Mention to anyone that St. Abbs Wool Festival is on November 3 and you often get a response involving knitting.
“My gran taught me to knit and I’ve just taught my child to knit.” or “I can’t knit for a toffee but I remember my favourite jumpers, knitted by our granny.”
There is a whole specialised industry involved in converting a freshly sheared sheep’s fleece into yarn. Now, traditionally, yarn is all wool but not all wool is yarn.
St. Abbs Wool Festival organiser, Jennie Howes, says “The festival is curated to show off the various wool crafts and skills employed by crafters, artists and shepherdesses throughout our region.
Most of the Wool Festival exhibitors say they started crafting with textiles in their childhood; making toys and dolls’ clothes, learning skills by doing small jobs as part of an adult’s project. They are all passionate about their chosen craft and it’s their personal artistic and creative application of wool crafts that makes their work outstanding.”
At this autumn’s festival you can see fleece transformed into a wide array of yarns, both hand spun and mill spun; woven textiles, felted textiles, wool-based sculpture and artwork; woollen clothes, accessories and furnishings.
If you’re wanting an experience there are workshops in Nothumberland Rag Rugging with Jane Jackson of Brightseed Textiles, Spindle Spinning with Eleanor Lusby and Swedish Braiding with Marie Henderson.
If you’re looking for craft supplies there will be oodles of unique and intriguing yarns, wool fibres, kits and wool craft paraphernalia.
Finally, if all you want is an interesting day out you can feast your eyes on the amazing variety of ways these craftspeople put wool to use.
St. Abbs Wool Festival is at Eyemouth Community Centre from 10am to 4pm.