As I am still trying to match my photographs of stallholders to their websites, I thought I’d do a quick little post showing you the treasures that tempted me into parting with my cash.
First of all, you must understand that I love buttons. All shapes and sizes, but all handmade and each one unique. The right button can transform the ‘good’ into ‘great’ and catapult your lovingly handcrafted item into another league.
I was barely in the door two minutes when I made my first purchase. A couple of stalls in and I lingered long enough to lose the girls for the rest of the morning. Tile Productions make the most fabulous handmade tiles for kitchens and, to use up the leftovers, they make buttons. Well, we were queuing four-deep to rummage through those little baskets of gems and no-one so much as glanced at the stunning tiles in the background! They had no idea that their gorgeous little glazed, ceramic buttons would create such interest, especially as they are essentially a by-product!
These are the four that hopped into my basket;
More buttons soon beckoned and these little iridescent beauties are by Textile Garden – coconut shell with a turquoise glaze and silver edge;
Injabulo is a specialist Fair Trade seller of hand made buttons and baskets from Africa as well as supporting the British Wool Industry with gorgeous wool blankets and cushions from Wales.
I fell in love with this fabulous button;
Longwood Blankets were were selling the most glorious plaid throws – I came home with this one;
There were lots, I mean loads, of stalls selling home grown wool with a clear provenance from sheep/rabbit/alpaca to skein. Overseeing the entire process through shearing, dyeing and spinning must be satisfying in the extreme and I rather think I would like to have a go. (Cue research into keeping Angora rabbits for their supremely soft fur.)
In the meantime I shall have a go at spinning. Not with a spinning wheel Sleeping Beauty style, but with a Drop Spindle. This consists of a very simple contraption that looks incredibly easy to use when demonstrated by the experts, although in reality I anticipate some rather choice language will be peppering the air!
This kit was supplied by Wheeldale Woolcrafts and included some hand dyed and carded Corriedale wool fibres ready to spin;
With a dozen or more workshops on offer we were spoilt for choice really, but I booked Layers Of Texture which was essentially a short course in needle felting.
Jaki Bogg was efficient in her introduction, talking us through the basics and leaving us the best part of an hour and a half to have a go.
This was my very first effort:(
It was enormous fun and I think I’m addicted so I bought a bargain mixed bag of roving in the bright colours I love so much;
I also decided to buy some luxury silk tops produced by the Tussah Silkworm. (Adelaide Walker and Wingham Wool Work) They are completely gorgeous and shimmer in the light. I’m thinking luxury brooches finished with tiny beads and silver thread…..
Another skill that I have been procrastinating about for ages (Tajana!) is that of sock knitting. I shall dither no more though, as the lovely Rachel Coopey’s (of Coop Knits) book Coop Knits Socks convinced me to finally bite the bullet. She even signed it for me too:)
I then hot-footed it over to Purlescence where they had the most fabulous 100% Merino wool skeins in a zingy shade of yellow. I just had to have it. I don’t do subtle:)
They were also able to advise and supply the requisite 80cm long 2.25mm circular knitting needle (a lot less scary than four double pointed needles methinks!)
A pretty little stitchmarker was thrown in by some kindly stallholder with a friend’s wool purchase and she very generously gave it to me for my socks;
My last, and arguably favourite, purchase were these beautiful 2″ wooden buttons.