That Woolfest time of year, with a bit of Bike rally on the side

Yes, the weekend before last was Woolfest and what a good one it was too.

The Friday was a bit frantic for me as it involved a trip to Manchester airport and back in time to pick up the Blackpool/Lancaster minibus, and thus the potential of being held up, missing the minibus pick up and having to drive up to Cockermouth too. However, in the grand tradition of having run about the night before, roped in friends, and ensuring all eventualities were covered it all went pretty smoothly and with a bit of uphill running involved to meet friends to go out to the pick up point, I made it in time and could knit on the minibus all the way up and all the way back too.

Given the location of Woolfest in a livestock market open to the elements on one side, and the fact that the route there takes you through some spectacularly beautiful landscape, I’m pleased to report that the weather was perfect. Not unbearably hot and mercifully not pouring with rain.

At this stage I would usually break into my list of purchases, not this year I’m afraid. I was actually pretty disciplined and not really needing vast amounts of yarn, actually didn’t buy much. A single skein of Portland wool and some undyed corriedale was all I bought. Oh and I almost forgot, I did go up on Saturday too, so not bad for 2 days immersion. I did buy some Portland fleece and I will be back to share that as I process it, which is a bit magical.

But one of the best bits of Woolfest is that being held in livestock market, there’s space reserved for animals:


Although, the light isn’t great and not wanting to use the flash on my small camera around the sheep meant there were a few blurry outtakes, like these very active eaters:


I helped out on the Susan Crawford stand, which, take my word for it because I didn’t get any pictures, looked great. Debuting this weekend was my new shawl, knitted in some beautiful limited edition Fenella colours hand dyed by Jess at Ginger Twist Studio. For those who bought the yarn and pattern kits, the pattern will be with you this week. Then we’ll be launching it electronically in all the usual places. We’re going for  a re-shoot of the pattern pictures so the full launch will happen once we’ve been able to do that.

Another fabulous looking stand that I did get a picture of was the Knitsonik stand. Felix’s swatches are so strikingly beautiful and the stand layout reflects her design process, very inspiring indeed:


As always it was great to meet so many knitters so many of whom were wonderfully clad in gorgeous hand knits, and to share the enthusiasm of visitors, vendors and exhibitors for all things fibre related.

Bike Rally fundraising update

For anyone new to this, you can find out more here.

I’m a bit behind on the updates but things have been progressing, if a little slower than I’d hoped. I’m waiting for permissions for what I had hoped would be one rather large element of the fundraising, so fingers crossed it can be resolved soon.

In the meantime, Week 5’s donation was rather serendipitous. 2 years ago when we were preparing to move house I listed some things on the Amazon Marketplace. A number sold and some didn’t and in the intervening period I’d completely forgotten about them. Then out of the blue came a sales notification. A couple of government reports had sold. These had come to me when a previous employer was also moving to new premises and they were to be thrown away. Now, anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I’m something of a hoarder. I agonise over every square inch of landfill we use to a degree that sends my partner into paroxysms of incredulity. As such dumping these reports in a skip seemed such a waste, so I brought them home, and kept them. Then we decided to move and the scale of my hoarding was brought home to me, hence the listing. Anyway, having completely forgotten them and given that they came to me for nothing, from a health provider, it seemed appropriate that the funds be donated. So the £29.32 after fees etc. was converted to $57.41 CAD has been donated to PWA on behalf of Pato.

The last couple of weeks was a bit of a holding manoeuvre I had a bit more of a sort through of my stash and listed more on Ravelry, raising £25.50 and £22.50. This has been converted and donated on behalf of Jen and Ken respectively.

So here’s the running totals:

Week 1 (w/c 11/5):    $25.00      £13.72

Week 2 (w/c 18/5):    $47.79     £27.00

Week 3 (w/c 25/5):   $67.59     £36.51

Week 4 (w/c 1/6):      $70.34     £38.00

Week 5 (w/c 8/6):     $57.41      £29.32

Week 6 (w/c 15/6):    $49.93     £25.50

Week 7 (w/c 22/6):    $43.21     £22.50

Total:                         $361.27     £192.55

All four members of Team Knit have met their fundraising targets, raising an amazing $67,000 CAD. However, the more they continue to raise, the more services PWA will be able to provide for those who need them. So I’m sure they will be pushing past their targets as the training gets even more intense up to the rally itself.

Thanks to everyone who’s been involved so far:

Anna, DebbieSusanGavin, Dorothy, Roy, Charlie, Dennis, Paolo, MirandaShirley, Lisa, Liz, Chris, Dale & Nic

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