Wilderness 2014 – Craftastic

Wilderness Knitting

I have just returned from a weekend at the Wilderness Festival in deepest, darkest Oxfordshire, where I survived by my wits and fighting off the wolves. Which, roughly translated, means I have spent the weekend beneath canvas, sipping cider and G&Ts, whilst sitting in the sun (and rain), listening to music … and knitting!

Camp Knitting

Who knew that collapsible camping chairs and their handy beer can holders are great for holding balls of yarn whilst knitting! But it wasn’t just about the camping. I found the whole festival both creatively inspiring and confirming.

At the last moment of packing, I threw this satchel into my rucksack. It turned out to be absolutely perfect for long days on my feet and away from my tent, when I’d need the bare essentials of sun cream, purse, phone, sunglasses, tissues … and that was about it.

Guy Latiluppe Bag

This is the Guy Latulippe Simple Satchel I made and blogged about during my time writing at The Guardian. (The comments on the original article turned into an interesting semi-debate over the two issues of hardworking creatives charging for their work and the ethics of fast fashion. Can you guess what my opinions were?)

This is a corking pattern and satchel. I’ve never met Guy, he lives in Canada, and I can’t really remember how we found each other through the Internet. All I know is that I massively respect his aesthetic and creative enterprise. Which means I’m really pleased to see that Guy’s Simple Satchel passes the ultimate test. It survived a festival!

P1090413Why isn’t this man sporting a Simple Satchel?!

I also wore a lot of handmade outfits whilst camping. My second Lilou dress was perfect for hot days, as was my Tiny Pocket tank. Tana lawn suits tight packing. The fabric rolls up so small and any few creases quickly fall out. Perfecto!

P1090455With no shadow of a doubt, my favourite venue at the festival was the Secret Forum – an open tent that hosted a series of free talks and debates. (When was the last time you attended a good debate? For me, as a teenager!) I’ve been in a very ‘think-ey’ mood of late, and this was just perfect for me. Clutching a morning coffee, I could wander into the tent, sit on a bale of hay and listen to a philosopher, an environmentalist, a voice coach, a politician, businessman or … Craftivist Collective! I saw both Sarah Corbett of Craftivist Collective and Doug Richards, the founder of School for Creative Start Ups. Doug was fantastically eloquent and inspiring. My best friend and I left the tent sparking with ideas!

It’s easy to be a bit eye ball roll-ey about the modern rise and rise of festivals, but this weekend allowed me to be with good friends, to hear inspiring people, to think and dance, think and eat, think and queue for the showers. It allowed me to think. I think that’s a good thing.

When did you last get a salve for your soul and what are your top tips for working down time into a busy life?

photo (16) copy 3

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21 Responses to Wilderness 2014 – Craftastic

  1. Kat says:

    Sounds like you had a wonderful relaxing time, sometimes its so great to get away from it all and spend some time in another dimension which festivals are great for. I like the look of the simple satchel too, going to check it out 🙂

  2. Kerry says:

    Looks like you had a great time. Impressed with the alternative use of the drinks holder in your chair 🙂

  3. Panda Face says:

    How lovely! Cornbury Park is indeed a beautiful place to contemplate life even when there’s just the deer there. Living in Charlbury, this is the first Wilderness I’ve missed but it’s lovely to think one of my favourite sewing bloggers was just down the road 🙂

  4. Michelle says:

    I do love a good festival! Lately my down time has been spent in the local pool’s deep end doing my physical therapy. It is slow work. Boy a lot of thinking gets done there. No distractions other than the sunlight sparkling in the water.

  5. louisefrost says:

    I think I like the look of that festival!!! Music and crafts – perfect! 🙂

  6. Thanks Karen! I’m so happy you’re still using the Simple Satchel, I love that little bag! Thanks so much for the awesome shout out. You are the best!!! xo Guy Latulippe

  7. Stephanie says:

    That satchel does indeed look perfect. I had forgotten about it – going on the list of things to make! I love the sound of the Secret Forum. Lucky you!

    In terms of down time, I’ve learned the hard way through my life that real productivity comes through interspersing work with solid rest. I make sure to get out in nature every day and give myself at least a couple of hours a day to focus on things I love to do. I sleep and eat well. When I do these things I am much more valuable at work (and at home), because everything is sharp and my creativity at the ready!

  8. Fadanista says:

    Camping always salves my soul and when combined with something crafty, I am in heaven. This looks like a wonderful weekend and I have deep envy!

  9. Sam says:

    I can’t remember the last time I went to a festival with friends. I really should do that more often. I tend to find music festivals all a bit gross – dirty and drunk people everywhere! But the idea of a weekend away with things to do and the time just to sit and knit if I want fills me with longing! Sigh….how wonderful

  10. I had no idea such festivals exist. Sounds like a blissful way to spend a weekend. Loving your Lilou dress.

  11. What a lovely festival. I don’t have the pleasure of knowing anyone in real life who likes knitting or sewing. It must be great being able to share your craftiness with friends 🙂

  12. Ingrid says:

    Love Wilderness! Was lucky to be there last year for my birthday. Also performed at the bandstand with Lips choir – such good fun! Sorry to hear it rained on you

  13. nita says:

    What an inspired idea that festival is! I love it!

  14. Rebecca says:

    I love it, what a cool festival! Wish I could have gone. I love the blue knitting you’re working on, it’s beautiful!

  15. Stacey says:

    Whenever I have a hectic day, nothing gets me into a relaxing, meditative state quite like knitting … stitch on, sista! 🙂

  16. Ali says:

    Wandered past the knitting venue on Sunday, down for the day with my family and found it a very chilled and peaceful festival. Managed the Sunday Service in the Secret Forum. My son was worried he would see naked knitting but he was spared.

  17. LinB says:

    First Wild Goose Festival near Silk Hope, NC was the last soul-inspiring festival to which I devoted some days of my life. There, I, too, realized that those cup holders are perfect to corral a ball of yarn. Also, you can loop your folding-scissors-on-a-lanyard around the arm, so that they are readily accessible to you and to everyone who needs to borrow them to open up snack packages.

  18. That looks like so much fun! I’m not big on wilderness, but that sounds like a blast.

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