Yarn show season is truly upon us, but with so many different types of shows, fairs and yarn festivals in the UK it can sometimes be a bit tricky to decide which ones to attend ….unless you go to them all of course! And it’s not just how much you’re going to spend on yarn that might sway your decision on which to attend, a woolly weekend can end up costing a fair bit when you start to include transport, accommodation and food. So we thought we’d give you a handy list of some of the smaller 2017 wool and fibre festivals, so that even if you can’t make it to one of the larger events you can always get your yarn fix at a gathering closer to home.
When: Saturday 3rd June 2017
Where: Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills
What to expect: Now in its fourth year, with over 20 stallholders and a demonstration area, there’s plenty to keep you busy. There are also workshops, performances and livestock, as well as the chance to watch ‘Yarn the Movie’ in a 1930’s style cinema!
When: Friday 23rd June & Saturday 24th June
Where: Michells Lakeland Livestock Centre, Cockermouth
What to expect: Woolfest certainly has an impressive lineup with plenty of big names. With well over 100 stallholders it’s not exactly a small event, but one that is guaranteed to appeal to anyone with a love for yarn. But it’s not just shopping on offer, there’s plenty of exhibitions, demonstrations, talks and events, music…and even a fleece sale for you sheep farmers out there!
When: Saturday 8th July & Sunday 9th July
Where: Thirsk Rural Business Centre, North Yorkshire
What to expect: The British Wool Show aims to support the Campaign for Wool, so expect plenty of lovely natural handmade fibre goodies. There’s also talk of ‘The Sheep Show Man’, with rumours of dancing sheep – well that’s got our interest!
When: Saturday 15th July & Sunday 16th July
Where: Stirchley Baths, Birmingham
What to expect: Yarningham is a fibre festival set up by knitting group ‘stitches and hos’ and is now in its second year. Although it is certainly one of the smaller events in terms of stallholder numbers, it does focus on quality with plenty of hand dyed yarn suppliers/producers. There are also a couple of workshops on offer – the stitch hacking one sounds particularly interesting.
When: Saturday 13th May & Sunday 14th May
Where: Lower Drayton Farm, Stafford
What to expect: If you’ve been to any of the major yarn festivals, you’ll quickly recognise Ingrid Wagner and her massive yarn and needles. She’s teamed up with Val James to create a yarn show that is packed with woolly goodness. It’s got a host of stallholders, workshops, talks, street food and music – oh and camping is even available so you don’t miss a moment of what promises to be a fibre-filled weekend!
When: Saturday 29th July & Sunday 30th July
Where: Redbourne School & Community College, Ampthill, Bedfordshire
What to expect: Again we’re being a bit cheeky as this isn’t really a small festival. This year’s exhibitor lineup is still to be announced but with plenty of big names at previous years we think this is one not to be missed.
When: Saturday 4th November & Sunday 5th November
Where: Civic Hall & The Grove School, Totnes, Devon
What to expect: The second year of Stitchfest sees an extra venue being added along with the Civic Hall, fulfilling their promise that this year’s show will be bigger and better than last year’s. Exhibitors are still to be confirmed, but with last year seeing workshops from the likes of Erika Knight we’re sure this will be another quality event.
When: Saturday 5th August
Where: Whitehead, Northern Ireland
What to expect: Not forgetting about our fibre lovers over the Irish sea, Yarnfolk is a new yarn festival that’s been added to the list. It’s got just under 20 stallholders listed at present, so definitely on the smaller side, but we look forward to seeing what this new yarn event has to offer.
And if that’s not enough to satisfy your woolly cravings, here’s a few more to mention…
When: Saturday 23rd September & Sunday 24th September
Where: Skipton, Yorkshire
When: Saturday 23rd September – Sunday 1st October
Where: Lerwick and Hoswick, Shetland
When: Saturday 30th September & Sunday 1st October
Where: Masham, North Yorkshire
When: Friday13th October – Sunday 15th October
Where: Inverness, Scotland
When: Saturday 14th October & Sunday 15th October
Where: Bakewell Agricultural Centre, Bakewell, Derbyshire
When: Saturday 28th October & Sunday 29th October
Where: Kendal Leisure Centre, Kendal, Cumbria
When: Saturday 11th November
Where: The Priory School, Hitchin, Hertfordshire
When: Saturday 11th November & Sunday 12th November
Where: Nottingham Conference Centre, Nottingham