Wool House at Somerset House

2 April 2013

Oooh! Colourful Sheep! Hooray for Wool House!

It’s a jolly good thing March in 2013 has proved the coldest in fifty years. The Campaign for Wool’s pop-up of pop-ups, Wool House (March 13-24), couldn’t have asked for better weather to showcase the warm magnificence that is… well, wool. London’s Somerset House was where contemporary artists, crafters, fashionistas and interior designers showed off just what can be done with a bit of the fluffy stuff.

A rather impressive bit of "Crochetdermy" by the fair hand of Shauna Richardson. Yes, this bear IS made of wool.

There was some wonderful overlap between the disciplines. For instance knitter’s favourite, Donna Wilson, had a spot in the interior’s section. Toddlers dashed under barriers to get into her whimsical child’s bedroom, complete with knitted raincloud and a menagerie of her distinctive knitted animals. 

A dream bedroom by Donna Wilson.

The upcyclers amongst you would have approved of Josephine Ryan’s aran jumper’d arm chair. Comfy as anything and totally desirable.

The best way to upcycle an aran jumper. Thank you, Josephine Ryan.

The craft area was a buzz with activity. The loom of Jason Collingwood, artisan rug-weaver, was a popular focal point with an intrigued and fascinated crowd in constant attendance. I think a new generation of keen weavers was born in this corner of Wool House.

And as for the free events that were on offer… gosh, where to start! Beginners could revel in knitting demonstrations courtesy of the Sublime Design Studio and Rowan Yarns whilst Debbie Bliss herself was present to help improve the techniques of more established knitters. For the brave and experienced there were lace and Fairisle master classes with Sandra Manson of Jamieson and Smith at the helm. Beyond the realm of knitting, Tom of Holland was teaching his Visible Mending Programme (think of it as “darning for the daring”).

Keen knitters.

Meanwhile the soothing whir of spinning wheels filled the air. But this wasn’t something out of a fairytale, oh dear me no. Spinning is undergoing a renaissance. Exhibit A: Rachel Brown of Porpoise Fur and Allison Thistlewood of Champagne and Qiviut spinning a stunning DK out of a hot pink and neon yellow fleece.

Hot pink and neon yellow in freshly spun DK form, courtesy of Porpoise Fur

Indeed, that is as amazing as it sounds. I rest my case.

Feeling inspired yet? I certainly was. Imagine what delights await us for this autumn’s Wool Week (October 14th – 20th). This is only going to get bigger, better and hopefully more neon.

(Images: The Campaign for Wool & Zoë F. Willis) 


Fabrications said...

Thanks Zoe for your wonderful review of this event, which I sadly missed. shame it wasn't on for longer!

Zoe F. Willis said...

Hello Barley. I'm glad you enjoyed my review! Hopefully the Campaign for Wool will have equally exciting things planned for October and 2014. We keep our fingers crossed!