The day the museum was taken over by wool

Knit bombing, Alpacas, yarn spinning, sheep shearing and miniature sheep can only mean one thing at the National Museum of Rural Life…

It means that our Woolly Weekend is upon us! Woolly wonders took over the museum earlier in June, and as I had only recently started as a Learning Facilitator at the National Museum of Rural Life (with a secret love for all things knitted), I could not wait to see what the Woolly Weekend had to offer – and boy, it did not disappoint.

Yarnbombing at Woolly Weekend.
Yarnbombing at Woolly Weekend.

I watched as visitors entered the Rural Life building and enjoyed spotting their realisation that this was not just a normal day at the museum… The entrance hall had been ‘knit bombed’, from knitted bunting to a little bench wrapped in knitting. The entire ticket desk was covered in everything from knitted dinosaurs to knitted vegetables.

Knitted fruit at the Woolly Weekend
Knitted fruit at the Woolly Weekend
Some woolly creatures that took over the desk!
Some woolly creatures that took over the desk!

My favourite creatures, and possibly the biggest stars of the day, were three Alpacas from Westyett Farm. Their big wide eyes, friendly smiles and fantastically thick, soft coats kept children, adults and myself mesmerized for hours!

Alpacas at the Woolly Weekend 2015
Friendly alpacas at the Woolly Weekend 2015.

The friendly duo Anna and Antje from Glasgow’s award-winning knitting café The Yarn Cake were greeting everyone as they explored the museum. Plus many visitors were avidly watching spinning demonstrations, testing their skills at peg loom weaving using beautifully coloured yarn and making their very own miniature sheep (some were taken home and others joined our woolly wall).


‘Lamb Lugs’ (little lamb ear handbands) were being crafted with lots of energy and enthusiasm: children were transforming plastic headbands and glue to make their own designs and become little lambs for the afternoon. Then they all set off on our tractor ride to see our very own Scottish blackface flock at our 1950s farm.

Sheep at the Woolly Weekend

We then went for a guided tour, of course saying hello to all our farm animals (including the new Tamworth piglets, little lambs and calves), and popping in to see the 1950s farmhouse.

Next on the ‘to do’ list was watching some sheep shearing demonstrations. These were happening throughout the day, carried out by our very own stockperson Maggie – you can watch a little video of her in action below:

As afternoon was upon us, it was time to sit back and relax whilst listening to a performance from Gael Music. The museum was filled with incredible ceilidh music performed by very talented children, who had been practising for weeks inside the museum to perfect their skills.

For me the day seemed to fly by and I had to say goodbye to the friendly Alpacas, help close the museum and start de-knitting the entrance hall, including removing a giant sized ball of knitting.


However, I don’t have to wait too long before the excitement begins again with our next event day the Heavy Horse Show on 19 July 2015. This time horses will take centre stage and you can watch more than 100 horses, ponies and foals competing in a range of events. There will be family fun activities including pony rides and craft workshops too, so it seems I am going to be very busy in my new role! I hope to see you at National Museum of Rural life soon.

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