Monday 14 September 2015

Swiss Wulle Festival - The First of it's Kind! (With Giveaway)

As I mentioned on the weekend, I would like to help support this event and make it as big as it can possibly get and to let you see what it is all about I will be interviewing some of the people involved in making this "Yarnie" experience possible.

Today I am honoured to begin at the beginning so-to-speak and have had the pleasure of interviewing Fides, the Organiser of the event, and co-owner of Siidegarte Swiss Silk Yarns

The Organisers of the Swiss Wulle Festival - Gaby, Fides and Ruth

Please tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to your craft.

Hi, my name is Fides. I’m a mum of three, a gardener, a photographer – but also a yarn dyer and knitwear designer – and the organiser of the Swiss Wulle Festival! Lots of hats to wear, I know…

My earliest memories of crafting always revolve around my grandma. She was constantly doing something with her hands, either knitting, crochet or needlepoint, makramĂ©, sewing… She was just always creating.

So it came naturally to me to be creative in fibres from early on. There was a time, at around twenty I think when I loved to knit doilies, in very fine yarn. I just so much enjoyed the process of seeing them grow, loved to read the charts and the clicking of the needles. A highly unusual pastime for a girl that age, I must obviously have been a bit of a freak…

I don’t know the reason anymore, but I stopped knitting around my midtwenties. And same as many, I took it up again when I started a family and had kids – how nice it is to knit a quick hat for a baby or a jacket, how utterly satisfying! And by the time I started knitting again, times had changed and there were so many more resources available. Mainly and foremost the amazing options that Ravelry gives – in choosing patterns, connecting with others, investigating yarns. Simply fascinating!

Somehow, starting a yarn dyeing company with my friend Gaby seemed like the next logical step. Today is our third birthday, and we‘re enjoying seeing how the company has grown.

And again, one thing led to the other. We were attending international yarn festivals as vendors and kept saying how much we would love to have such an event here in Switzerland as well. Someone should take the initiative – and so we did. It’s been a crazy adventure to say the least, lots of effort and time and energy, lots of help and support, a few disappointments as well. Just the way life goes.

But we’re almost there now. We’re excited about the positive feedback we’re getting, about the joy people express to be able to visit such interesting classes right at their doorstep, to see so many creative exhibitors … and about all the people we hear are travelling from far away to be in Zug at that weekend: Italy, Denmark, Norway, Spain, … – we will all meet at the Festival on that weekend!

What does the Handmade Movement mean to you?

To me, the Handmade Movement is very simply a step in the right direction. On so many levels. On a very personal level, it’s a Way of Life, a way to express yourself, to create, to make choices and start acting on them. And, if those were not the right choices, not to give up but to correct them and maybe even start from the beginning, going towards something better, something that fits and pleases more. What a lesson for life!

Crafting is also a more conscious way to consume and to cherish the things we have, the clothes we wear. Clothes will start to be heirlooms and not just something to chuck away after one season.

And, it the end, it’s just so much fun and satisfaction to sit down and knit, or spin, and to watch something beautiful come into existence.

So one of the reasons to start organising was to showcase the many stunning vendors and their products, to show the beauty and variety of their yarns and fibres. To enable the indivdual expression of choices and colours for those creating with fibre. And to create a platform to show and meet and get to know each other.

This is also the message of the #WulleCube, an interactive art installation that will start to grow at the festival. We are asking everyone coming to the Festival to bring a Granny Square – or severals – along, made of the yarn left over from past projects. This Granny Square will contain so much of their personal story and choices. We will start connecting these Squares during that weekend, in the middle of the Burgbach-Square, the same way we as visitors will be able to connect on that Festival.

swiss wulle festival

Who are you most inspired by and why?

We live in a great age – I love the sense of community the internet creates. Apart from my grandma, there is not a single, lonely inspiration for me. There are so many!! Dyers that have become friends, how they work with the same base material but create something that is so different. Designers – many designers, some of them will be at the Festival to teach. One of them is certainly Romi Hill. I remember, when seeing her stunning designs for the first time, how it made an instant connection to the lace doilies that I had been knitting years and years before. To see how she turned lace knitting into wearable art. There are so many others that I feel inspired by. I love studying unusual designs ans constructions, trying to figure out how they’re knit – in this sense, I’m very analytical.

What is the one Craft tool you couldn't be without?

As it happens, most craft tools in this home are like the famous second sock that just disappears, being eaten by the washing machine – always missing. I’m constantly searching for scissors or the darning needle that I need right now ... My kids are into crafting a lot, growing up being surrounded by yarn to dry, skeins to pack, projects to finish, it’s no surprise. So I’m used to not finding my craft tools or to finding them in the most unusual places!


If you were granted three wishes, what would you wish for to advance the Handmade Movement?

My three wishes would all have to do with the Swiss Wulle Festival. I wish for people to enjoy that weekend, visitors, vendors and teachers alike, sharing their love of yarns and fibres. I wish for us to have started something that will last, creating friendships, cooperations, projects. And I wish we could show those on the fence, those that „used to know how to do it“, how utterly satisfying crafting is and to entice them to start picking it up again!

Thank you so much for the delightful interview Fides!
It has been a pleasure to have you here to visit!

Where can we find out more about you?

You can find us here:

Fides and the Swiss Wulle Team have been incredibly generous and have offered you all an amazing Giveaway opportunity!

In this competition you could win yourself a Course of your choice from those available at the festival!!!! 

There is a large variety of courses available in English, German and French, so be sure to check out which one you would like to have!!!

How amazing is that?! 

Your entrance ticket is included in the course, so all you need to do is arrive and have an incredible day!

Didn't you find a course that tickles your fancy?

Not a problem!

You can instead win yourself a place at the Pre-Festival party on Friday night!

Not in Switzerland?

Don't let that deter you!

You have the chance to win yourself two skeins of hand-dyed Siidegarte yarn

To enter please use the Rafflecopter below.

You can earn yourself more entry points by re-tweeting about this giveaway each day from today until Sunday and by doing so you are also supporting this wonderful handmade event, so please tell your friends!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the next incredible Giveaway!

Spread the word, support Handmade!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Enjoyed yr interview very much. Thanks for sharing. I i could attend a festival course it would be the one with Asita about spinning! Enjoy the SWF everyone!!! 😊

  2. I wish I could take a course, both because I love the idea of this movement (and knitting!), but also because I spent two summers in Switzerland when I was a teenager and would love to go back. Sadly, this is not likely any time soon.

  3. I would love to take almost any class!! Sadly I won't be anywhere nearby. I hope everyone has a great time and i'm excited to see the pictures on instagram!

  4. I would love to win the lace course giveaway. I am a beginner knitter and have just discovered the beautiful world of yarns, will definately try to visit the festival.

  5. I am coming from Italy, and I'm so looking forward to the festival! Booked a brioche class with Nancy Marchant.


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