Eden Arts Canopy Project

Canopy is the new project from Eden Arts which will result in an exhibition in trees & woodland across the Eden district in Cumbria in spring/summer 2013.

THE WOOLLEN WOODS: As part of the project they hope to transform the woodland of National Trust property Acorn Bank with thousands of woollen artworks (in support of the Campaign for Wool).

Eden Arts Canopy Arts Project image

Acorn Bank woods will soon be alive with little woolly creatures

People are being encouraged to make and submit woodland themed woollen artworks for the exhibition and there has been some fabulous artworks submitted so far but they still need many more.

Eden Arts are appealing to artists, craftspeople, school and groups to contribute to the exhibition – anyone can join in!

The exhibition should get a lot of media and press coverage, which will in turn raise the awareness of the Campaign for Wool and the creators of the artworks.

Anyone who submits artwork by end March will be added to the exhibition ‘Roll of Honour’. A photo of the artwork(s) will be put on their Facebook pages, along with a link to your website if you have one.

They will still accept and display artworks after exhibition opens on 6th April.

The are lots of artwork ideas on Eden Arts Woollen Woods Pinterest page and FREE patterns and a submission form on the project website at www.canopyart.co.uk.

This project follows on from our 2011/12 ‘Join the FLOCK’ wool project – www.jointheflock.co.uk

Woolfest introduces Woolyculture

Woolfest introduces unique produce show “Woolyculture” for 2013

In its ninth year, Woolfest 2013 is shaping up to be as big as ever as well as offering visitors a chance to take part in a horticultural produce show with a woollen difference.

Woolfest - Woolyculture entries

Mary Bell and other members of the Wool Clip, launching this year’s Woollycultural Show with some creations of their own

“We’ve just completed the first stage of selecting the designers, craft businesses and suppliers who will be stallholders at Woolfest this year,” says Marion Woolcott, one of the organisers.

“Demand was strong with more applications than ever so it is a hard job to decide on who will be there. We’ll have at least 12 new businesses for 2013 as we always try to keep things fresh and varied for the people who visit every year.

Woolfest is an annual highlight for many who work with wool and it’s really encouraging for us as the organisers to see how much enthusiasm there is from across the UK and beyond.”

As well as all those stalls, Woolfest also incorporates live fleece animals, including several rare native breeds, a raw fleece sale, exhibitions, displays and craft demonstrations from across the country.

A unique woolly produce show Visitors to Woolfest have always enjoyed participating in a special craft project and 2013 should be no exception. “In recent years, we’ve participated in FLOCK, making 100s of pompom sheep, and we’ve created a bunting string that encircled Mitchell’s,” explains Mary Bell, a member of the Wool Clip and one of the Woolfest organisers.

“Before that, we used to hold a sheep auction where visitors made sheep out of wool using all sorts of textile crafts and the money raised went to charity.”

“We’ve been trying to think of something new for 2013 and came up with the idea of the Woollycultural Show, a traditional horticultural competition but with a difference – whether fruit or vegetable, flower or miniature garden, all entries must be made of wool. Visitors can knit, crochet, felt or weave their entries – there’s no restriction on craft, just the usual Woolfest emphasis on wool and natural fibres.”

Visitors are being invited to bring their entries in any of the four classes along to Woolfest, enter in the morning, participate in the official judging and presentation of (woollen) rosettes and then take their creations home at the end of the day.

“We know that there will be stunning pieces on show because there are so many gifted people out there who have contributed to Woolfest in the past,” says Mary. “And we’ve been able to recruit two top judges with Pam Jago, Chair of the Cumbria-Cumberland Federation of Women’s Institutes, and Annette Gibbons of Cumbria on a Plate judging a day each.”

Further details of the produce show, the four classes and entry details are on the Woolfest website.

Woolfest 2013 takes place on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 June from 10am at Mitchell’s Lakeland Livestock Centre in Cockermouth, Cumbria.  Entry is just £8 per day (including full programme) with free entry for accompanied children.

Directions and details can be found at www.woolfest.co.uk or on the event’s Facebook page or by calling The Wool Clip at Caldbeck on 016974 78707 during shop hours.

The Wool Clip is a Cumbria-based cooperative of sheep farmers, spinners, dyers, knitters, feltmakers, weavers and other wool workers with a thriving shop at The Priest’s Mill in Caldbeck. It was set up in 2001 to add value to local wool and to market members’ skills and products and members of The Wool Clip established Woolfest in June 2005.

Further information is available at www.woolclip.com or www.woolfest.co.uk.

Campaign For Wool – Wool House

The UK is set to see the biggest ever celebration of wool as The Campaign for Wool launches WOOL HOUSE from 13th until 24th March 2013

WOOL HOUSE will present a vision for wool as a modern, versatile, lifestyle fibre and will be hosted in the stunning West Wing of Somerset House in central London.

Campaign for Wool - Wool House flyer image

The world’s largest showcase of wool

It will feature a showcase of interiors, fashion and the world of artisan and craft making, along with a hi-tech educational suite. The Campaign for Wool has appointed Arabella McNie as the curator. She has over twenty years’ experience of working as a stylist and designer in the world of interiors.

Arabella McNie said, “I am determined to show wool as a modern fibre and visitors will see a broad spectrum from ultra-modern and hi-tech to highly luxurious and more traditional. There are some amazing fabrics and flooring and Wool House will showcase some stunning room sets which will really show the difference that wool can make and inspire greater use of the fibre”.

The event has invited leading interior designers to offer their vision and seven individual rooms will show how the design community uses the fibre extensively within their work. Exclusive room sets from Donna Wilson, Ashley Hicks, Josephine Ryan, Anne Kyrro Quinn, Mary Fox Linton of Fox Linton Associates and Kit Kemp will feature alongside a huge wool art installation commissioned by the Campaign from the acclaimed Dutch tapestry artist, Claudy Jongstra.

Other features include a unique 100 feet runner designed by Cristian Zuzunaga in association with Brintons that will represent international carpet manufacturers and a runner designed and made by Roger Oates. Additionally, rug weaver Jason Collingwood will take up a working residence as his studio is recreated in Wool House and he will weave on a table loom throughout the period showing the heritage of industry skills to the public.

The entrance of Wool House will be styled like a grand country house, with a carpet inspired by a classic marble floor tile pattern and created by Alternative Flooring Bespoke. Unique pieces will embellish the house including Shauna Richardson’s unusual ‘crochetdermy’ Bear that has previously been exhibited at the V&A which will take pride of place in the entrance of Wool House. While Andy Warhol influenced sheep head images will be displayed on the walls of the hall.

A series of wool-led designer talks, events and a programme of activities with interactive workshops will be held during the course of the event. A special educational and innovation room will feature tablets that cover everything from sheep to manufacturing and all types of products.

There will be three rooms dedicated to fashion, including a space showcasing fine woven fabrics and live tailoring while two others will celebrate the importance of wool in the fashion industry.

Bridgette Kelly, The Campaign for Wool’s project director said, “It is the most expansive venture the Campaign has seen to date as it looks at all the key uses of wool under one roof and shows the amazing versatility of the fibre and its potential to be both stunningly beautiful in use and yet incredibly practical too”.

“We want to make the most of this wonderful opportunity within the fabulous location that Somerset House offers and we will truly shine the spotlight on wool. There really will be a plenty to see and do at many different levels.”

The Campaign for Wool, whose Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales, is funded by the British Wool Marketing Board, the Woolmark Company, Wool Council of New Zealand and other wool organisations across the world including those in South Africa, South America, Norway and the USA.

Wool House, World-Wide-Wool will be open to the public from 13th to 24th March 2013 and entry is free.

For more information visit the Campaign for Wool website 

The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show

The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show runs from 14th to 17th March at Olympia Two and Olympia West Hall, London

This new show offers everything for the knitter and stitcher.

Projects for the home, knitting for babies, sewing, upcycling, patchwork… Find it all at The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show!

The focus of the show is on ‘Making’ and you’ll find inspiration everywhere, as well as experts on hand to get you started.

Over 150 companies will be selling specialist craft supplies, plus some hand-made crafts.

There will be workshops on various subjects so you can learn a new skill and a Dressmaking Factory where you can join the production line to create a simple garment.

If it’s interiors you’re after, the Home Sweet Home Making area provides all the inspiration and help you need to create some pretty and practical things for the home.

A gallery of traditional patchwork quilts will make a wonderful sight and the art of knitting and crochet will be celebrated with top authors doing daily book signings, numerous knitting boutiques and experts to teach you the basics and more complicated knitting and crochet techniques.

They are also running a Knitted Spring Flowers competition and would love your contribution. (See the competitions page for more details).

It’s a new show in a new hall at Olympia; all on one level with lots of light and space!

Open 10.00am to 5.30pm daily, closes 5pm Sunday.

Visit the Twisted Thread website for more information or to book your tickets

Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives.

They support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.

Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better.

Between 2011 and 2015, Arts Council England will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

To find out more visit the Arts Council England website

UK Hand Knitting Association

The UK Hand Knitting Association, (UKHKA) is the Knitty-pedia of all things hand knitting and crochet.

Formerly The British Hand Knitting Confederation, it formed in 1991 when the Hand Knitting Association (HKA) merged with the British HandUK Hand Knitting Association Logo Knitting Association (BHKA).

The BHKC’s main aim was to raise the profile of hand knitting. It did this through ‘Learn to Knit’ classes held throughout the UK, ‘Relax and Knit’ stands at all the main Knitting and Sewing shows and by the introduction of National Competitions showcased at the Knitting and Sewing shows.

Knitting is now back in high fashion and there are knitting groups mushrooming all over the country, knitting shops are opening back on the High Streets and on the Internet and exciting new yarns are being introduced by the season.

The UK Hand Knitting Association website is an absolute cornucopia of information:

  • Courses
  • Shows
  • Knitting community
  • Knitting as therapy
  • Free patterns and advice
  • Find a shop or craft club in your area.

To find out more visit the UK Hand Knitting Association website.

The Campaign for Wool

The Campaign for Wool is a global community of sheep farmers, retailers, designers, manufacturers and you, the wool lover!  United by their patron His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

Campaign for Wool website screen shot

The Campaign for Wool aims to educate as many people as possible about the incredible benefits and versatility of wool in fashion, furnishings and everyday life.

This in turn, supports many small businesses and local farmers whose livelihoods depend on the wool industry.

Every year The Campaign for Wool holds ‘Wool Week’ a week long celebration packed with woolly stunts, events, artisan workshops and gorgeous wool fashion.  Check out their global calendar to see where Wool Week travels to next!

To find out more visit The Campaign for Wool website.

Unravel – Festival of Knitting

The Unravel Knitting Festival 2013 takes place on Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th February 2013 at Farnham Maltings, Surrey.

Take part in workshops, hear a range of talks, see demonstrations and be inspired by artist commissions.

Purchase yarn, buttons and other knitting accessories at the marketplace, solve your knitting quandaries and even enter your favourite item into ‘Best In Show.’

Get your knitting needles and crochet hooks out and join them for two days of knitted fun!

For further information and to book your tickets visit the Farnham Maltings website.

Woolfest 2012 a great success

The incredibly wet weather and localised flooding did not keep the thousands of visitors away from Woolfest in the Cumbrian Lakeland town of Cockermouth.

Crowds flock to Woolfest 2012

Crowds flock to Woolfest 2012

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.

A huge seletion of natural and dyed yarns at Woolfest 2012

A huge seletion of natural and dyed yarns

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

Rare Breeds on show at Woolfest 2012

A chance to meet the animals

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.

Woolfest 2013
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.

More information

Woolfest official website




Flocking to Woolfest 2012

Woolfest 2012 is only four weeks away (Friday 22 and Saturday 23 June) and now in its eighth year, it is set to beat last year’s record level of visitors.

The venue at Mitchell’s Cockermouth has been expanded this year to accommodate over 160 stalls.

“Many of our regular designers, makers and suppliers will be at Woolfest again for what has become a highlight of the wool craft year,” says Marion Woolcott, one of the organisers, “but there will be over 25 businesses with us for the first time this year too.”

Members of The Woolclip Cooperative

The Wool Clip cooperative, whose members organise Woolfest with help from over 100 volunteers.


The organising team are working hard to ensure that rare breed fleece animals take centre stage, especially their role in conservation grazing and the value of their quality fleece.

“The animals have always been a highlight of Woolfest and we’re keen to emphasise the connection between the animal with the wool,” says Jan Hicks, who is responsible for the animals and the fleece sale at Woolfest. “The new space and layout at Mitchell’s means that we can spread out a bit and make more of this side of the event.”

“Cathy Cassie will be with us, demonstrating her shearing skills and also talking about her work as a Conservation Grazing Manager. The involvement of Peter Titley and the Rare Breed Survival Trust in our parades of rare breed animals also gives us an opportunity to let people know more about the threat to many of our traditional animals – and we’ll have cashmere goats at Woolfest for the first time this year too.”

Wolves in sheep’s clothing

There will also be several dogs – made of felted wool – on display.  This year’s recipient of the Carolyn Rawlinson Memorial Stall (in memory of the Wool Clip member who first suggested Woolfest) is Joss Wrigg from Allendale in Northumberland.  Joss works with raw and dyed fleece to create felted animal sculptures and her latest work, a series of dogs, as well as several Beatrix Potter characters, will be on display at Woolfest.

“I love creating recognisable forms – and even personalities – from a mass of fleece,” says Joss. “With the dogs, I wanted to capture the essence of “dog”, how they are so familiar and complex at the same time.  And there is the added irony of wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

Visitors will also see some surprising recreations of works of art in A Grand Tour, famous sculptures and artworks recreated in wool by members of The Materialistics, a group of artists and craftswomen from the Northeast.

“We have been trying to get The Materialistics’ work to Woolfest over the past few years,” explains Marion, “and several Wool Clip members have seen their regular exhibition each November at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show.  This year, the pieces are easily transported so it has been possible to have a selection of them at Woolfest including Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and The Scream.”

Event details

Woolfest 2012 takes over Mitchell’s Lakeland Livestock Centre in Cockermouth on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 June, opening from 10am until 6pm on Friday and 5pm on Saturday.

Entry is just £6 with accompanied children free.

Directions and details can be found at www.woolfest.co.uk or on the event’s Facebook page or by calling The Wool Clip at Caldbeck on 016974 78707 during shop hours.

Cumbria Tourist Awards

Woolfest has been shortlisted in the Tourism Event category of the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2012 – result to be announced on the evening of Thursday 24 May.


The event is organised by members of Woolclip with help from over 100 volunteers.

The Wool Clip is a Cumbria-based cooperative of sheep farmers, spinners, dyers, knitters, feltmakers, weavers and other wool workers with a thriving shop at The Priest’s Mill in Caldbeck.  It was set up in 2001 to add value to local wool and to market members’ skills and products and members of The Wool Clip established Woolfest in June 2005.

Further information is available at www.woolclip.com or www.woolfest.co.uk.