Toft Alpaca Workshop

This last weekend saw me packing up my workshop again and travelling by various means (taxi, train, bus, foot) to the Toft Alpaca shop, near Rugby. I was a little dead on my feet by the time I arrived, but a friendly and business like welcome - not to mention a fine bowl of creamy latte coffee - soon had me upright and setting my workshop up for the next day. 


It's that time of year when people's thoughts turn to Christmas and I'd pre-made a little set of my own trees to act as visual aids and inspiration.

And then I set my sales table up, as I now sell not only my own kits, but tools and supplies now. I couldnt bring my entire range of 52 wool colours (which I have stocked in my Etsy shop) but I brought as many as I could.

I was fully booked with twelve places filled. The shop and cafeteria have a really great, busy atmosphere and soon my little band of needle felters were hard at work creating their own trees.

 Lunch was a superb affair.

I took advantage of the time to pop out and get a quick shot of the stars of the show, the alpacas. There are many more than this, but these two sweeties are near the shop.

Next door to my class, a crochet workshop was going on - making the delightful creatures designed by Toft founder Kerry Lord, in her new book, 'Edward's Menagerie'.

Which contains patterns for all these lovelies dangling here -

Meanwhile, back at needle felting central, I'd opened up my battered suitcase of treasure - beads, findings, threads and everything needed to beautify a Christmas tree.


This was a particularly talented class, and by the end of it I was incredibly proud of the gorgeous small forest of trees skillfully crafted that day. As for myself - well, I packed everything up again and made the return journey back home; a very busy two days indeed.

I have just two workshops left this year - one is fully booked, but there should still be places for an acorn making workshop on November 20th at the White Hart pub in Eynsham, West Oxfordshire. Details and booking contact can be found on my website


mountainear said...

Looks like a great day. Have you any plans for a workshop nearer home?

PS I bought a Toft kit in Bishops Castle at the weekend. I hope my crocheting skills are up to making a little rabbit for my new grand daughter.

Nancy said...

I love alpacas. They have such beautiful eyes. I was so amazed that they hum and twine their necks around each other. Made me wish I had land to raise them. I love your trees.


Frances Tyrrell said...

Apart from your beautiful and original work, all the packaging and details, I am also very impressed at the delicious goodies offered at your workshops! Quite the civilized addition to an afternoon of creativity. I imagine the creative work leads to appetite which, amply satisfied, leads to greater creativity.
Beautiful little trees, lovely acorns. (Are you offering the calendars again this year? Must check your shoppe...)

Frances said...

Gretel, although I do have a vew alpaca jumpers (thanks to my employer) I have never actually seen an alpaca in person. I like thinking that you might be my proxy alpaca pal.

This most recent workshop must have been such a delight! What fun to see see the grove of Christmas trees grow, each in its own way, and even get to find those trees decorated by the close of the workshop.

Bravo Gretel!

Your acorns are like woodsy jewels. i am so fortunate to have one of my own. xo

Soozcat said...

Can't help but think your workshops would be a delight all round -- making things, wonderful company, delectable treats...

Unknown said...

Lovely to have you here at Toft, and thrilled you and your workshop attendees all had such a great time. Many thanks.

Acornmoon said...

A feast for the eyes Gretel, I am sure your students came away inspired and informed.

Thanks for the link to the book too, one to add to my want list!

You know how much I love your acorns so that goes without saying. x

BumbleVee said...

Whew..... a busy way to get a start on anything.... how to make things a bit easier ..... hammy....... send stuff by bus or car to the destination? ... press a friend with a vehicle into service for the drive? ...... sheeesh.... ....there must be a better way ......

love the cute little acorns...

I haven't done any needle felting for ages.... must give it a go again sometime... my arm was just getting so bad I gave it up...but...it is much better now than it was ...had some cold laser treatments on it ...what a great thing!!

jerilanders said...

Gretel, A friend just gave me a huge quantity of Alpaca as I've recently taken up some needle felting. I would have really enjoyed this class as I still have a lot to learn. Beautiful location for an afternoon of creativity and yummy food.

BumbleVee said...

Hiya Gretel...just stopping by to say Happy New Year to you ......

I hope I can get my head in the game for 2015 and do some bits of felting...along with a lot of other stuff.

Big hugs,