Monday 17 June 2019

Successful Debut For Sheffield's The Wool Monty

Wool, wool and lots more hand-dyed wool (with a spot of tea and a piece of cake thrown in) - that's what visitors to the inaugural The Wool Monty show had the delights of discovering on the weekend on 15th/16th June. A Woolly Yarn was there to browse, squish and seek out new knitterly wonders.

The FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield usually is home to bands, comedians and the local ice hockey team but for two days it was taken over 60 stands run by both local vendors and those from further afield. The emphasis was firmly on small businesses you might not have come across before (four of which are featured in this post), along with bigger names such as Nathan Taylor aka Sockmatician, and Elaine Jinks-Turner from Baa Baa Brighouse.

Elaine Jinks-Turner
A Woolly Yarn visited on the Sunday afternoon and Elaine, taking a moment to knit in-between customers, said that the Saturday had been very busy and she'd certainly exhibit again next year.

The popularity of hand-dyed yarns, particularly for one-ball projects such as socks and shawls, seems to be going from strength to strength. Look at the fabulous array of shades on offer from Ducky Darlings, a Derbyshire-based business that sells on Etsy:

Chatting to vendors it was great meet people who'd recently started businesses, spurred on by their love of yarn and curiosity to try dyeing their own.

Claire Nettleship launched her venture last year.

After visiting Yarndale she decided to learn how to knit socks and then tried her hand at dyeing sock yarn herself. She specialises in self-striping yarn and aims to have up to ten colours in each skein. Claire showed me photos of her dyeing in action - let's just say it involves lots of buckets - and it looks very impressive!

Claire Nettleship with her own yarns
Another 2018 starter is Mad Scientist Yarns. This husband and wife duo, Scott and Michelle - who used to be scientists but now work in IT - started yarn dyeing after Michelle went to Edinburgh Yarn Festival and decided she wanted to create her own yarn colours inspired by chemistry.

The couple run their company as well as keeping their day jobs and give a proportion of their sales to charities such as MIND. The Wool Monty was their first foray into yarn shows - and very professional their stall looked too.

I already have a huge stash of yarn to use up and was trying to very good but I did buy one thing - a jumper kit from Hot Butter Yarns. I hadn't heard of the business before and was impressed by the samples they had on display of their own patterns knitted up from their own-dyed wool.

Nerrit from Hot Butter Yarns
I ordered the Nerrit kit which is made to order and I'm replacing the teal blue shade with a vibrant pink.

Well done to Debbie, Mand and Rosie, the trio from Woolfull who organised the The Wool Monty and also displayed at the show and sold cute, sheep-embossed merchandise. When it was less busy the venue seemed a little large for vendors, but it certainly scored ten out of ten for accessibility, free parking, disabled access and lots of room to sit and drink refreshments in between shopping.

Keep an eye out on The Wool Monty's website to see whether the show will run again next year.

Did you go to The Wool Monty? What did you buy and which vendors did you most like? Let us know in the comments below or on A Woolly Yarn's Facebook page.

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