This August I got to take part in Yarn Folk Festival of Wool in Northern Ireland for the first (but definitely not the last) time. It was Awesome!
I had been contemplating starting a fibre business and was looking for the perfect opportunity to launch it. After many requests to buy my yarn and fibre preparations from instagram followers and people who had met me demonstrating for the Irish Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, I decided it was time to take the plunge. I had been at Yarn Folk Festival the year previous as a customer and had a wonderful day out. It was a day where I could catch up with and meet fellow Irish knitters. We now had a festival totally dedicated to yarn and fibre on our doorstep so most people could be there without having to organise flights or accommodation. I knew if I was going to put myself out there I wanted to do it amongst friends, both real life and those I had so far only met online. I was right, it definitely made the experience extra magical.
Car packed, Whitehead here we come!
We decided to make our way up North the night before so that the early start wouldn’t be too painfully early. Whitehead is about a two hour drive from Dublin, not very far at all but when planning to be there just after seven am, eeck! We did make a rooky mistake by forgetting my box of display items but thanks to my ever patient husband and his willingness to drive anywhere to support my woolly madness the day was saved. With a happy head and nervous tummy I knew I wanted to be there early and early I was – first to arrive, haha! I had never set up my fibre stand before and only knew what it was going to look like in my head. We got to work, other vendors started to arrive, they were all full of hugs and support. I had the joy of being in the same hall as Bernie of Bear in Sheep’s Clothing who became a fast friend since Yarn Folk the year previous. Herself and her husband Derek aka Mr Bear are always a delight to be around and always full of encouragement. I also had the luck of having Hannah of HannahRoseKnits at the table right behind me so we got to spend the day having a good laugh together. Before the doors had even opened I had a few fellow spinner vendors, Dye Candy, Babbles yarns, Finefishyarns, come looking for fibre they had seen on my instagram page. I was chuffed, it was a fantastic start.
Ready, Set, Go!
Doors opened at about ten and from then on it was a blur of chats, sales, laughing and unadulterated woolly chats. I love that at yarn festivals you get the opportunity to ramble on about your passion for wool and everybody there totally understands, shares the same passions and doesn’t look at you like you are weird old person trapped in a younger person’s body :). I got to share joy with people I have been knitting and spinning with for years, how amazing is that?? I also had the fun of noseying in people’s bags to see what they had purchased for other vendors from all over the six venues of the festival. There was a huge amount of yarny goodness in their bags, I can tell you. Many a happy wool lover was in attendance. I was kept wonderfully busy and I loved every minute of it. The only downside was that the day flew by so fast, if i had more coffee in me I could have continued well into the night. Near the end I did manage to pop off to grab a skein or two for my stash, a few rainbows came home with me that day!
My trust spinning wheel watching over my Art yarns.
When the day ended, stall and spinning wheel were packed with a blend of elation, tiredness and a feeling of achievement and a job well done – it was time to head home. Massive goodbye (for now) hugs were shared. Everybody had an brilliant day, Yay.
I want to thank everyone there who helped my launch be so successful; giant thanks to Louise for setting up such a warm and friendly festival for all us wool addicts, to the other vendors for such a warm welcome and making me feel like I belonged alongside them and their talent, the podcasters and youtubers who have made me feel very special with the lovely things they have said about my work and last but definitely not least my customers, followers and all those who came to say hi. You all Rock!!!
Next year’s Yarn Folk takes place on the 3rd of August. Come spend the day enjoying Woolliness in the stunningly beautiful seaside village of Whitehead, there is also a food festival that runs alongside it so bring your foodie friends. I will definitely be there with lots of fluff, yarn and enormous smiles next year. Happy knitting and spinning you guys, thanks for being awesome.
Thanks for being Awesome Yarn Folk Festival!