Sunday, 7 June 2015

Leeds Yarn Festival 2015

Mill cottages next to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal
I had an amazing day yesterday at Leeds Wool Festival which was held at Leeds Industrial Museum, Armley Mills.  The mill was once the worlds largest woollen mill eventually closing in 1971.  

I arranged to meet a Ravelry friend at Leeds train station (I love our knitting community) and together we traveled to the mill.  I was really glad I decided to travel by train, not only did it mean I was able to knit during the journey but the car park was full when we arrived! 

A member of The Spinners of Aire
 spinning some Jacob.

You enter the mill near the old cottages.  From there we walked into a room where members of The Spinners of Aire, Bradford Spinners and Weavers Guild were giving demonstrations.   It is no secret that I am fascinated by spinning!  Luckily, my Ravelry friend was equally interested and we spent quite a bit of time chatting to the members about their wheels and the fleeces they were using.  I felt myself move another step forward to learning how to spin! 

We explored the main mill area which still housed the machinery.  We later discovered, from talking to the ladies on the Yorkshire Textiles stall, that the machinery was still in working order.  The Armley Weave was made on the Hattersley loom and was a truly a Yorkshire weave. From sheep to the finished prouduct it has not traveled any further than 40 miles!  

The 1930's Hattersley Loom which the
Armley Weave was produced on.
The Armley Weave
After waking around the machinery we found the stalls!  These were located in several rooms around the museum exhibits.  I made my first purchase!  This was from Louise of The Cryptozoologist.  
The Cryptozoologist
Quite a bit of time was spent talking to Louise and her husband while squishing her hand dyed yarns. I fell in love with Stormborn on her Unicorn base (75% British Bluefaced Leicester and 25% nylon), a bright and cheery mix of blues and yellows, a bit like BritYarn's packaging.  Louise had so many amazing colours that I knew I would not be leaving her stall with only one skein!  I noticed some socks she had knit as a sample and that was me done. Glamour Prism also came home with me.   This colourway was very different but still on the Unicorn base.  I love how the natural colour is mixed with short colour runs of rainbows. These are going to be some cool socks.

We browsed around until we realised it was after 12pm.  Joeli of Joeli's Kitchen had kindly arranged a little meet up with other knitting friends for lunch.  We spent a really fun and enjoyable hour or so knitting and chatting away in the sunshine accompanied by several alpacas.  

Together we then explored the remaining rooms and I made two additional purchases.  The first was from Wakefield Wool Company.  I bought two skeins of their DK 80% Bluefaced Leicester and 20% Hebridean from their own flock.  I also bought some fibre for my mum in law as she wants to try needle felting.  My final purchase (enabled by my knitting friends - you know who you are!) was a 150g skein from Natural Born Dyers on their Lustrous base (55% British Bluefaced Leicester and 45% Silk). It took me a little while to decide what shade to buy but in the end decided on Emerald, which has a really nice variation of green shades.  This will become a large shawl I just need to decide what pattern!

All of us had a great day at Leeds Yarn Festival.  A big thank you if you said hello to me.  To round off a perfect day, with brilliant new found knitting friends, we popped for a celebratory little drink before catching our trains home.  Cheers everyone!

My fab purchases!



  1. Sounds like a superb day out! x

    1. Yes it was. With it being smaller than the main yarn festivals there was a very relaxed atmosphere to the day.