DH and I had a marvelous time at the Fiber Festival of New England last Saturday. We were there all day!! But with over 175 booths to explore, plus free demos, the fashion show and a zoo’s-worth of fiber animals, even eight hours wasn’t enough time for me to thoroughly look at everything. Eight hours = 480 min. ÷ 175 allows just 2 3/4 min. per booth!! Every booth I gave a generous amount of time meant how many others would get no time at all?!!
I’m glad DH likes wandering this kind of event by himself, because that’s like having a second set of eyes. We’ll enjoy swapping stories about the things we saw and the people we met for a long time to come!
Maybe you’ve never been to a fiber fest and wonder what could possible have held our attention for so long.
Well, there was just so much to look at and learn about! There were the requisite natural fiber yarns. . .
literally piles of them!
Including naturally dyed,
hand-painted, and even some Kool-Aid dyed ones.
There was a variety of non-yarn wool products too. Some, like this skirted (dirtiest parts removed) fleece from Cormo and Romney sheep, was relatively raw, still full of lanolin and natural sheep ‘aroma’.
If you’re into that sort of thing you’d love visiting this festival’s Fleece Show, a huge room filled with row after row of tables cover with bagged fleeces, similar to those shown above, each priced according to breed and quality.
While this alpaca (technically, not wool) had been already been washed and dyed.
Once carded (combed – disentangled and aligned) wool is called roving.
Looks rather like cotton candy doesn’t it? Reminds me of admiring each others’ blue tongues when we were kids! HAha.
All those beautiful colors of roving came from plant dyes!
And there was brilliantly dyed roving too, braided, ready to be spun into yarn.
Roving can also be needle-felted, either two-dimensionally, like this portrait
and these felting kit samples, – what an amazing variety to choose from! –
or three-dimensionally, like these cute little snowmen. (notice the melted one!) I noticed at a glance that there were entire booths filled with far more intricate felt sculptures too.
I got a couple of these felting needles to try felt-splicing natural fiber yarns. Somewhere I read that you can even splice synthetic yarns once you get the hang of the technique!
Here’s an interesting video (5 min.) by Indygo Junction showing 2-D needle-felting projects and a fun time-lapse one (3 min.) with Laurie Sharp of Wool Pets demonstrating how to make a 3-D felted Easter bunny.
Some roving was slightly felted into batts, shown here rolled,
which can be made into large felt art pieces like this one, scarves, wraps,
or even hats!
I’m sure if I’d spent more time in this booth I’d have learned about many other creative ways to use felt, but there were so many others for me to visit!
I have several more Fiber Fest photographs to share with you. In part two I’ll show all sorts of things I saw made of wool fabrics, plus some spinning, knitting and crochet!