Even for those of us that love Summer above all other seasons, anyone who knits is bound to find themselves feeling tiny pangs of excitement at the prospect of Fall being just around the corner. The upcoming cooler days mean that we are finally being able to wear some of our wooly accessories that have been buried away in storage all Summer long.
Autumn also means another thing in Canada- Fiber Festival season is upon us! No matter where you live in this vast country, there is sure to be a Fiber Festival near you. Three in particular come to mind, which we would love to share with you, but should you happen to know of a Fiber Festival near you that we have missed, please let us know!
Located just an hour outside of Ottawa in St. André-Avellin, Quebec, Twist Fibre Festival takes place from August 20-21, 2016.
With over 150 vendors, demonstrations, lectures and classes (which begin as of August 18), a fantastic selection of food vendors and free activities for kids, this event is one that the whole family can truly enjoy! Learn about how milkweed is otherwise known as “Quebec’s Silk”, learn how to spindle spin, dye wool, or operate a knitting machine. Get the kids making some ‘felted sushi’ or a yarn skipping rope! There is so much to learn, see and do at Twist. Admission is only $10.00 per day, $15.00 for a weekend pass, and kids under 12 are free! (Classes are subject to further fees). To learn more about Twist Fibre Festival, please click here.
Photos courtesy of Twist Fibre Festival
With over 70 knitting related vendors, be sure to come ready to do some damage! Complete with a “Knitter’s Spa”, those with exhausted hands (from both knitting AND shopping, of course) can relax and recharge with a hand massage. Knitter Extraordinaire Anne Hanson of Knitspot fame is this year’s guest speaker, and she is sure to inspire and educate with her story of success within the world of knitwear design. The Knitter’s Fair also plays host to the ‘Micro Market’, which features smaller scale designers and knitting related businesses that are new to the scene. Be sure to stop by the Micro Market when visiting the Knitter’s Fair, to discover new-to-you knitting products and ideas. Entry is only $7.00, and children under 12 are free. To find out more details relating to this event, please click here for more information.
In it’s fourth year, the Manitoba Fibre Festival will take place on September 30 and October 1.
With lots of activities, vendors, competitions, fibre shows, an art exhibit, even a knitter’s relay (!), this festival has countless ways of getting involved. Whether you want to simply attend the festival and shop the booths, enter your latest hand spun skein for judging, or participate in the knitting relay (which is exactly what it sounds like- individuals walk while knitting, points go for speed and quantity of knitting accomplished while walking), there is something for everyone to enjoy. To read more about the Manitoba Fibre Festival, please click here.
Before we sign off, we have just a few tips for all of you ‘Fiber Festival Newbies’. It can be overwhelming to walk into an exhibition hall filled with gorgeous yarn and fibers! So here are a few things that help us keep our head in the game upon entering a hall filled with yarn and fibre.
- Go with a plan- even if it is just a loose one. Take notes beforehand with pattern information (ie: needle sizes, gauge, quantities) so that vendors can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Or better yet, bring your patterns with you! Then there will be less room for error. It can be difficult to track down ‘just one more skein’ if you realize that you are short one once it’s too late. Better yet? Just buy the extra skein.
- Bring cash- not only will the merchants thank you for saving them the pesky fee owed to the big credit card companies, it will also help keep you on budget. Bring out the cards midday if you decide that you weren’t generous enough with yourself. (We promise we won’t tell).
- And finally- bring your own bag. While this not only helps out Mother Earth, vendors can start to run out by the end of the day, as they likely wanted to keep the room in their truck to haul yarn- not bags! This will make shopping easier for everyone involved.
So, Happy Fibre Festival Season dear knitters and crocheters! If you have a Fiber Festival happening in your area soon, or more information on any of the festivals mentioned above, please let us know!