Tuesday, 26 July 2016

A Festival for Yarn Lovers

Yesterday we drove to Warwick for the annual Jumpers and Jazz in July Festival. I used to have a look at the yarnbombed trees many years ago when we were visiting our mum and when the festival first began but since then it has gone from strength to strength and is now held for 10 days during winter each year.

When we arrived it was time for my older sister to have her morning tea so we headed for Cafe Jacqui's which we used to call ' The Dome' where I knew the Spinners and Weavers group was exhibiting their work. 

We were greeted by this colourful sheep busily knitting away....

 ...and Mr.Snake who was warming up after a cold morning.

 Inside there was a vast array of woven, knitted, crocheted and felted items which were for sale. There were a number of ladies spinning and one lady was weaving on these small looms which caught my eye. They reminded me of the looms we used to make years ago by banging nails into a frame to make nylon duchess sets. I think that must have been back in the 1960s!


 The yarn was hand spun and was so fine. Once the squares were woven she would then crochet them together as you can see in the photo. It was so interesting chatting to her and learning about weaving but with my non-crafty sister and son in tow it was time to get moving so I then had a look at the felted hats...

 ...many of which were beautifully made. I happened to meet a couple of ladies then and we got chatting and I said I was from Toowoomba and they said they were too and I told them about our Simple Living Toowoomba group and they were very interested. One of them was Kirbysue Lyons who is a felt artist and she invited me to the Toowoomba Spinners, Weavers and Dyers group which meets at the showgrounds each Thursday. I noticed on the program for the festival that Kirby was holding a Felt Flowers Workshop today. If anyone is planning on coming to the festival before it finishes next Sunday there are still some workshops on at the weekend.

On the way out there were a couple more ladies who were spinning and we had a discussion about how this lady had woven her beret with just a circular piece of cardboard. She explained to me how to spin the yarn finely and how to make a thicker yarn as well. I could have stayed there for ages talking to them but the natives were restless so it was time to drive up to the Art Gallery where there were more exhibits.

 ' Petal'  was waiting at the entrance of the gallery and was decked out in knitted and crocheted bits and pieces.


 Above ' Petal'  was this colourful curtain and on closer inspection....

...I realised it was made from bottle tops tied together with cable ties. Now, that's a good way to recycle bottle tops don't you think?

Inside was ' 50 Years of Flower Power'...a worldwide craft collaboration. This seven metre long work which has been hand stitched together by textile artist Prudence Mapstone comprises hundreds of bright floral motifs in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours reflecting the theme of Flower Power.


There are more than 207 contributors from over 24 different countries, many sending in numerous pieces that have been included in the installation.  

Also in the Art Gallery was an exhibition called ' Colours of the Country - Alice Springs Beanie Festival'. We weren't allowed to take photos but you just wouldn't believe the beanies that were on show. One was made from silkworm cocoons and was just fascinating...not very practical but fascinating just the same. 


 We could have spent more time at the Art Gallery having a look around but there was still a lot to see so we headed up to the main street where the trees had been yarnbombed and on the way saw this display by 'piglet' who wrote 'I want to live in a world where the environment doesn't need protecting'. :-)

I have too many photos for one post so will show the yarnbombed trees in another post. I am not sure how I feel about yarnbombing as such as I would much rather knit or crochet to keep someone warm but this festival brings in much needed tourist dollars to a centre which services many farming areas which have been through really bad times recently because of the the effects of drought.

 So, if you are a yarn lover...watch this space as I'll be back!


  1. I love that last picture of the yarn-bombed tree - spectacular. I just think of all the sheer effort that would go into putting an event like this on.

    1. It would take a lot of planning and co-ordinating I would think, Mr.HM. It is very well done.

  2. Very interesting Chel, I thought the curtain made of bottle tops and cable ties was a clever project

    1. Sherri, I was very impressed by the curtain and it would have been so simple to put together.

  3. We were in Warwick in the week beginning the 11th of July Chel and I saw the beginnings of the yarn bombing. What a shame I wasn't there a bit later. I would have loved to visit the Art Gallery. Maybe next year. In the meantime I'm looking forward to this year's flower festival in Toowoomba.

    1. Hutchy, well you learned your lesson last year. Don't park so far away from the parks. LOL!

  4. It's been lovely to see your photos of the Jumpers and Jazz in July festival. Looks like we won't make it this year, but I can always hope for next year! Lol


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