Woolly Worstead 2017

Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 June 10-4

  • Stock up on woolly supplies – fleece, yarn, wheels, looms, book, etc., etc.
  • Watch spinning, weaving, crochet & knitting demonstrations, and “have a go”
  • Enjoy delicious home-made refreshments
  • Meet the alpacas
  • Chat to Members of Woolly Guilds
  • Listen to the folk band
  • Children – take part in the FREE activities
  • Buy handmade woolly/textile gifts
  • Watch the Morris Dancers
  • Try your luck, and win some “woolly” prizes
  • Visit the ice-cream cart

 Admission: adults £2, OR £4 per car, children FREE

(picnic & play area)


Hello Woolly Readers

It’s countdown time again. Only 10 weeks to go to Woolly Worstead Weekend 2017. We learned a lot last year (our first ever Woolly Weekend). We need to have more, and better, signs; an information leaflet about what is on where, and when; Jill needs to buy twice as much bacon (she bought what she thought she’d need, added a bit, and had completely run out by Saturday evening). This year we aim to do better !

And so . . . without more ado, here are the first five “exhibitors”. More next week.

Stunning”, “adorable”, “fantastic attention to detail” – all describe the unique needlefelted items created by Jayne. Whether it is a hare, a Father Xmas or a custard cream, Jayne’s handcrafted pieces are a joy. Come and see for yourself.


Doreen has been knitting and selling toys to delight children (of all ages) for many years. Colourful and cuddly, washable and durable, they make a wonderful gift.


Adelaide Walker is a company run by Fibre nuts, for Fibre nuts. So they understand what crafters need. We are absolutely delighted that they are joining us at WWW17, and bringing along fibre, yarn, books, equipment, dyes . . . oooooooohhh !!! Also, if you’d like to order from them, they’ll bring your stuff to Dilham for you to collect. Now that’s what I call customer service – yesssss !

Fibre & Earth The very word “felt” conjures up images of softness, warmth and comfort. Combine these properties with scrumptious colour and creativity and you are on the way to defining the work of an artist based here in North Norfolk. Watch as pieces of art are created using fleece and a needle (and a lot of talent !) Treat yourself or your loved ones to a unique gift.

Ronaldo Ices The bunting will flutter once again; the sounds of the squeeze box will float merrily on the air, and the sun will shine. (It WILL shine !) And what could be better than strolling around the woolly displays whilst enjoying a delicious icecream made to a traditional recipe here in Norfolk.

Nine weeks to go !               

The Woolly Sub Committee is meeting this week to review progress so far. So it’s off to Sharon’s farm where she’s busy with lambing. (Last year we got to bottle feed ! AND there was cake !)

Not all spinners, weavers and dyers take their hobby so seriously that they “go the whole hog” and keep sheep, but several of our Worstead members do. So be assured they know what they’re talking about when it comes to fleece. New to Woolly Worstead this year is the sale of raw fleece. We have fleece “straight off the sheep”, skirted fleece, washed fleece, and from several different breeds.   Whether you prefer to spin “in the grease”, or like the feel of washed locks, come along and see, and feel, for yourself before bagging a bargain.

The Worstead Guild is vibrant and active with a growing membership, but we realise that if the woolly crafts that we find so exciting and satisfying are to continue, we need to attract young people. And that is why we put on activities especially with children in mind. Simple weaving and braiding is easily learned by even the very young, and our patient Members are all geared up to pass on their skills – tuition and materials all free of charge.

Eight weeks to go !

It could be that not everyone in your family is “woolly minded”. At the risk of sounding sexist, Him Indoors might be happy to tag along, but might not be given to salivating at the sight of yet another ball of yarn/fleece/spinning technique. Never fear ! We have a cunning plan. Jill (a Worstead Member) is not only a talented crafter, but also an experienced and well-qualified cook. Last year visitors were raving about her home baking. “The best sausage roll I’ve ever tasted”. (Folks had pre-paid, and were waiting for them to come out of the oven !) “Bacon butties to die for”. And Yours Truly can vouch for the lemon meringue pie. So settle Himself down with a mug of tea and a plate of something scrumptious whilst you browse the stalls.

If you’ve ever given in to the temptation to buy yarn just because it’s beautiful, rather than because you have a particular project in mind, then this exhibitor is for you.  They have yarns in glowing colours inspired by our Norfolk landscape, and with sumptuous textures – wool, silk, alpaca, mohair, cashmere  – little works of art in themselves.  But even better – there are delightful knitted and crocheted items (and patterns) showing what magic can be wrought should you stop admiring them for long enough to use them !  Gossamer-fine shawls, wraps, scarves . . . go on . . . you know you’re worth it !

Stop Press – images from Adelaide Walker.  Don’t forget you can order from them and collect at Woolly Worstead.


Seven weeks to go !

Anna Ovenden  We have a strong suspicion that some of our members are either “on something” or have difficulty sleeping, because of the vast amount of crafts they produce. Anna falls into this “prolific” category. Although relatively new to spinning and weaving, she quickly mastered the basics and has gone on to develop delicious art yarns, beautiful fibres for us to spin, and vibrant woven items.


Occasional Ceilidh Band  This talented group of local musicians were so popular last year that we asked them to perform for us again.   Their folk music is traditional, and creates just the atmosphere you would expect from a country fair.   A particular favourite of mine were the dancing puppets – absolutely delightful.

Beverley Bright  Should you be looking for a treat for yourself, or a gift for a special person, you would be well advised to check out Beverley’s lovely items. She has a range of “Handmade in Norfolk” bags, cushions and the like – some knitted, some crocheted, some felted, and some worked in cross stitch. Yet another example of a maker who achieves high standards in a range of different crafts.


Six weeks to go !

Books and Patterns  The Worstead Guild is fortunate in having a library of books and patterns that Members can borrow, and an efficient Librarian who keeps track of it all. Elly is venturing out of the Workshop this year and will have a table in the Guild Marquee from which she will sell secondhand craft books, and vintage knitting and crochet patterns.

Finders Flowers  Pretty, and useful too ! That’s how I would describe the unique items from this seller. “What lovely flowers” you will think . . . but look again . . . ah, how clever !

Handspun, Handwoven, Hand-dyed  All items for sale by Guild Members come into at least one of these categories, or be related to these skills. Silky cravats to enhance a special outfit; delicate and intricate items made from lace; chunky drop spindles in a range of funky colours; woolly scarves to keep you warm in chilly weather; peglooms with BIG and LITTLE pegs; tightly-woven, really strong braids and straps, perfect for specs or luggage. Visit us in the Guild Marquee. Speak to the Makers and watch us work.


With only a few weeks to go, we’re beginning to dot i’s and cross t’s.  Jobs have been allocated (would you believe, several of our Members VOLUNTEERED for toilet duty – we don’t get out much); road signs prepared; kettles on to boil !  Sue has washed and pressed her wincyette pyjamas (several of us sleep on-site – sheer dedication) and she was taken by surprise last year by a particularly early exhibitor !

Our weavers have been busy making warps and preparing looms, ready to demonstrate.  Come and see Dennis at work, and be ready with questions about how he creates his signature vibrant and precise cloth.  Watch Sharon weaving fleece from her own flock into hard wearing yet cosy rugs.  See Sue create intricate patterns using colour and sparkle.  Let Elly teach you how to tablet-weave.  There will be looms set up for you to “have a go”.


4 Weeks to go … and things are hotting up !

The rise in temperature has led to a rise in our spirits, too. Being British (and practical) we do have a “wet weather plan”: weaving and spinning demonstrations will be held in the Weavers’ Workshop; all sellers will either be in the Village Hall or under canvas; would-be knitters can be taught under the lean-to of the Sheringham Knitters’ motorhome; the providers of yummy refreshments have indoor as well as outdoor tables; children’s activities are concentrated in a large marquee (next to the ice-cream stall); the ceilidh band and the folk singers, too, have a marquee. Which only leaves the Morris Dancers – wonder if they can dance whilst holding umbrellas jauntily aloft – bet they can !

But we shall need none of these precautions. The bunting will flutter in the sunshine as we add to our stash (Jen Monahan’s hand-dyed fibres are exquisite), indulge in calorie-free cake, and sing along to traditional folk songs. The Blakeney Old Wild Rovers are with us once again, from 11 am on Saturday, and immediately before the Morris who leap into action at 2 pm.

New this year is “Arty Party Facepainting”, for kids of all ages. (I have it in mind for all the Worstead Guild Members to be “done up” as sheep. Sssshhh, don’t tell ‘em, I’m thinking of how to broach it !)


Less than 3 weeks to go … and we’re over-run with Critters

Regular readers of “Maggie’s Witterings” will recall that our aim for WWW 17 is to re-run 2016 “with knobs on”. (Sorry . . . a Northernism crept in !) We’re a smallish Guild, and so we can’t be TOO ambitious, but our WWW Bucket List has always included sheep-shearing. And Yesssss ! The Woolfest Fairy has granted our wish. But she hasn’t done things by halves – she’s sending us the sweetest miniature donkeys too !

So . . . not only is there the opportunity to add to your stash/buy unique Xmas presents/sample mouthwatering home-made cake/learn a new skill/meet loads of lovely like-minded people BUT . . . there’s the chance to tickle an alpaca, scratch a donkey, and promise a newly-shorn sheep that the fleece you’ve just bought (straight from it’s back) is going to be turned into something amazing.