Bridport Hat Festival

Saturday was spent in Bridport with the Region 2 IFA (International Feltmakers Association) ladies at the annual hat festival. We had a shared table in the town hall and had a lot of fun encouraging passers-by to model our hats. It was a long day and the weather wasn’t on our side, autumn arrived with gusto at lunchtime at the crowds rapidly thinned out but it was worth the trip just to see all the happy, laughing people trying on our hats. The snail hat definitely drew the most attention and giggles as people tried it on, however it was far too big for almost everyone, I really need to make some smaller versions of the snail! 🙂

This was our table – a very small space for 5 felt-makers to share but we made great use of every last inch!

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These two ladies were great sports, between them they must have tried on every hat on the table, and had a whale of a time doing so! 🙂

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A few of the team sporting our own creations, you can’t turn up to hat festival without a hat, that would be like walking down the high street naked!

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Clare, me and Liz
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Vivienne trying on the snail hat and Clare

Sunday was a felt-making day, and what else could I make after spending all day surrounded by so many gorgeous hats, but another hat! This one is a departure from my usual style and incorporates a wide brim. It is still damp, so the silk isn’t shiny yet but I really like the shape, somehow it makes me think of Guy Fawkes.

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Woolfest 2015!

I’m so excited I’m worse than a child on Christmas eve…. It’s woolfest weekend!!

After a long drive (6 hours) yesterday I was relieved to find my room at the Old Ginn House is very comfortable (though I still haven’t located the gin!). Brekky this morning was outstanding, fresh coffee and eggs benedict:
Woolfest was heaving as it always is and I don’t think all the animals were enjoying having so many adoring fans, some of the sheep looked a bit stressed by all the attention, only the black nosed valais sheep looked chilled
These guys are so cute it was all I could do to stop myself taking one home, it wouldn’t mind spending 6 hours in my hatchback would it?
The Herdwicks had a lovely red tinge to their fleeces, aren’t his horns beautiful?
There were alpacas and angora bunnies too
There were some lovely felted exhibits, this “cobble coat” was made by Linda Chapman
The ram’s head is called Harold and he was made by Debbie Lucas
And for the stitchers out there, this wrap, entitled Flora of the Fells, was made by Ruth Strong and was inspired by plants native to the Lake District.
Of course you can’t go to woolfest and not supplement your stash, there are just so many beautiful products to choose from.
I seem to have been on a silk crusade today, when I unpacked my bag I discovered silk tops, hankies, thread and saris…
The 4 packs of sari silk came from Carol of Foxglove felts, we’ve never met so I am still stunned that she recognised me. I’m pleased to say her stand was one of the busiest that I visited, it looked like she was having a well-deserved successful show.
Woolfest also sell raw fleeces so I took the opportunity to buy some locks, these beauties are Gotland and Blue Faced Leicester