Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting

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Wonderwool Wales 2015: A review


Wonderwool Wales, an annual wool and crafts festival held in the picturesque mid Wales countryside, is somewhere I’ve never been before, despite (shamefully) only living just over an hour away from it.

The festival is now in its tenth year. I finally got a chance to visit it last month and I wasn’t disappointed by the stalls and demos that I saw. Although there were plenty of wool stalls, different types of yarns and even some actual sheep and alpaca, it wasn’t all about the wool. There were also spinning demonstrations, fabric stalls, clothing, buttons and accessories, a ‘sheepwalk’ catwalk and lots of atmosphere, spread across three halls of the Royal Welsh showground.

A cardigan for Cardigan, knitted in celebration of the Welsh town's 900th birthday

A cardigan for Cardigan, knitted in celebration of the Welsh town’s 900th birthday

Members of the town came together to knit the five metre wide cardigan

Members of the town came together to knit the five metre wide cardigan

There was also ‘A cardigan for Cardigan’, a giant knitted cardigan made for Cardigan in west Wales by people from the town and organised by community artist Lisa Hellier, as well as Alison Murray‘s gingerbread house, a life-size knitted house complete with interior, exterior and even a garden.

Alison Murray's giant knitted gingerbread house

Alison Murray’s giant knitted gingerbread house

There were plenty of yarn related names that I recognised too, including BaaRamEwe, Toft and Coop Knits and some that I didn’t, including Jenny Barnett‘s needlefelted sculptures and The Lost Sheep Company, who had two live spinning demonstrations outside their stall. I love discovering new crafters and there was definitely enough at Wonderwool Wales to keep all ages entertained.

The festival itself was started in 2006 to promote the Welsh wool market and covers everything from the start of the creative process to the end. For more information and news on future events, visit their website.

I really enjoyed myself at Wonderwool Wales and I’d very much like to go again next year. There really was something for every kind of crafter there, not just the knitters!








The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show


Last weekend I was lucky enough to visit The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia, London. Over 200 companies were exhibiting and selling their wares at the show and there was also a number of dressmaking workshops and other classes on. Sadly, I didn’t have a lot of time there and I had to be quite selective with the stalls I visited, but I managed to see quite a bit considering my late arrival. Obviously, one of the first stalls I visited was the By Hand London one, where they were selling all their patterns, including their new Flora dress pattern and I got to have a nice chat with Victoria.

The By Hand London girls were promoting their new Flora pattern at the show

The By Hand London girls were promoting their new Flora pattern at the show

I also visited the Toft Alpaca Shop, a DIY knitwear company with a lovely range of wools and jersey yarn. I first discovered the brand last year when I researched them for Prima and they’ve certainly become one of my firm favourites. Although I mainly focused on seeing my favourite brands, I did discover a few new names, including Katie Essam, a mixed media textile artist who works mainly in embroidery. I loved her stuff and, when I’ve got a bit of money, I’ll definitely invest in one of her pieces.

I did have a lot of fun at the show and I came away with many crafty ideas as well as some supplies. My favourite purchase was some green fabric which will hopefully be used for some trousers shortly.


The Toft Alpaca stall was selling a range of beautiful yarns

Katie Essam's work is a mix of embroidery and other mediums

Katie Essam’s work is a mix of embroidery and other mediums




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Crafting competitions


I’ve noticed lately that there’s been a few craft competitions advertised online. I’ve picked out three so you can have a chance to enter too. Having won the above trouser pattern recently, over on Simple Sew Patterns, I think I should spread the love. The pattern came in today’s post and I can’t wait to get started on it.

By Hand London are hosting a competition to win two of their lovely patterns. All you need to do is to tell them your dirtiest sewing secrets, whether that is using your fabric scissors to cut anything other than fabric, or accidentally sewing fabric to your own clothes (Not something I’ve done, surprisingly, though I did once sew an almost vertical hem – yep, I’m not sure how that happened either). The deadline for this one is tomorrow (Thursday 9th) at 5pm.

Wool and the gang is kindly offering a year’s supply of yarn. All you have to do is enter your email address.

And finally, if you’ve got issue 9 of Crafty magazine lying about, you’ve got until tomorrow to count the snowflakes in the mag to be in with a chance of winning a Janome sewing machine.

I wish you all success. Let me know how you get on!