The incredibly wet weather and localised flooding did not keep the thousands of visitors away from Woolfest in the Cumbrian Lakeland town of Cockermouth.
Extended this year due to exhibitor demand, the event was sensibly housed under the cover of Mitchell’s Livestock Centre and packed wall to wall with wool suppliers, manufacturers, spinners, dyers and associated crafts.
For the knitter, a huge range of luscious hand dyed yarns were available in sumptuous blends of fleece, silks and other fibres.
Felt makers and felt making suppliers provided a wealth of colours, tools and finished goods.
Bags of untreated, newly shorn fleece awaited the eager artisans who could dye, spin and blend their own yarns.
Armed with cones, balls and skeins of yarn, the next visit would be to the vendors selling patterns; Anything from a pair of socks to books of stunning designer creations by the likes of Jennie Atkinson.
We could even meet the animals, the source of these wondrous yarns. Many rare breeds of sheep were on display, including the
diminutive North Ronaldsay breed from Orkney to Angora rabbits, goats and Alpacas.
Lots of advice was on tap with demonstrations of spinning, felt making, dying and even the ancient craft of Luceting (making your own cord).
It was truly wonderful to see so many people interested in the various crafts and to speak to the exhibitors, some of whom travelled great distances to attend the event.
The dates for Woolfest 2013 will be Friday 28th and Saturday 29th June.
Booking information for exhibitors will be available from November 2012 and visitors from March 2013.
Woolfest deservedly won the Cumbria Tourism Event of the Year 2012 award and has proved to be another successful year for the organising team from the Cumbrian Woolclip Cooperative.