Over 40 exhibitors are confirmed to attend the new Wool @ J13 wool and yarn festival, which will take place in Staffordshire on Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th May 2017.
Set on a 600 acre farm near Penkridge – just 1 mile from J13 of the M6 – Wool@J13 is the brainchild of Staffordshire-based wool artist Ingrid Wagner. Having noticed a gap in the market for a large wool event serving the Midlands, Ingrid teamed up with Val James, who runs a successful farm attraction, to create the new event.
Exhibitor applications flooded in and, with the original selling space fully allocated by the mid-January deadline, organisers took the step of inviting a second raft of applications from businesses that have been trading for less than twelve months. The result is an eclectic mix of established traders and those who are just starting out, as Ingrid explains:
“We want to offer visitors a great experience and the opportunity to discover new exhibitors is a huge part of that, so we encouraged those who are taking the plunge and setting up wool and yarn based businesses to be a part of our event and the ‘Saw them here first’ zone was born. Overall, we’ve had a great response from exhibitors both well-known and brand new, so the shopping experience really will be buzzing.”
Traders booked to attend include established brands such as TOFT, Little Gem Felts, Plant Dyed Wool, and Lynne Rowe Knitting & Crochet. New faces include Fiona Brennan from Sonic Knits and the quite astonishing Robert Mack with his bone china buttons at the grand age of 81! A full list of exhibitors can be found on the festival website here.
As well as shopping until they drop, visitors keen to expand their woolly knowledge can get ‘hands on’ and sign up for a host of workshops and talks on a diverse range of topics including left handed knitting, dizzy sheep spinning & gain an insight into the habits of moths, courtesy of Notty Hornblower from The Hope Costume Museum in Derbyshire. Demonstrations throughout the weekend will include shearing not only sheep but also angora rabbits, and competitive types can get creative for the chance to win some great prizes.
The festival will also support local charity The Donna Louise Trust, which provides pallative care for young children in Staffordshire and South Cheshire, through a ‘Time Shop’ raising funds over the weekend. Camping is an option for those keen to make a weekend of it – a prospect made extra-attractive given that The Haywood Sisters, London’s top close harmony trio, will provide musical entertainment and there will be ample refreshments on site from Street Food vendors and a licensed bar.