It's been a few days since Wales’ largest wool festival and we’re unpacking the trailer so I thought I’d write up a little debrief too. I loved seeing you all of your faces and hearing about your projects - especially when they involve jumpers for hedgehogs! It was my first show with Garthenor Organic and it's safe to say I was blown away by the kindness and friendliness of our customers, as well as the yarn industry as a whole! Whilst Sally and I were sitting down between customers we got chatting about Wonderwool and the good old days, here’s what I learnt…
Wonderwool was the first proper show which Sally attended back in the day, aside from her local farmer’s market. She was there before it was even Wonderwool - back when it was a corner of the Smallholders Festival. She was one of the first handful of exhibitors in 2006, when Jonny was just 12 and had to skive school to help out. He enjoyed wondering and wooling even back then!
Originally Garthenor occupied stall L8 which was very on-brand for Jonny’s father, Chris who was always late for everything, but this later merged with L7 where we are now found (punctually) every year. It’s always been a family affair and Sally would often bring along the children which weren’t otherwise lambing, riding, or playing rugby. They were a great help and Sally contributes much of her success at early shows to their cuteness, as I’m sure you can imagine!
Wonderwool has always held a special place in Sally’s heart as the best wool show in Wales, but also the one with the best food. This is a factor which I realised cannot be underestimated as we stood in the cold livestock sheds on Sunday afternoon. I had 3 jumpers on and very seriously considered borrowing another from one of our mannequins, but made do with a nutella crepe to warm me up instead.
During our moments of discussion, I also discovered that Sally has always been a true Wonderwool devotee and has attended almost every year since its opening, with the exception of 2014. This was the year that Chris had emergency eye surgery and we had to give up our stand. However, not all was lost as this allowed Midwinter yarns to make their debut and they have since built a beautiful business from the foundation of Wonderwool.
Overall, I would say that Wonderwool was quite the experience and the seemingly endless rows of yarn stalls never ceased to amaze me with their creativity, not to mention the outfits of some of the attendees too! I think I saw someone in a coat of technicolour granny squares which I admired a lot.
I’m looking forward to next year already, and I’m already planning my outfit! Thank you all to everyone who came over and said hi, I loved putting so many faces to names, and beginning to really feel at home within the industry as a whole. Here’s to many more woolly shows!