The first day of Wonderwool Wales is over and done; it’s going too fast!! I’ve spent so much time and effort preparing for this event, and it’s flying by like you wouldn’t believe. I feel like a child who’s climbed the steps to the biggest slide ever, only to realise that I’ll be down in a fraction of the time it took to get up…
Still, the ride is fun, (if chilly).
So, harking back to yesterday, this is what a Wonderwool stall looks like when you first arrive:
Big, white, intimidating! (Just to give you a sense of scale, the stall is 4 metres wide. The tables stacked to one side are 2 metres long…) The boards that make the stall space are mostly white – which is nice! There’s no need to cover them if you don’t want to. They’re also at least 2.5 metres tall, and quite thick. I’d planned to make a backdrop using black fabric suspended from broom handles, which were to be held up by S-hooks over the top of the partitions.
Except my S-hooks aren’t big enough to fit over the partitions. Happily, there are quite a lot of nails and other protrusions in the top of the boards, so I was able to loop wool around the nails, then hang the S-hooks from the woolly loops, and then deploy the broom handles as planned. The final effect is great (as long as you don’t know that the I ended up using parcel tape to hold the fabric round the broom handles, anyway)…
The backdrop took several hours to put in place, and the rest of the stall went up much more quickly. I’m pleased with it! (Though not with my photography, ahem):
…which has been neither so chaotic nor so exhausting as I expected. The crowds seem thinner than at Woolfest (though perhaps it’s just that the aisles are wider), but very enthusiastic. Even the credit card processing went seamlessly – or at least, very nearly so. And the dogs! I’ve never seen so many friendly, well behaved and (mostly) quiet dogs at a show! (We will perhaps gloss over the spaniel that trotted off with a ball of yarn from one of my neighbour’s displays. I think it must have smelled just too enticingly sheepy!)
The day was somewhat spoiled by the presence of at a thief in the crowd. To the best of my knowledge, I wasn’t affected, but wool was stolen from at least one other trader. It’s so sad!! We are a small community – it’s amazing how many people all know each other! – and generally tightly knit (if you’ll pardon the pun). Small indy dyers like myself and the victim of the theft work on pretty small margins, generally speaking, and know we’re very unlikely to become rich from our efforts. We do it because we love it. But we still need to make our money, and thefts like this can remove all the profit from a venture. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, so I won’t go on, but – Bah!!
One bad apple, though, did not spoil the barrel in this case. I can’t say enough about the joy of being surrounded by happy, excited people, or about the warm welcome we’ve all had here. I havent’ just sold yarn today; I have taught spindle spinning, educated people on the joys of correct gauge, encouraged and – I hope! – inspired. Thank you, Wonderwool, for a fabulous first day’s trading amongst the ‘big boys’; may there be many more to come.