Proper Woolly, Sunshine Deprivation and Yellow is the New Black

If you live in the UK west of Exeter you’ll know that there is much we don’t have that is taken for granted elsewhere up country – such a proper rail network and yarn festivals.  It was therefore with great excitement that, on the last Saturday in May, I left Mr Hicks in charge of Lovely Husband Lovely Husband in charge of Mr Hicks and headed off  to Proper Woolly at the Holdsworthy livestock market. Proper Wooly Logo

This was the first year Proper Woolly has been held here. There were about 100 fibre exhibitors plus twenty food exhibitors in the food market. But for once food was of a no real interest to me.

The first thing that caught my eye was Alison Murray’s Knitted Gingerbread house – a community knitting project created in 2006/2007, but it is still being added to.

Giant knitted gingerbread house

Once I’d taken in all the marvellous knitted detail of the gingerbread house, I began to investigate the other exhibitors. There was, of course, heaps and heaps of yarn…

Proper Woolly Yarn There were yarn kits…

Proper Woolly 3

…and fibre…

Proper Woolly 1

…and machines for turning fibre into yarn….

Classic carders drum carders
Handmade Drum Carders by Classic Carder

Proper Woolly - Spinning Wheel

…and machines for doing stuff to yarn…

Brinkley Looms
Brinkley Looms

…and accessories to make yarn into stuff…

Cute Crochet Hooks Proper Woolly
Handmade Crochet Hooks by Koru Tumi

— and accessories to combine with your yarn…

Proper Woolly Beads

I was, of course, primarily interested in yarn. I don’t know if it was our recent lack of sunny weather, or just the magpie in me, but I kept finding myself drawn to the brightest yarns, in particular a yellow one by WooSheeps.

Yellow wool - woosheeps

But I didn’t want to kit yellow socks, or a yellow scarf, or a yellow hat or yellow  mittens. I peered at the yarn and what I really wanted to knit was a yellow cardigan. I’ve wanted to kit a yellow cardigan ever since I saw Samira Wiley (aka Poussey Washington in Orange is the New Black) in the PayPal advert. Click here to see advert.

But did I really want to spend all that money on yellow yarn? Or was my need generated by the lack of sunshine we’ve had for the last month making me hanker after yellow? I don’t usually wear yellow. I don’t have a single piece of yellow clothing in my wardrobe. I ignored the yarn’s cries and moved on to look at more yarn.

Proper Woolly 2

Before I reached the last stall, it was time for my first workshop, Fleece Sorting for Spinners run by the lovely Sue Blacker from Blacker Yarns. The workshop was very interesting and, if I ever chose to spin my own yarn from fleece, it certainly left me well prepared.

Sue Blacker - Blacker yarns

After the workshop, I visited the stalls I hadn’t got to and the sheep. Not that I don’t see enough sheep on a daily basis, but it’s always nice to visit the sheep.

Sheep 1

I then grabbed a sausage roll and a cup of tea, before returning to the yarns that caught my eye.  I bought this from the Yarn Garden

Yarn Garden Lace
I just adored this colour and I’ve never knitted with anything like it before, so really looking forward to the challenge.

Watercolours and Lace had the most amazing pastel yarns and I ended up buying…

Watercolours and Lace Silk Wool
I’m afraid the picture doesn’t do this one any justice.


Watercolours and Lace Merino

I think I’ll be using these two for presents, if I don’t weaken and keep them for myself.

I also bought a beautiful crochet hook from Fleabubs and Lala

Crochet hook Fleabubs and Lala

But still I was hankering after the yellow yarn. I passed it again. Did I really want to a yellow cardigan? I wandered away and looked for cardigan patterns and generally dithered and dathered until it was time for my second workshop, Spining on Drop Spindles. This was a very enjoyable and relaxing hour with the lovely Jean from Kaeravel Krafts. I caught on quite quickly and really enjoyed it, but it isn’t something I’d particularly race to do again.

Yarn Spun on Drop Spindle
My yarn that I spun on a drop spindle

As I left the workshop I discussed my yellow yarn dilemma with two ladies I had been chatting to while spinning. Should I? Shouldn’t I?

‘Go for it!’ My new found friends, who were heading off to splash out on a loom, said.

Well what could I do? Two ladies who I’d never met before, and will probably never meet again, had told me to buy the yellow yarn. I had to buy it.

Yello Yarn WooSheeps

When I got home, I proudly showed my spoils to Lovely Husband. He nodded wisely at each skein, knowing best not to ask how much I spent or when I was going to get round to knitting it. But as the yellow yarn emerged from my bag, he smiled and said, ‘Yellow cardigan.’ Apparently I may have mentioned a few times that I liked the yellow cardigan on the PayPal advert.

So all that is left now, is for me to find a pattern. I rummaged through Ravelry and can’t find anything that’s quite right. Can anyone suggest a splendid 4ply cardigan pattern?

35 thoughts on “Proper Woolly, Sunshine Deprivation and Yellow is the New Black

    1. Hi Sharon. It was a lovely day out. I haven’t used my hook yet, it was an ‘I’m sure I’ll need one this size because I HAVE to have one of these pretty hooks’ purchase. But it does have a good soft kind-to-the-hand feel.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It looks like a lovely show! I know that knitting ten years or so ago was really in decline and it is delightful to see it revived and thriving. All those wonderful makers!

    I wear a lot of yellow, for years I avoided it because of all the negative remarks, but I love it! In fact I am wearing my yellow cardi right now! It is a gorgeous daffodil yellow. From what I can see you have picked a lovely warm yellow, which will work beautifully with your colouring – there is nothing more wonderful than working with fabric or wool that makes your heart sing. There is a whole lot of theory around colour – yellow is thought to enhance creativity – you can read about it here

    Or it might just be that the cardigan you saw on TV has filled you with desire – your Husband seems to know you well!


  2. I’ve never been to a yarn show of any type, but the one you attended looks fantastic. I’ve never had a yellow cardigan, either, and like you, have rarely worn yellow in my life. But the shade of yarn you bought for your cardigan looks very appealing. The gingerbread house looks great, and an attractive addition to the displays. So much to look at… Now you’re all kitted out with yarn for the rest of the year, and I hope you really enjoy knitting some lovely garments.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had to smile as I read this because Last week I wore a yellow cardigan for the first time, though it has been in my closet for ages (I’d gotten it as a gift). I love yellow, but never wear it because it doesn’t suit me. This time though, the cardigan and the colour combo worked out well… I even got a lot of compliments on it. Anyhow, sounds like a great event and a wonderful day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Must have been picking up on your yellow vibe too 🙂 No wonder I was so drawn to it. Great to hear the colour worked well with what else you wore. Sometimes it’s just a case of keeping it away from your face or having a colour that really suits you closer to your face.


  4. What a great day. I found myself feeling this was like a play and how unhappy I will feel if you didn’t buy any yellow wool! Love the crochet hook. I’m off to nose around a centre that makes wicker baskets. I already have two at home but you know they are just lovely to look at and use. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, it would have been a bit of an empty ending if I hadn’t come away with the wool. Enjoy the wicker baskets – let us know what you buy. I agree, they are lovely. I have several for craft stuff and for logs and kindling.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I chuckled when I read your comment about the yellow socks after I have just made some! Seriously though, yellow is such a happy colour and I can’t wait to see a yellow cardi. I’ve just made a linen dress in that shade of turquoise too…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 When I saw your yellow socks they made me think again about yellow too. You’re right, it’s such a happy colour but no one seems to wear it. When was yellow ever in fashion? Is there a conspiracy against yellow? As for the turquoise I confess I buy almost everything I lay my eyes on that’s that colour.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In the Eighties, my little brother used to wear a lemon yellow polyester suit with the sleeves rolled up à la Miami Vice, paired with a baby pink acrylic jumper. Perhaps that’s why it fell out of fashion favour?!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. The days sounds like heaven 🙂 I wish I had been there. Love you wool choices and I will definitely go and have a look at those sellers when I progress enough to trust myself with quality wool (I’m still occasionally getting lost on patterns and dropping stitches!) So thanks to the pointers.

    Also, I love your blogging style. So engaging and easy to read 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure. looking forward to heaps of success – although, as I’m sure you know, there’s almost always better learning in failure, so they’re good too 🙂


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