Monday, 29 June 2009

Woolfest report and pictures

I left for Woolfest on Thursday morning, the truck packed to the gunnel's. At one point I did think that I was going to have use the small sheep trailer as well, I had so much fibre to take with me. I met up with Phillippa, as arranged, at Scotch Corner cafe lay by. From there it's the long drive along the A66 to Cockermouth, thankfully with no problems. We finally arrived at 3.30 to find the car park to the action site already full of stallholders busy unpacking.

We'd decided to get some tables, put them up with some boxes on and then go and get a cup of tea. Stop again at 6 for tea, by which time we hoped we would have not much more arranging to the stall(s) to do.
At 7 o'clock I was stood with bags of fibre all around me with my head on my hands, wondering what to do next, when a very kind lady from the stall behind us, went and got us all a cup of tea. It's amazing what an effect a good cup of tea can do for you and it seemed as if all the fibre finally had a home .
This is what my stall looked like at 9pm on Thursday night

This is what Phillippa's stall looked like. As you can see we both had very colourful stalls. We always have stalls next door to each other with the centre gate removed so we can create one big stall for everyone to come a browse and buy from.

One thing we hadn't bargained for this year was a girder, right at the front of the stall, in the middle. So we used it as best we could and hung all sorts of things around it that we had to sell. On the whole it seems to have worked.

As compensation for the girder, we were able to use the cattle crush that was in front of the stall as extra hanging space. I think we used it to the best effect. When you looked down isle H, where we were, it certainly drew your eye to our stall.

Woolfest it's self when the paying public arrived, what can I say apart from the fact that is was very hectic and very warm.

I'd signed up for a drop spindle workshop on the Friday afternoon, at a time which is usually quiet, just after lunch, no such look, it was busy and I
had to rush off and leave Phillippa and her mum to man the stall.
The workshop was very informative and gave me loads of hints and tips on how to use a drop spindle. The hour went so quickly, and so did the rest of the afternoon, so much so we were still selling at 6pm, an hour after Woolfest had closed for the day.
A photo showing both our stalls.
As I was sleeping on site, in the truck I spent a great evening with Freyalyn and Mark, sat out chatting and drinking tea, that was after a quick glass of wine with fellow Shetland Sheep Breeder, Lenice, as she restocked her stall, something we all had been doing throughout the day, re-stocking.
Saturday seemed to start a little slower, but it soon picked up, as well as the temperature, I ended up borrowing a t-shirt from Phillippa's mum, I was so warm in my thin long sleeved top. Again the day just flew past, I was hoping to catch up and visit a few stall, but I just didn't have any free time. Despite the really warm weather, I sold a couple of aran jumpers I knitted, along with an alpaca scarf.
As I had so much fibre, I offered some of my Shetland Sheep batts to the Shetland Sheep Breeders stall for them to sell for me. I took half a dozen round, along with a couple of hand knitted jumpers in Shetland wool and thought no more about. A couple of hours later Joy appeared, could she have some more batts for the stall they'd sold out, a bit later she was back again for more. In the end I had to give them some of my shetland x corridale batts to sell. When I finally managed to see Joy, late on Saturday afternoon, they had sold 19 sheep batts and my 2 jumpers for me. Yet on my own stall the batts had hardly moved, strange?
It was gone 5pm before we finally managed to start and pack up and I hit the road home at 6, to hear from Tim that it was thick fog on the A19 and at home he'd had to endure 3 days of sea frets. I got to within 20 miles from Scotch Corner when I drove into the mist and from there on to home it was rain and thick mist. Not what I wanted after two hectic days. I finally got home at 9.15, took my cash, spinning wheel and phone out of the car, locked it up and crashed on the sofa with a glass of wine.
I will be going to Woolfest next year with Phillippa. This year had been worth all the effort of night spent dyeing fibre, carding fleece batts etc. Though on Friday afternoon I did manage to text a friend saying that I didn't want to see another customer, and to make them all go away!!!! Well I had been on the go since 6am, that and the heat was getting to be too much. I understand that on the Friday nearly 3000 people came through the doors, a record, and I suspect the same number on the Saturday, if my takings are anything to go by.
But I can't put my feet up as on Sunday it's my own guild's fibre day!!!!!!!!!


Caroline M said...

When I go I get a fleece from the Shetland Breeders Association. I suspect that they attract the spinner of natural coloured wool who might have walked right past your stall because of the colours. It's worth remembering for next year though.

If it was hot then I'm glad I didn't go. I shall repeat that until I believe it.

Denise said...

Might be worth doing bigger signs so that people know that I have fleece batts for sale etc. But at least they sold via the Shetland Sheep Breeders stall and raises funds for the society

Ken and Laura said...

Glad to hear Woolfest went so well. We enjoyed reading the entry and the colorful pictures were gorgeous and extremely impressive. Proud to say we know you. Wish we could have been there.
Love Ken and Laura

Freyalyn said...

Always good to have another source of selling your stuff. I've just managed to report mine, but your report is much more detailed. Still very hot and sticky here, and I'd be very grateful of any seafret you could direct over here.

See you end July.

Poppy said...

Your stall looks amazing, just like a sweet shop!