Unusual Leeds festival proves popular with knitting fans

Leeds Wool Festival at Leeds Industrial Museum sat 3rd june 2017  Anya Atkins, five of Wakefield and Luddite Dave Hunt from the Yorkshire Museum of Farming wearing  hand woven hats
Leeds Wool Festival at Leeds Industrial Museum sat 3rd june 2017 Anya Atkins, five of Wakefield and Luddite Dave Hunt from the Yorkshire Museum of Farming wearing hand woven hats
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A resurgence in the popularity of knitting has been credited for the success of an unusual festival which has proven unexpectedly popular in Leeds.

Great crowds of up to 700 people attended the Wool Festival at the Leeds Industrial Museum on Saturday, an event which has grown steadily in popularity in recent years and is now one of the centre’s busiest occasions. From stalls to demonstrations, folk singers and Morris dancers - and even an alpaca - there was a varied mix of entertainment to keep the crowds busy.

“Knitting is hugely popular,” said Lesley Durkin, site development officer. “There’s been a real revival in recent years, and there was a great mix of old and young that came along.

“We had 22 traders and about six demonstrations, as well as talks, folk singers and Morris dancers. We even had an alpaca - people could take them for walks.”

The festival included stalls from local specialist retailers like The Knitting Goddess, Sonic Knitting, The Border Tart, Dye Ninja and Baa Am Ewe.

The museum also hosted a demonstration area, where visitors could learn about techniques such as spinning and felting by watching experts in action. Yarn the Movie, featuring wool graffiti artists and circus performers, was showing in the museum’s 1930s cinema and there were workshops on the day with a specialist knitter.

“It was a great succesful event, and everybody enjoyed it,” said Miss Durkin. “It went really well.”

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