2013 Events involving British Wool

Chronological listing of events involving British wool, sheep and other British fibre animals.

I'll list events I know about or come across, but please let me know about all those I'll inevitably be missing, especially smaller local events that might not be advertised outside their immediate area.  British wool enthusiasts will travel!

Criteria for listing an event here - that it involves British wool and/or sheep or includes at least some stockists that sell British wool products.

The idea is to show our collective appreciation of WOOL by wearing as much of this fabulous fibre as possible, and celebrating WOOL and its unique qualities in stories and pictures throughout the month of November. We hope that through our enthusiasm and creativity we can raise awareness of WHAT MAKES WOOL DIFFERENT, and jointly create a force for WOOL APPRECIATION strong enough to effect changes in how garments and textiles are described and marketed.
St Abbs Wool Festival  St Abbs Saturday 2 November 10am-5pm
Join us in our celebration of wool crafts.  Demonstrations and sales from local makers and producers.


Unravel 2013 Farnham Maltings  Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th February 2013
Take part in workshops, hear a range of talks, see demonstrations and be inspired by artist commissions. Purchase yarn, buttons and other knitting accessories at the marketplace, solve your knitting quandaries and even enter your favourite item into ‘Best In Show.’
Get your knitting needles and crochet hooks out and join us for two days of knitted fun!
MARCH 2013
Wool House London March 13 - 24 2013
In the world’s largest showcase of wool, the recently renovated West Wing of Somerset House will be transformed into a home made primarily from wool.  Seven individual rooms, from the bedroom to the study, created by leading designers, such as Kit Kemp and Donna Wilson, will be exhibited to show how the design community uses wool extensively in their work.  Three additional rooms will be dedicated to fashion displays, celebrating the importance of the fibre in today’s fashion industry.  Presented by The Campaign for Wool, an artisan in residence will also work on location throughout the period demonstrating the heritage of industry skills to the public.
British Alpaca Futurity NEC Birmingham March 15-16 2013
The biggest alpaca show in Europe! Come and explore the wonderful world of alpacas ...Don't miss your opportunity to see hundreds of alpacas and the products derived from their fleece. Demonstrations on fleece preparation, carding, locker hooking, hand dyeing, needle felting and more ...Fibre Festival
Edinburgh Yarn Festival 16th March 2013 10am to 5pm
A day of yarn and fibre-related fun for all!
Yarn, fibre, buttons, patterns, and everything for knitting, crochet and spinning, from local suppliers and further afield: we've created your perfect Yarn shop in Edinburgh just for the day! Stalls, cafe and classes in a bright and vibrant arts venue not far from the city centre. Find our list of stallholders and designers on our website, and read our blog for profiles of each one.
Dornoch Fibre Fest 16th & 17th March Dornoch, Sutherland
Exhibitors, Demostrations, Master Classes (Fair Isle Knitting with Hazel Tindall from Shetland, Feltmaking with Ewa Kuniczak,  Rag Rug Making with Floraidh McPherson)
APRIL 2013
Toft Alpaca Farm & Craft Studio Open Day  1 April 2013  Toft Manor, Dunchurch
Farm tour, Alpaca walking, workshops, Field to Fashion Talk and lots more for the whole family
Wool in Winchcombe 2013  Winchcombe 13th April to 4th May
Last year's Wool in Winchcombe was so popular that it's set to become an annual festival. Here's what's planned for this year:
From 13th April to 4th May the Winds of Change Gallery will be hosting an exhibition with a "woolly" theme, including pictures, sculpture, British Wool needle felted work and much more.
The very popular BIG KNIT, SHEEP COMPETITION for children and much more.
Welland Down Farm Open Lambing Day Devon
Sunday 14 April 11-4
Shetland & Dorset sheep open lambing day (£5), felting & spinning demos, cream teas, lamb lunch
Wonderwool Wales  27-28 April 2013 Royal Welsh Showground
Join us at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells for the seventh Annual Wonderwool Wales Festival. It's your chance to enjoy a fantastic range of Welsh and British artisan products and an opportunity to meet the wonderful people who made them. A great family day out with hands-on woolschool workshops and events showcasing the best in Welsh and British wool and natural fibres.
MAY 2013
Chipping Norton Fibre Festival, Chipping Norton, Saturday 4 May
Fibreworks knitting and crochet shop is organising its first Fibre Festival, which looks back at the town's proud wool and weaving history.
The Cotswold Journal reports that the Town Hall will be filled with all manner of craft activities during the day, with many workshops and displays exhibiting a diverse range of techniques and textiles.
Visitors will first be greeted by sheep and lambs outside the building, before stepping inside the building where they can get involved with many demonstrations, such as spinning weaving, knitting and rag rugging.
JUNE 2013
Wool and Willow Festival  Llanidloes, Powys 1st - 29th June
A festival celebrating the best sustainable fibre crafts and textiles in Mid-Wales

The Festival takes place in The Minerva Arts Centre in Llanidloes at the heart of beautiful mid-Wales. There are many events taking place during the festival, and a wide range of crafts on display and for sale. Please browse this site for more information.The Festival in 2013 will run from 1st June to 29th June inclusive. Open seven days a week as usual from 10.30am to 4.30pm. This is a free event so please come along and support our exhibitors, the majority of whom are local artisans.

North Sheep Harrogate Wednesday 5 June
The event will focus on the way ahead for the British sheep industry as its gears up to new challenges and opportunities for the years ahead.

NSA North Sheep organisers are also reflecting their firm commitment towards encouraging all students and youngsters involved in practical sheep management activities by staging the third NSA North Sheep Young Shepherd of the Year Award. New for 2013 will be a sheep shearing competition. Stockjudging and lamb selection will continue.

Woolfest  Cockermouth  Friday 28 June 10am-6pm & Saturday 29 June 10am-5pm
Woolfest was founded to provide a showcase and a celebration of the best of wool and wool crafts.
The event is all about creativity and design with beautiful quality, amazing colours and skilled craftsmanship and this was recognised in 2012 when Woolfest won the Cumbria Tourism Award for Event of the Year.
Woolfest offers
a showcase of talents
a wealth of advice
a bank of knowledge
a treat for the senses
and a treasure trove of natural fibres
JULY 2013
The Wool Experience Blaze Farm Cheshire July 6 2013 at 10am
Watch and learn about the sheep shearing process with shearing demonstrations taking place throughout the day. See the creative use of raw fleece by expert spinners and skilled weavers. There’s even felt making displays too.
The event is on 10am-4pm and entrance is £1 adults and 50p children, all of which goes to good causes.
(Note - linked website will update to 2013 event nearer the time)
The Great Yorkshire Show  Harrogate, North Yorkshire Tuesday 9 to Thursday 11 July 2013
Annual event - livestock on show from pretty well every breed of sheep imaginable so you get to see prime examples ‘in the wool’ - and hundreds of them; also prize-winning and other fleeces for sale direct from farmers, on the day.
Fèis Cothlam 2013  Gaelic Wool Festival Argyll 18-20 July
A celebration of all things woolly.  
Learning to make best use of our local resources and appreciating out local skills.   A community event to inspire people to try new crafts, food, and enjoy sharing.
Fibre-East  Bedfordshire  27th and 28th July 2013
Fibre-East was conceived of, and is being developed, to benefit a specific community: individuals and small businesses working with wool and other natural fibres sourced in the UK, as well as the farmers who produce those fibres.
A place where everyone can meet - from prospective customers and consumers to small independent businesses promoting themselves to the wider crafting community.  We offer advice, and demonstrations encouraging visitors to learn about the production of wool and other fibres and to acquire new skills in working with them and textiles that can be created from them.
The Glastonbury Wool and Alpaca Festival 24-25 August  Glastonbury, Somerset
The Glastonbury Wool and Alpaca Festival is a community-wide experience, celebrating the Best of Britain’s Sheep and Alpaca.
Glastonbury’s wool festival demonstrates the cycle of sheep and alpaca rearing to produce fleece from field to fashion, interior products and a myriad of other offerings.
Each year we commence with our annual sheep and alpaca run down our High Street and always offer different additions to the event each year. This year we are offering the Rare Breed Society and Shetland Breed Societies with their exhibitions and a demonstrator’s hall. In addition we are hosting a produce fair on Sunday with many local producers that use Sheep and alpaca products!
British Wool Weekend 2013  Harrogate Saturday 7 September to Sunday 8 September
The aim of British Wool Weekend, is to raise the profile of BRITISH WOOL and the many related products produced from British wool.
If you are one of the talented and creative craft workers who use British wool, to spin, weave, knit, crochet, cross stitch, embroider, hand dye, make felt or any other textile process, or you simply enjoy exploring the textile treasures produced by these craft workers, a visit to this show will be a delight.
Explore the stands full of treasures for the textile craft worker, or treat yourself to a hand crafted pure wool item. Watch the entertaining Sheep Show Man shearing a sheep, or visit the Alpacas.
Masham Sheep Fair North Yorkshire 28th & 29th September 2013
Masham Sheep Fair takes places on Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th September in Masham, near Ripon in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.
Masham boasts one of the largest and finest market squares in England, famous for its sheep sales where in the past as many as 70,000 sheep were sold each year.
The popular Masham Sheep Fair commemorates these times, raising much money for charity, and filling the town with sheepy fun and entertainment.
Events include an action packed programme on  both Saturday and Sunday, with a Sheep Show, Sheep Racing, Craft Market, Bishop Blaize Procession, Fleece Stalls, Wool Competition, Sheepdog Demonstrations, Hand Bell Ringers, Morris Dancers, Art Exhibition and Tours of Theakstons & Black Sheep Breweries, as well as the Old Time Children's Fair. The them for the flower display in St. Mary's Church will be "A Material Harvest" - there'll be someone spinning, weaving and dressmaking along with displays of knitting, lace and embroidery.
Yarndale Skipton Auction Mart  28th & 29th September 2013
Yarndale will be a festival of creativity celebrating traditional and contemporary crafts using wool, cotton, linen and silk in an area which is still the home of many yarn based businesses.
Held at Skipton Auction Mart – Yarndale is an exciting new event for established and new creative talents.
Love Wool Throughout October a multitude of events taking place throughout the country as Campaign for Wool celebrates wool and all things woolly with Picknits and other events.  Check out the map and list of events below the map to see what's on in your area.
A Stitch in Time; Wool's Mark on History  Hereford Cathedral, September 28 - December 31 Supporting Events & Workshops
A new exhibition in the Chained Library is open to visitors this autumn. ‘A Stitch in Time; Wool’s Mark on History’, draws upon a varied collection of exhibits to showcase the story of wool. The production of wool to yarn dates back thousands of years and can in many respects be seen as one of the most important raw materials in British history. No other industry has enjoyed such widespread continuity and prestige. It has throughout time fulfilled the basic human need for clothing and protection, yet despite the rise in synthetic fabrics, has remained an important and unique product which is increasingly recognised as a high quality and sustainable material with many versatile uses.

The exhibition features rare books and documents from the cathedral library and archives and includes photography by the renowned Herefordshire businessman, Alfred Watkins, a traditional shepherd's smock and a nineteenth century spinning wheel. To compliment the exhibition practical textile demonstrations, talks, and a sheep trail will also take place.
As Reverend Canon Chris Pullin says: “Every time I robe myself in a cassock I’m putting a woollen garment on, and it reminds me of the long connection of this cathedral and its ancient estates with the rural life and economy of Herefordshire and Shropshire.  The exhibition makes innovative links through time between a great church and one of England’s most iconic products. More than one bishop of Hereford served as Lord Chancellor of England – and what does the Lord Chancellor sit on in the House of Lords? A woolsack!”
“A Stitch in Time; Wool’s Mark on History” is displayed within the Mappa Mundi and Chained Library Exhibitions, open Mondays - Saturdays: 10am - 5pm (last admission 4.30pm) and closed Sundays with admission prices at £6.00 for an adult and £5.00 concession. Family rates also apply. For more information please contact: telephone: 01432 374225/6 or email: library AT herefordcathedral.org
OneWool  1 October - 14 November (Campaign for Wool)
Wool interiors - everyone can get involved - see website link and spread the word
Rare Breeds Survival Trust Show & Sale  York Friday 4 - Saturday 5 October
Strathearn Wool Tryst  6 October 10.30 -4.30pm  Culdees, Muthill PH5 2BA
Time to celebrate wool and natural crafts! Come and browse the marketplace, watch the sheepdogs perform their magic,  do some knitting/spinning for charity, learn about 'off piste knitting', take part in one of our mini-workshops and be entertained by the fantastic Sgioba Luaidh Inbhirchluaird (Inverclyde Waulking Group).

Our exciting variety of mini-workshops can be viewed in our 'workshop' page.

Shetland Wool Week  Shetland, 7 - 13 October.
The varied and extensive line up for the 2013 Wool Week festival includes master classes and events with well-known local and international knitters and designers.

Now in its fourth year, Shetland Wool Week is a celebration of Britain’s most northerly native sheep, Shetland’s textile industries and rural farming communities.

9 October 10.00-16.00  Ystrad, SA32 7QW Brechfa
An on-farm day, part of the Organic Welsh Wool project, to bring farmers, wool businesses, designer-makers and industry experts together to talk ‘wool’ – how to improve the value of and returns on the farm clip and to consider the opportunities to develop the market for organic wool from Wales.
(link for tickets if you're not on fb)
More detailed information here
North Pennines Wool Event Friday 11 October  Upper Weardale
Celebrating British Wool
For farmers, spinners, felters, knitters,
weavers & wearers of British wool
Kendal Wool Gathering  Kendal 11-13 October
Running from Friday 11th October to Sunday 13th October, a week before National Wool Week, The Kendal Wool Gathering mixes demonstrations, fun activities and displays, all connected to the cloth on which the town’s wealth was built.

Stands and stalls representing all aspects of commercial wool products, including carpets, looms, spinning wheels and crafts will be on display at a large unit at K Village, The Lakes Outlet. Outside at Netherfield Place there will be livestock, walks and talks.

A wool trail of support events and displays will be held at Kendal Town Hall, Museum of Lakeland Life, Kendal Museum, Quaker Tapestry Exhibition and other participating retailers, and a guided wool walk will take in sites in the town where the wool trade flourished. Linked fun events in the town, like a knitting blitz and other have-a-go activities in the shopping precincts are being organised by Williams Wools, of Kirkland.

The events are not-for-profit and organised by volunteers, although there will be a need to cover its expenses.

The North Atlantic Native Sheep and Wool (NANS&W) Conference is an international project held annually in venues in the North Atlantic region.  Previous meetings have been held in Orkney, UK (2011) and Hordaland, Norway (2012).  The 2013 Conference will be held in the Shetland Islands (UK) over four days in October, to co-incide with the annual Wool Week festival. 
West Wales Wool Show  Pembrokeshire Saturday 12 October
Spinning, dyeing, weaving, knitting, crochet, felting...Someting for all wool & fibre enthusiasts.  A fabulous day celebrating and showcasing wool, wool products and crafts.  After all 30,000 sheep can't be wrong!
14 - 20 October
Growing in participants and momentum, 2013 sees The Campaign for Wool take over the UK during Wool Week, with a variety of exciting events and inspiring initiatives with the aim of highlighting wool as a natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre. - See more here
The Museum of Carpet, Stour Vale Mill, Green Street, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY10 1AZ.  15 - 19 October, celebrates all that is wool and carpet related and to support British Wool Week we are holding a 'Fleece to Floor  Experience' Week. This was the brain child of our wonderful volunteers who strive to keep traditional methods and craft skills alive. From the 15th - 19th October our volunteer spinners and hand loom weavers will be busy transforming some beautiful Jacob's Fleece, kindly donated by one of our Trustees.  They have carried out every process themselves so far to create a beautiful natural yarn which is now being woven on our Victorian Hand- loom. We hope to have completed a large piece by the end of Saturday 19th October, which is our 'Fall Day' , the day that traditionally carpets were cut from the looms and allowed to fall.  In Kidderminster that was historically on a Thursday and a Saturday and still our market days today.  More spinners are being recruited to 'feed' the loom throughout the week. On a Tuesday and a Saturday our power looms can be seen running also. £2.50 per concession/£4.50 an adult and £2 per child. 
We can be found on facebook under www.facebook.com/museumofcarpet  and on twitter. Our website is www.museumofcarpet.org. Ring for details: 01562 69028
Knit Nation  14 - 20 October  John Lewis Oxford Street and Edinburgh
To celebrate Wool Week 2013, 14th – 20th October, John Lewis Oxford Street and Edinburgh will be running a week of FREE fashion focussed knitting classes and drop ins hosted by the UK’s most innovative and exciting knitting brands. Focussing on how to use bright colours, and new techniques to create high fashion patterns
To celebrate Wool Week 2013, 14th – 20th October, John Lewis Oxford Street and Edinburgh will be running a week of FREE fashion focussed knitting classes and drop ins hosted by the UK’s most innovative and exciting knitting brands. Focussing on how to use bright colours, and new techniques to create high fashion patterns - See more at: http://www.campaignforwool.org/event-item/knit-nation/#sthash.vjholm9f.dpuf
John Lewis Oxford Street and Edinburgh
Growing in participants and momentum, 2013 sees The Campaign for Wool take over the UK during Wool Week, with a variety of exciting events and inspiring initiatives with the aim of highlighting wool as a natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre. - See more at: http://www.campaignforwool.org/event-item/wool-week-uk-2013-3/#sthash.xL...
Growing in participants and momentum, 2013 sees The Campaign for Wool take over the UK during Wool Week, with a variety of exciting events and inspiring initiatives with the aim of highlighting wool as a natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre. - See more at: http://www.campaignforwool.org/event-item/wool-week-uk-2013-3/#sthash.xL...
The Glasgow School of Yarn  Glasgow, 18-19 October
 The Glasgow School of Yarn is back on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th October 2013, just in time for UK Wool Week! Taking place at the beautiful Mackintosh Church at Queen’s Cross, this annual event marks the third anniversary of the opening of The Yarn Cake, winner of the 2013 British Knitting Award for the best Scottish independent yarn shop.

The marketplace will be home to independent vendors, including Old Maiden Aunt, HilltopCloud, The Yarn Yard, Abstract Cat, A Peppermint Penguin and and.sew.to.knit. The Yarn Cake stand will also be selling Drops yarns, local yarns including New Lanark and Jamieson & Smith, Ashford spinning wheels and supplies, along with a wide range of needles and notions.

Expert tutors including Amy Singer of knitty.com and Liz Lovick of northernlace.com will be offering workshops including Fair Isle, Shetland Lace, silk spindling and lace design. Spinning and fibre expert Deb Robson will also be there introducing her new book, The Field Guide To Fleece.

Highland Wool and Textile Fair  Saturday October 19th Inverness
The Highland Wool and Textile Fair provides a unique opportunity to bring together the huge array of talented producers across the Highlands and Islands. Exhibitors will be displaying and selling their wools, textiles and finished products.
So if you are interested in fabrics, knitting or quality hand made goods, make sure you make it along to the Bishop’s Palace within Eden Court, Inverness
(link 1 and link 2 for those not on fb)
Bakewell Wool Gathering  Bakewell Agricultural Centre, Saturday 19th October (10am-4.30pm) & Sunday 20th October (10am-4pm)
Welcome to the Bakewell Wool Gathering website. The Gathering is a brand new fair for wool enthusiasts, to be held at Bakewell Agricultural Centre in October 2013. It’s being organised by Skeins, who have a wealth of experience in attending and assisting running other wool and craft exhibitions.
Countryside Live  Great Yorkshire Show Ground, Harrogate  19-20 October
Including sheep shows & displays, The Wool Story (Visit the Sheep Marquee and learn more about the story of wool, from the raw fleece through to the many products created, including spinning demonstrations and hands on activities for the children.) and The Sheep Show.
Wood, Wool & Food Festival  Hemel Hempstead  19-20 October
This October at The Box Moor Trust in Hemel Hempstead, Herts
we look forward to welcoming you to Blackbirds Moor (off St John’s Road, Boxmoor) for a weekend of community events. Our inaugural Wood, Wool and Food Festival in 2012 proved to be so popular that we will be building on that success and holding it again this year. Celebrating local produce and crafts, there is bound to be something for everyone, from freshly-made bread, locally grown vegetables and plants, wood carving, shearing and spinning demonstrations, and livestock including our own Norfolk Horn sheep! Saturday 19th October, 11am-3pm

On the Sunday, come and compete at our annual Conker Festival, where the titles of Conker Champion and Junior Conker Champion 2013 will be hotly contested. While you wait for your turn to compete you could try your hand at archery or pottery, browse the charity and community stalls or chill out to the music of the Jolly Jazzers. Sunday 20th October, 12 noon-3pm  FREE ENTRY
for more details go to www.boxmoortrust.org.uk or call 01442 253300

PicKnit  Sunday 20th October at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Yorkshire
Planned as part of the Campaign for Wool’s famous wool week, the event will involve us taking out our blankets, unveiling our sandwiches and cakes and, of course, knitting!

Learn how to knit or polish your existing skills with our fabulous knitted blanket design made up of individual colourful squares, and don’t forget to visit our pom-pom station to add your handmade creation to the vibrant display.

There will also be the opportunity to see a variety of different knitted garments and homeware pieces on display, and to learn more about the different types of sheep breeds which are used in the wool industry.