WWW: Spring Festivals, 22,000 Yellow Jerseys, Knitted Wallpaper

The winner of our Lace Contest is Karen from Bangor, Pennsylvania. Thanks to Brooke Niko and Lark Crafts, Hiya Hiya, and Black Bunny Fibers for the generous prize.

Just wonderful.

Last week I mentioned the campaign in Cambridge to collect knitting to decorate the town for the UK stages of the Tour De France this summer. The Guardian has a lovely piece about the enormously successful campaign in Harrogate, Yorkshire, that kicked off the entire thing. Last summer, the Harrogate town council invited members of the public to send in hand-knitted mini replicas of cycling jerseys. The mini jerseys will be strung up as bunting around the town to celebrate the arrival of the Tour De France. They have received over 22,000, “rather more than anticipated”, with contributions from Switzerland, Canada and Bermuda.

How good is this?

On the Spoonflower blog, fantastic knitted wallpaper, in the studio of the Brooklyn Craft Company.

The spring fiber festivals are starting up… first up is this weekend’s Dallas Forth Worth Fiber Festival, being held at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas.

The Carolina Fiber Fest is held April 4-6 in Sandford, North Carolina.

That same weekend, it’s YarnCon, describing itself as Chicago’s Indie Fiber Fair.

April 10-13 is the Shepherd’s Extravanganza at the Washington State Fairgrounds.

Toronto’s Downtown Knit Collective annual Knitter’s Frolic takes place the weekend of April 26 & 27th. (And I’m teaching!)

As always, check the calendar on the Knitter’s Review website for a more detailed listing of fibery events.

Speaking of shepherds and sheepy festivals, the shepherd of the wonderful twitter account @herdyshepherd1 has kicked off an indiegogo campaign to secure funding to support the historic Borrowdale Sheep Show.

In their own words

Borrowdale Show is one of the traditional sheep shows and shepherds meets that take place each autumn in the Lake District, in the North of England. It is a gathering of shepherds and their best sheep, half competitive, showing to prove the worth of their flocks, and half a social occasion and cultural event. It is a scene to behold with more than 250 Herdwick sheep judged in one day, coloured with the traditional Herdwick Show Red and shown with great pride by their shepherds.

The show is run entirely by volunteers from the local community. But they have experienced several years of awful luck with the weather and have now limited cash reserves to pay for insurance and other necessities, and because of this the future of this timeless show is in the balance.

The campaign, launched last week, has done much better than expected, and has more than met its goal. I’m writing about it because I think it’s a truly wonderful initiative, and I want to publicize the event and thank those who were kind enough to contribute.

Image from the @HerdyShepherd1 twitter account, with thanks.

And whether you contribute or not, whether you want to attend a sheep show or not, if you’re not aware of the Twitter account, go take a look. The photos of sheep, and the farm, and the sheep dogs (#teamfloss) are magnificent. I’ve also learned a lot from their tweets, about sheep, about sheepdogs, about the challenges of joys of running a farm.

A nice piece on CNN about the cognitive and emotional benefits of knitting to relieve stress, to bring joy, and to fight depression and the effects of aging. Not news to most of us, I’m sure, but it’s always good to see mention in the press. (Especially those without the usual “not your grandmother” tropes.)

The article reports that in one study of more than 3,500 knitters, published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling “very happy.”

Not that we needed any justification for our craft, but it’s great to know that it really is good for us.

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