One of the reasons I love craft so much, is because I love pretty things. Knitting, sewing and making in general means I can make pretty things. The process is enjoyable, it's highly addictive and at the end ... you get a pretty thing! If you're looking to get into craft, craft fairs are a great place to start. Craft fairs are shopping heaven for crafty folk, and this weekend my crafty pals and I headed to Fibre East - a festival of British natural fibre and craft, in Ampthill, Bedfordshire.
I bought this beautiful yarn bowl from Wendy Fowler - the only thing better than a gorgeous ornament, is a gorgeous ornament with purpose! - that's how I justify many of my purchases to hubby: ) SO, at Fibre East we stroked sheep, bought beautiful yarn and learnt a lot about how yarn is made. If you love craft, go there next year. If you're not into craft but have thought about it - go there next year. It's full to the brim with craft stalls and demonstrations, so by the time you leave you'll be itching to get started. Here is a little taster of the delights I found there.
The lovely Persuasion Cardigan by Jennie Atkinson ... I'm about to start making this myself so I'll let you know how I get on. I love Jennie's work. Her patterns are inspired by
old fashioned vintage designs and they're ALL so beautiful!
Yidan, my crafty pal stroking sheep before they get a hair cut .... (the sheep not Yidan)
This is Rachel from Coopknits - she's a bit of a celeb amongst my crafty sock-knitting obsessed craft buddies. She's big on sock designs but also had some lovely hat pattern. I've got my eye on her book Toasty.
Freyalyn's fibres - This is Freyalyn and her husband Mark - a lovely couple. Freyalyn sells beautifully hand dyed fibre for spinning and felting.
Peekaboo! The lovely Wendy Fowler, and her lovely yarn bowls!
The lovely felting work of Thelma Russell - not only does she sell beautiful things, she also runs courses.
These cute bear kits are from Parvabrook and the yarn is made from their own sheep!
I bought the yarn above from Five moons ... it's hand painted and called Magical chocolate ooak. Isn't it a lovely autumnal colour? I think it's crying out to be scarf or cowl ... secured by one these buttons, which are little works of art from 'Button Mad.' If you can suggest a lovely pattern for it I'd love to hear your suggestions ...
Sue Stratford and her lovely knitted animals - aren't they cute :-) Handmade knitted toys are ideal for kids - much nicer and more thoughtful than cheap mass produced toys. She sells kits, yarns, books and patterns.
Watching the ladies spinning and weaving. My friend Yidan almost bought on of these (spinning wheel, not one of the ladies) but she resisted, but it's only a matter of time!
Time for a picnic and a rest before we continue ... and a good look at what we'd all bought ...
Above is Jack Button - an extremely talented 21 year old designer who makes these gorgeous porcelain buttons. I love how he designed his stall.
Should I or shouldn't I??? of course I should, and I did!
Spin city make yarn and these beautiful spindles! they are made from acrylic and many had pressed flowers in - they were so pretty, and are also made to order with whatever you want inside.
Beautiful work by 'The natural dye studio' ... they sell lovely handmade yarn, patterns, kits and accessories, and had some wonderful crochet exhibited.
I LOVED Jenny Barnetts work. I was just transfixed by it, such beautifully made little creatures. She runs needle felting workshops and I fully intend to do one. She also does pet portraits!! I'd love a Ralphy and one of her rabbits (*cough cough birthday in August, cough cough*) ... ?
Lastly here is some beautiful hand dyed yarn (called Waterlillies) I bought from Ling and her husband (who could charm a prison guard into buying yarn!) Ling is a one woman dyeing machine of Whimzy, and works alongside Alice, the designer from the popular book Socktopus. (If, like my crafty pals you're also addicted to knitting socks - you need this book.)
So there you go. Fibre east. See you next year??
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