June 23rd and 24th 2017 will see thousands of wool enthusiasts heading to Cockermouth in west Cumbria for a two day extravaganza of wool. Sheep and other woolly creatures will be on hand to show off their myriad breeds and wool types. Weaving, knitting and dyeing events take place all over the auction mart. Vendors tout their wares and customers eye up what’s new, what’s back in stock, and rue the day they didn’t buy it last year as it’s all gone now!
Laura’s Loom will be on stand D79-80 this year – a double stand with a bit more room for both customers and ‘staff’. My helpers this year will include daughter Caroline and weaving friend Ali. Neither one is entirely sure what they have let themselves in for!
For us the event has begun days in advance, getting stock ready and packed into boxes and bags. The day before we will drive up the motorway to Penrith, turn west to Keswick and arrive at Mitchell’s Auction Mart in Cockermouth ready to set up our stand. It’s an inspiring drive as we head towards the mountains of the Lake District National Park. With a trusty trolley at the ready and willing arms, we tote the bags and boxes from car to stand, set up the tables, attempt to artfully arrange a few cloths, display a few baskets and hey presto…..four hours later……our stand is ready!
The fun part of these events is meeting up with vendors past and present who over the years become friends or at the very least friendly faces. We’re all competing for a slice of the same pie, but the woolly world is a warm world where we can greet each other with a smile and catch up on news from other events, new products, new colours, and how’s the family.
At 10am the doors open and we’re ready to greet our customers as visitors from far and near stream through the doors. Some return year on year, many are new and it’s time to tell our story once again. It never fails to amaze me how many people are interested in wool. That’s great news for the future of the British wool industry. I’ve seen it grow tremendously over the last ten years. Long may it continue.