Yarnfolk Festival of Wool Part 2

This is the second part of our visit to the Yarnfolk Festival of Wool in Whitehead. Find part one which is all about the beautiful yarnbombing of Whitehead here.

One of the wonderful things about attending a yarn festival like Yarnfolk Festival of Wool is the opportunity to chat to people, both visitors and vendors. I enjoyed chatting to Kate of the Hawthorne Cottage Craft and meeting Bernie and Eric of Bear in Sheep’s Clothing (both of whom have podcasts that I listen to).  The Belfast SnB group had a relaxing seated area on the stage in St Patrick’s Parochial Hall and if I’d been coming to the yarn festival with other knitters or on my own, I’d probably have brought a sock wip and spent a while taking in the atmosphere, but I wasn’t and I wanted Neil and Maya to really enjoy the day too!

Yarnfolk Festival of Wool 2017

Of course, if you are going to attend a yarn festival, you usually want to be wearing one of your own knitting projects. This is my So Faded sweater which is the first jumper I have ever knit for myself. At Christmas, my New Year’s resolution was to knit a sweater for myself during 2017. This is mine! I used 6 colours of my own Knitting Squirrel hand dyed yarns and the project was a pleasure to knit. I saw a few other So Faded sweaters as I walked around the show.

Maya had met the friendly local cat again! She is a sociable cat and seemed to really enjoy all the visitors who were walking around Whitehead looking at each others lovely knitwear. It was a case of recognising some of the patterns. I saw a particularly beautiful version of the Exploration Station which is a shawl pattern that has been on my to knit list for a while!

Yarnfolk Festival of Yarn 2017

There were so many different types of knitting, spinning, and crochet related stands that I was rather glad they were separated into the 4 different venues as it meant that it wasn’t completely overwhelming! I enjoyed watching the talented spinners spinning on their spinning wheels. This is something I have always wanted to try but haven’t had the opportunity. A spinning wheel would be an investment and unless I know I’d be good at it, really isn’t something I could think about buying. But seeing how beautiful the yarn they were working on looked was inspiring.

Yarnfolk Festival of Wool 2017As usual, I was particularly interested in the yarn dyers and there were quite a few of them! I had set a budget and brought cash to the show, and other than a delicious lunch for the three of us, and two bags of dried lavender, it all went on hand dyed yarn! Setting a budget (if a reasonably generous one) is a great way of not over spending and it made me actually have to choose which skeins I wanted. I started off by walking around all the displays before deciding what I wanted to buy. This did mean that I missed out on the odd skein that I would have liked but it is nice to have a chance to look at all the beautiful yarnie choices available. I’ve added a link to Vince Vlogs wonderful youtube video of the Yarnfolk Festival of Wool which will give you a real feeling of what it was like to be there.

Wonderful tour of the Yarnfolk Festival of Wool 2017 filmed by Vince Vlogs

I wish I could have bought yarn from all the vendors but that understandably wasn’t possible! But it is great to be able to see all the gorgeous colour combinations and feel the beautiful yarns that they are creating. There were wonderful yarn dyers from Northern Ireland, Ireland and the UK. Most of the skeins I bought were either Merino, or a merino blend. They were all 4ply and sock yarns except for one single ply skein. I haven’t got a project in mind for any of them and just chose skeins that appealed to me for some reason. Looking at my choices now, they do have a similarity to each other.

Yarnfolk Festival of Wool 2017

The two yarns in the middle left photo are from UK hand dyers: Unbelieva Wool in the colourway Time Warp has a little silver sparkle; and, Skein Queen Yarns fabulous Heavenly Nightmare colourway on a merino single ply.

The yarns in the middle right photo are from Northern Irish hand dyers: Secret Stash, which is dyed by Nikki (who is one of the founders of the Belfast SnB knitting group), this is a very soft merino/nylon sock yarn in the colourway Club Tropicana; and, the Bear in Sheep’s Clothing skein is a lovely BFL sock in the colourway Yarnfolk are the Bestfolk!

The bottom photo shows the yarns hand dyed by Irish dyers: I knew I wanted the Standing Stones colourway from Green Elephant hand Yarn although I did spend quite a while browsing her wonderful selection; Dublin Dye’s colourway Tin Soldier also came home with me; and, finally, the glorious Town House Yarns MCN in the colourway Aqua Nora which reminds me of my morning walks on the beach with Bene.

There were other dyers I would have liked to buy yarn from such as Fine Fish Yarns, Ewe Momma, Giddy Aunt Yarns and Dye Candy to name a few, but these purchases will have to be on another day… and they do all have online stores that I can peruse at my leisure!

Yarn dyeing is definitely alive, well and thriving. It is also utterly addictive once you start down that particular rabbit hole!

About Nicolette


  1. Sylvia Kurowski says:

    Wow, wish I could have been there, but living in the USA it would have been a very long weekend trip. Your description of the yarns was a treat. I’ve missed your blog and glad you are back.

  2. Loved all your pictures and I drooled over all the beautiful yarns. Looks like you had a great day for the festival, and I enjoyed seeing the cat also. I love the Mitred Square blanket and hope to make one someday, have to knit up some of the patterns I have planned to knit first but that one will certainly be moving up on the list. I also like the name Knitting Squirrel.

  3. Wish I had gone. Looks fab and your yarn choices are lovely. I love green elephant yarns. Lovely to see you well and that you are back blogging.

    • Thank you Sarah, that is so kind of you. Hopefully, you can come next year? Green Elephant Yarns are beautiful. It is nice to get back to the blog again. I’m going to start by writing about some of the projects I finished and photographed a while ago! Best wishes, Nicolette

  4. Joyce Pruhs says:

    Hi again from Utah,
    I particularly like the Standing Stones, Tin.Soldier and Aqua Nora colorway choices you purchased. Hope you will post what you knit with each of them.
    I will check out the youtube video by Vince Vlogs.
    Thanks for the Yarnfolk Festival reviews and the link to the youtube video.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Joyce from Utah

    • Hi Joyce, So pleased you’ve enjoyed the reviews. There is one more next week. I’ve no idea what I’m going to knit with the yarns yet. I chose them because they appealed to me! Now I need to choose projects that will show them off, which will be lots of fun. I’m knitting the Branches & Buds Pullover from the Making No 1/Flora magazine at the moment so it may be a little while. We have a long weekend coming up so it should be nice! Many thanks, Nicolette

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