Friday, May 11, 2007

Eye Candy Friday: North Wales Visit

Last weekend, Mr. Tall and I took advantage of the three day weekend (it was a bank holiday here in the U.K.) to visit Wales for the first time. We stayed along the north coast, as that was far more convenient for us and had a great time exploring.

Along our journey, I persuaded Mr. Tall to pull off a couple times to visit yarn shops and woollen mills (what a great guy!)

Here is a little eye candy for you!

The first stop was at Trefriw Woollen Mills, which is located in Snowdonia National Park.

Trefriw, Wales

Trefriw Woollen Mills

The mills offers a nice walk through exhibition on how wool is produced and woven into the many fabrics the mill produces.

Weaving in progress

Sadly, there is a very small amount of space within the shop devoted to hand knitting - a small selection of 100% wool, made on site. Perhaps it's a post for another day, but to me it's always sad to see a woollen mill where more space is dedicated to the same souvenirs found throughout the country than local fibre for other crafters and knitters. I understand, of course, why this is - consumerism and capitalism - but still, it is sad to spend the greater part of one day driving past fields and fields of sheep, but not see their wool factor into the tourist equation the way local jams and other crafts do. Ok, right, back to the post...

To show my support for locally-produced wool, I bought three skeins of aran weight:

Aran weight from Trefriw Woollen Mills

Close-up for colours!

The Woollen Mill also features a separate cottage for hand spinning. Unfortunately for us, it was closed :( A peak through the window showed a lot of beautiful fibres and knitting supplies. As the mill was displaying fliers for Woolfest, so hopefully I'll see them there!

Our last stop was at Abakhan Fabric. This shop features a lot of fabric and decorations for home, along with a good selection of knitting yarns and needlepoint. The selection was pretty good, ranging from some of the "upper" lines, down to cheap and squeaky acrylics. Prices were decent - worth grabbing things if you were wanting something, but nothing to drive out of your way for. The most impressive thing for me was the amount of yarn they had - most shops local to me have a very small selection, save Hobbycraft.

Abakhan Fabric

It was a great trip, and I look forward to another Welsh Wool Expedition (I'm thinking Pembrokeshire!)

1 Comment:

Amanda said...

The pictures are lovely! I now have wool envy!