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Two new books to be promoted at Wonderwool Wales 2023

TWO new books will be promoted at this year’s Wonderwool Wales, the award-winning show that celebrates all that’s great about Welsh wool and natural fibres.

Ria Burns, who designs and makes sustainable knitwear in Bristol, has chosen to launch her new book, Dyeing Yarn Naturally, published by the Crowood Press, at the 17th show, which will be held at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells on April 22 and 23.

Meanwhile, TOFT founder Kerry Lord’s latest publication, Alexandra’s Garden: Flowers, which features patterns to make 30 crochet flowers and will be launched at the end of March, will be promoted at Wonderwool Wales.

Ria makes small batch, artisanal clothes from local, traceable wool. She hand dyes her garments with homegrown and foraged native plants, handmaking each piece to create a locally made, long-lasting and unique product that works with, not against, the environment.

The knitwear is designed for longevity and Ria takes pride in showcasing the natural hues and qualities of British wool as a soft, warm, and durable textile.

‘Dyeing Yarn Naturally’ is a step-by-step guide to the process of dyeing yarn naturally from start to finish. This practical book explains the basics of how to colour yarn successfully with plant-based dyes.

It starts with a detailed account of how to source materials and equipment, then moves onto how to prepare yarn and finally how to dye.

Packed with advice and illustrated with inspiring photos, this guide will launch readers on a sustainable and creative journey that explores and celebrates the dyeing potential of everyday plants.

“Wonderwool Wales will be the book’s first official outing after publication, so I think it technically counts as the launch, which is very exciting,” said Ria whose website is at https://www.riaburns.co.uk/ .

Kelly’s much-anticipated book, ‘Alexandra’s Garden: Flowers’, celebrates TOFT’s 30 favourite flowers, travelling through the four seasons of the garden.

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Flowers range from the first snowdrop shoots pushing through the frost to the delicate and intricate petals of the alstroemeria and on to the fantastical displays of the dahlia.

Accompanied by stunning floral photography, readers will also find pages of handy tips and tricks, sewing up instructions and guides for tension, basic stitches and much more.

TOFT is a British craft company based in the rural Warwickshire village of the same name, which is home of the Edward’s Menagerie and Alexandra’s Garden collections of crochet animals and flowers by Kerry.


Bringing traditional crafts and contemporary designs together using luxury materials, the business specialises in beginner knit and crochet kits and has a wide range of pattern books and British wool. Everything is sold online at https://www.toftuk.com/ to customers worldwide.

TOFT was launched at Kerry’s parents’ alpaca stud farm in 2006, originally to produce alpaca yarns. Today, the company sells both alpaca and premium sheep wool yarns and has a global following.

All of TOFT’s yarn – whether alpaca or premium wool – is spun in the UK by the best mills in England. The wool itself is of the highest quality, both in terms of the raw fibre the company uses and the workmanship that goes into creating the yarns.

Animal welfare is extremely important to TOFT as well. All wool yarns are museling free and all of the alpaca yarn is from the fleeces of company’s own herd.

In addition to the development of TOFT yarns, Kerry has written a series of best-selling books, including ‘Edward’s Menagerie’. During the last weeks of her pregnancy with her son Edward in 2012, she taught herself to crochet and made a toy elephant for her new baby.

This began the collection of amigurumi animals – there are now more than 200 -which is now a phenomenon in the global craft industry. Edward’s Menagerie began as an ebook that was exclusive to TOFT until 2014 when it was turned into a book and appeared on the shelves of bookshops all around the world.

Since then Kerry has designed hundreds more crochet patterns and written more books.

Wonderwool Wales tickets – costing £12 per day or £22 for the weekend – may be purchased online in advance at www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk or at the gate. .

For more information, visit www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk , like Wonderwool Wales Ltd on Facebook or follow on Twitter @wonderwoolwales .