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Woolly Weekend is back this weekend!

05 October 2021 Sophia Kelly, Kelly House

The weekend of the 9th and 10th of October marks the 10th Woolly Weekend to be held at Kelly House, Lifton.  

Kelly House has been the home of the Kelly family for the last 900 years. When Sophia Kelly moved back to her ancestral home 11 years ago, she found that it was chilly after being used to central heated accommodation, So she needed some good warm woollens.

After discovering a beautiful hand-knitted gloves produced in South Brent in Devon and some exciting, dyed yarn from Cornwall, she became aware that the southwest had a vast range of local producers of woolly products. But there was no one place to find them all together. She set out to help her visitors find ways of warming up with excitingly designed garments made by local crafts people, and to help Devon and Cornwall farmers showcase the products produced by their rare breed sheep and alpacas.

It was also essential to have fun, so a knit a bunting flag competition was set up to deck the house with bunting, much of it made by knitters and crafters. The Woolly Weekend was created to bring together local wool producers while help with raising funds for the ongoing restoration of Kelly House and support a local charity, 

The date was set for the first Woolly Weekend on the second weekend in October to fall in with #WoolWeek run by The Campaign for Wool and it has been held that weekend every year since. 

Sophia’s chosen charity is the Children’s Hospice South West, which supports local families when they most need it. Their volunteers have helped run the show ever since it started. 

Even though Kelly House has warmed up as time passes, Sophia still loves to fill the house with dedicated craftspeople who create beautiful and useful products that do a great job of keeping you warm. The weekend supports the farmers who manage the animals who grow the fleeces and reminds buyers of the close connection between the land and the pretty garment. It is well timed for Christmas shopping.

The ground floor of Kelly House is full of Devon or Cornwall based woolly producers. Products on sale range from woven waistcoats and knitted jumper by Sampford Alpacas who have been exhibiting since the weekend started. Their waistcoats and jumpers are undyed, the colours are as they were on the animal.

To naturally dyed yarn by Caroline Bawn of Gorgeous Yarns who also grows the plants that provide the dyes for her hand dyed wool. Perfect to produce your own woolly garment.  

While Dorothy Morant makes hats using formed woollen material and hand dyed silk flowers which are indeed very stylish, just right for a wedding.  

So, overall, the weekend gives a great insight into what can be done with wool. As well a great place to find a present to warm the hearts of your loved one this Christmas.

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Kelly House PL16 OHH is between Launceston and Tavistock on the border between Devon and Cornwall.

Visitors are welcome between 10am and 4pm each day. Entrance is £5. Refreshments are available in the tea room in the old Tudor kitchen with homemade cakes and soup.