You might want to get yourself a snack and put on your walking shoes, cuz we’re going to a Fiber Fest today!
Wool fabrics, both new. . .
and ready-to-be-recycled – the sign says ‘Washed – hooking ready’ –
were popular at the New England Fiber Festival I visited earlier this month. They weren’t intended just for rug hooking, but for making beautiful corsages and hand-appliqued projects,
as well as large tote bags.
These are obviously made out of wool suit coats, a clever recycling idea.
Although not wool, here’s another recycled item – totes sewn from animal feed bags!
Notice the grommets added for extra strength.
I knew I was saving this large cat food bag for something!
But I suppose people would really look askance if I carried my groceries in totes made from kitty litter bags. lol
Rug weaving is yet another use for wool fabric. A frame loom is very simple compared to a large multi-harnessed floor loom, yet you can still make a rug with it! This particular weaving technique is called twining.
A twined rug made of cotton calicoes.
Here’s a display of beautiful scarves woven of fine threads. I especially like the diamond patterned one!
I only saw a few table looms for sale, mostly rigid-heddle ones. This antique loom was in what I call the ‘fiber playground’, an area where you could play with fiber ‘toys’, including various kinds of spindles and spinning wheels.
They would even let you spin on an antique walking wheel! I was satisfied by just watching a demonstration this time, maybe next year.
Notice the spinner’s beautiful sweater, which she knit from her own handspun yarn!
Here’s another sweater ‘on the move’ that caught my eye.
Not only was this lady nice enough to let me take a snapshot, she also explained that the pattern, Melissa LaBarre’s Tea Leaves, is knitted seamless top-down. I especially like its ballet neck-line and the touch of textured stitches. The fact that there are over 2000 finished examples in Ravelry also encourages me to try this particular pattern! Oh look, there’s a child’s version too, Tiny Tea Leaves.
I’m definitely going to knit myself a Ribbed Vest. It’s an easy-peasy pattern and ribbing is so forgiving as to sizing.
I’ll remember not to wear mine with this boldly striped top! lol.
I also bought the ‘Donna’s Cowl’ pattern by Lynn Wilson Designs. Its shaping is created by simply changing needle sizes! Wish I’d thought of doing that when I made my last cowl.
Seeing this pattern I immediately thought about the possibility of knitting one at a larger gauge so it’ll slip down over my shoulders, rather like Lynn’s Slip Stitch Wrap does, but with the beautiful lacy scallops of the cowl! Mmmm-mm.
This knitted wrap is a stitch sampler. Can you imagine knitting a blanket-sized one?!
I missed an opportunity to see fine-gauge mittens being made with a circular knitting machine. They were just starting to set it up and I intended to go back later, but I. For. Got.
Here’s a youtube video of someone knitting socks on a 1906 Gearhart machine. This second video tells a little about the history of sock knitting machines. Do not be afraid; it is not a boring history lecture, but a short ten minute tale.
Cute knitted Baby Legwarmers! – I assume they were made on that same sort of machine.
Knit of sock yarn in 1×1 rib, the same pair can fit a baby from ankle to thigh, a toddler from ankle to knee, and an even older child can wear them as armwarmers. That’s alot of wear to get out a pair of legwarmers! lol
There were also thigh-high ones sized for adults – what fun!
This Feather and Fan triangular shawl is one of the few large crochet projects I noticed at the festival. Crochet, as usual, was not prevalent.
The other large crochet project I saw was this round shirret rug, made from strips of bias cut fabric and carpet warp (strong cotton cord) using a special shirret crochet hook/needle.
DH and I met for an afternoon snack while we watched a shirret demonstration. You can follow this link to see how its done, both in photos and video. Shirret is a simple yet intriguing technique, but I prefer to learn how to hook rugs first.
There’s alot more fiberous goodness yet to come. In the third and last fiber fest installment, I’ll finally get around to talking about rug hooking, show you what I bought at the fest besides patterns and some photos of cute fiber animals!