If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, and even if you aren’t but don’t mind a day out, then you need to visit this little corner of Cumbria – Caldbeck. As well as being a beautiful little village with a beautiful beck to sit and picnic by, there is a sweet little cafe and bric-a-brac shop, an old church (where John Peel is buried [alongside some of my relatives, do say ‘hi’]), and more importantly, The Wool Clip, a shop of yarny proportions which will have all fibre addicts’ hearts a pitter-pattering. The Wool Clip is a co-operative whereby members have pulled together and pooled resources and talents, and there you will find yarn, fibre, knitting needles, hooks, ready-made items, knit kits, drop spindles, buttons, rugs and almost anything you can think of to do with wool. And best of all, it’s all locally sourced from the member themselves – from Cumbrian slate buttons, to Herdwick fleece, everything is Cumbrian born and bred.
And that’s not all. These entrepreneurs have also, for the last ten years, held the now infamous ‘Woolfest‘ each summer. To my shame, even though it is mere miles away from my family home, I’ve never attended, but THIS YEAR I have high hopes to make it back up here to support local yarnies, and those from further afield too.
It’s very rare in our modern age that we get a chance to support local businesses, and especially local craftspeople, in such a direct way. And so I like to think that is why I always spend so much money whenever I go there, and make the effort to get there whenever I am in the area – it’s not really about my yarn addiction. It’s about supporting local farmers and craftspeople.
Yep. That’s what I’m telling myself. And my husband. And the bank manager.