View from the Catwalk

Daphne Selfe, modelling since 1949, wrote this about her involvement with Festiwool.

"Festiwool is a local event that I’ve done for the past few years and is such a joy.  I wanted to tell you a bit about it and why I love it so much." 

 

"Festiwool and is for those passionate about knitting and crochet and about introducing to the younger generation the joys and benefits that the age-old crafts can bring."

"Plus you can make a bang up to date fashion statement using these crafts too.  You can’t be too old or too young for Festiwool!"

I love to be around creative people and if it involves dressing up even better!

Make a festive toy

Come along to Sue Stratford's workshop and learn some great tips and techniques to help you create the perfect knitted toy.  During the class you will be knitting an exclusive festive design which will contain a selection of popular techniques used when knitting 3-dimensional shapes.  You will then sew your toy up and spend some time embroidering the features, which a lot of knitters find the trickiest part of toy knitting.  Part of the project will be completed to allow time to finish within the workshop.

Sue will also be signing copies of her latest book.

Spotlight on

 Kaye McGown from Studio at No. 30

The love of sewing and all things handmade is something that Kaye has had from a very early age. Even as a small child, her favourite toy was her mum’s old button tin. As we grew up, she and her sisters would spend many Sunday afternoons making clothes for their dolls, creating costumes and putting on shows for their parents. Kaye's grandmother, having been a milliner and a seamstress, taught her how to use a sewing machine, a simple hand-powered machine, which she still uses today.

Kaye's love of dressmaking grew and she made suits forherself, a wedding dress for a friend and a christening gown for her godson. Years later, having trained as a lecturer, travelled the word and had two children of her own, Kaye still loves all things creative, She especially loves combining  teaching skills with the love of sewing to inspire the next generation.

Spotlight on

Helen (Woolly Chic)

Helen often wondered why it was so difficult to source Welsh yarn when she visited the family farm in Pembrokeshire. All those fields full of sheep. What happened to the fleeces after shearing?

Starting with fleeces from the family farm, she sourced a company who would spin for her and went through the complicated process of getting the resultant yarn accredited as Welsh. Most 'British Breeds' yarn comes in natural, undyed, colours, but Helen wanted to provide for the growing market that wanted dyed versions. 

Adding yarn from North Wales' farms, she developed a business plan, in 2012, and launched Woolly Chic. At the time, Helen concentrated on designing small crochet kits and dyed Welsh Yarn.

Twelve months later, there had been numerous Fairs and Shows, articles in three of the leading knitting magazines, expansion of the business - selling on-line and through Amazon - and a great response to new yarn blends and kits.

By 2015, Helen had expanded the business even more,  and was providing knitting kits and teaching crochet sessions and workshops in the local area.

 

Helen will be running a crochet workshop at Festiwool. Learn/improve your crochet skills and make these lovely flowers.

Spotlight on

Anne-Marie Stijelja

 

Anne-Marie 

has been delivering Bespoke Art and Craft Workshops in mixed media to groups now for about 10 years. She runs this as a freelance service alongside her own art practice, where sheI regularly exhibit her own mixed media artwork, curate exhibitions and work on private commissions.

She is a member of International Felt-Makers Association and Artists’ Network Bedfordshire.

Her workshops are fun, inspiring and engaging and give students a positive experience that raises confidence and promotes personal development.

Anne-Marie has worked with students from reception age right through to retired adults. These groups have included; schools, community groups, home-educated groups, festivals, private groups and parties, retirement centres and safe houses. She is used to working with all different learning abilities.

Anne-Marie will be exhibiting some of her work, and running a Felt Workshop at this year's Festiwool event. 

Spotlight on

North Herts Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers

The North Herts Guild supports the preservation, improvement and promotion of craftsmanship in hand weaving, spinning and dyeing. It is a small friendly group that meets at the Letchworth Settlement 229 Nevells Road, SG6 4UB at 7.45pm on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month in term time. 

Members of the Guild will be demonstrating their skills at Festiwool.  A small team, led by Helen Swan,  will provide a beginner's ‘taster’ experience workshop on a variety of looms, including a rigid heddle and an 8-shaft