Library spins a real yarn at wool crafts day

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Residents are invited to join in a one-day pop-up museum celebrating traditional wool crafts.

Take a spin down to Leighton Buzzard Library on Saturday, October 10, where there will be a range of activities from novices to dyed-in-the-wool aficionados.

The fun starts at the Lake Street library at 10am, with free a one-hour weaving craft event for children.

Upstairs at 11am and 2pm, keen knitter and publications curator for the Knitting and Crochet Guild Barbara Smith will be giving a free talk entitled Fair Isle in Fashion.

Fair Isle knits were made popular by Edward, Prince of Wales in the early 1920s, when he famously wore a Fair Isle jumper to play golf at St Andrews.

The talk will trace the rises and falls in popularity of Fair Isle for amateur hand-knitters since then. It will be illustrated with knitwear and publications from the Knitting & Crochet Guild’s collection, including professionally knitted garments from the Shetlands, dating back to the 1930s. Many of the garments will be available to look at after the talk.

There will also be an exhibition of traditional crafts, including the history of the wool industry in Leighton Buzzard; rare film footage of spinning in rural Ireland, courtesy of David and Sally Shaw-Smith; and local knitters and stitchers will be on hand all day to answer visitors’ questions, with people invited to bring in a project they are working on.

Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “There are always plenty of fantastic events taking part at our libraries and this special pop-up museum is just one of them. If you are at all crafty, I’d encourage you to go along, as you could pick up some ‘purls’ of wisdom or just have a good yarn about a project which you are doing.”

The event is sponsored by the Knitting and Crochet Guild and Leighton Buzzard Archaeological and Historical Society, and free tickets for events are available from the library’s help desk.

For more information about this and future events at Leighton Buzzard and other libraries, visit