Out and About
We get out and about visiting events, exhibitions and crafty workshops around the country or sampling them from the comfort of our own homes
Paper-making workshop with Tunde Toth
In early July we travelled up to Thomastown in Kilkenny for a paper-making workshop with Tunde Toth. The workshop was held in the wonderfully restored Grennan Mill Craft School, where workshops of all kinds take place.
We attended the morning workshop, which was for newcomers to paper-making. Tunde started off by showing us examples of different kinds of paper, and telling us a brief history of the craft and how it has developed. While she was talking, Tunde was preparing the pulp, the starting point for any paper. For our workshop, we would be making sheets of paper out of recycled sheets as well as some cotton and linen fibres. As knitters we were intrigued to see that the paper-making process was quite similar to felting in that the fibres of the paper/wool are wetted and once dry, are what holds the piece together.
Tunde’s knowledge and expertise were evident in her teaching, as was her enthusiasm. She set us all up and let us get on with our making, while drifting around to each of us individually to see if we had any questions, and to see how we were getting on. We created several different versions of a sheet of paper including sheets embellished with all manner of fibres and fabrics. Then Tunde unveiled a bag of natural embellishments, including flower petals, twigs, herbs, leaves, etc. She showed us how to incorporate these into our sheets of paper and the end result was unique to each person.
We thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and came home with beautiful sheets of paper that we will treasure. We also came home with the know-how to continue paper-making in our own kitchens; it’s a relatively simple craft that can be done with household utensils in the comfort of your own home.
I do love a good fibre festival and despite Woolfest being in its 13th year, I had never before had the opportunity to visit it. Based in Cockermouth, Cumbria the festival is one of the longest running festivals of its kind and it’s easy to see why. Having been lucky enough to attend many a fibre festival, I had very high expectations for my visit and I’m thrilled to say, it lived up to them all.
Woolfest is a large festival, well established, and it shows. Held in the Mitchells Lakeland Livestock Centre, there is plenty of space, so you don’t feel overcrowded and it’s easy to access everything. Which is just as well, as there is so much to see. The festival will appeal to all types of fibre folk: knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, felters and other crafty folk. There’s also lots for those who love to buy handmade goodies.
The festival takes place over two days and while Cockemouth might not be the easiest of places to get to, especially if you’re travelling from here in Ireland, it is well worth the trip. If you’d like to find out more, there’s a post about the day I spent there over on our blog here.
Origami, the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures, is a wonderful craft, loved by young and old the world over. Having said that, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a new thing as there seems to be a resurgence in its popularity at the moment. Despite this, it’s not often that you’d come across an Origami workshop taking place, rather people tend to refer to books and websites. One of our favourites is origami-instructions.com.
The website includes instructions for many different and ingenious items, all of which have been split into handy categories including some easier projects, specifically aimed at children. Each includes step-by-step photographs, which make it much easier to follow. In addition to these ‘basic’ instructions, many also have accompanying YouTube videos.
On the site you’ll find everything from boxes and containers to cranes and flowers. One of our current favourites at the moment is the Origami Corner Heart, which makes the perfect bookmark and ‘Just Because’ gift.
Yarnfolk Festival of Wool
On Saturday the 5th of August, Whitehead in Antrim played host to the Yarnfolk Festival of Wool, Ireland’s first independent yarn festival. Set over four different venues in the town the festival became a haven for people like us that love to play with the woolly stuff for the day.
The day was packed full with workshops, special guests, makes and takes, and even a festival knit-a-long, plus lots and lots of lovely vendors, some of whom had travelled across from mainland UK.
We’ve covered the day comprehensively in Lora’s vlog of the event over on YouTube, but in case you missed it, why not head over there to find out more? We’ve our fingers crossed that the festival will return in 2018.