week to learn more knitting techniques and other fiber related crafts. She has passed on her sewing, knitting, crafting hobby to me and my children. Does the festival travel? Is it a yearly thing? Maybe when Jemma is better we will have to plan a trip to England around this festival (at least the girls in my family).

    1. Hope you can come over and go to a festival there are many around, this is my first because I don't do many wool crafts:)

  2. Are wellies just rain boots or are they some special type of rain boot? Why do they give pillows to athletes? Is this some sort of British custom? It seems like a strange custom, like wouldn't some good wool socks make more sense???? If you learn how to make those rag rugs, I'd love to hear how you do it. I've never even heard of such a thing, but they look beautiful! I have recently fallen in love with wool felting. My problem is that my cats love my wool felting and attack it all. Then they end up eating the fibers and throwing them up all over the place (you gotta love pets.... or do you?). Anyway, I was going to give it up and today I was cleaning out my wool stock and decided that I just couldn't do it. I have so many types of wools. I've been experimenting to see which type I like best. Who knew there were so many types of sheep! I also try to get my wool from small farmers, who I know shear their sheep in a humane fashion (my vegan daughter says that New Zealand is infamous for it's inhumane methods of shearing, like they cut some of the sheep's skin or something - but I could not find anything online to substantiate this claim, so don't go boycotting New Zealand on my account). Still, I like the idea of someone treating their sheep more like a pet than a commodity. I use a lot of wool in it's natural form, but when I buy colored wool, I get organically dyed wool. Despite pricking myself a bazillion times, there is just something about needle felting that I find so soothing.

    1. I think wellies are the same as what we would called rain boots. I personally don't like them but they are great for kids who love to stomp in the mud and rain puddles:)

  3. If you figure out that rag rug....please share. This looks like a fun trip!!!

  4. My husband and I plan to visit the UK this fall, so this really gets me excited for that trip! What a great "adventure" to be able to live there with your family and learn from the locals. I really love the pictures and explanations. Thanks for a great and informative post!

  5. You will love visiting here so much history and things to do.

  6. wow, you do so many cool trips!