I went to my first fiber festival, my first in person fiber festival, in at least ten years. It’s been a long, long ten years and so many priorities came before spinning, knitting and my own fun. I used to love the Florida Fiber Ins in Orlando but everything was above my price range and I felt completely out of place when in attendance. That’s pre-pandemic, pre-kids, pre-Masters degree, pre-CPA. . . Last year, in the depths of my grief and anxiety, I went head first back into crafts and stumbled upon virtual fiber festivals. It may have even been about this time, but I’m not sure which ones I attended via Facebook. What I remember is bidding on Dunn Spunn’s fiber batts in a frenzy, not knowing what was going on. What I learned from that experience is that even though these batts are indeed gorgeous, I don’t like spinning from art batts. Sorry!
I got out of the house early on Saturday morning and drove up to the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival in Berryville, VA. I stopped at Sheetz for coffee and a breakfast burrito and it was yummy. I definitely recommend it, especially if you are hungry as it’s pretty big.
First of all, I got there early so I got to walk around listening to the vendor’s talk and without the crowds. There were definitely a good bit of people in attendance later. I went through my first walk through, once again, not really knowing what was going on. That is a common theme in my life. I can find out more through other people’s reactions and conversations than I can research before hand. Through three walk throughs of the grounds and some strong will power on my part, I left with a grey gotland fleece, two bags of wool and hand plucked angora roving, one black cat knits hank of fingering weight sock yarn, some sweater stitch markers with instructions, 3 stickers and a shawl/hair pin that is currently holding up my bun. I desperately wanted a monster coffee mug but couldn’t fork over the $39 even if it was well deserved for the craftsmanship. I watched spinning on my dream wheel – a Monarch from Spinolution and watched weaving handspun on a barn loom. I was looking for a few more fiber processing tools but didn’t find the right one at the right price. Also, there were tons of carded batts and braided carded fiber, but I didn’t see anything really in the way of combed fibers. I like to spin worsted and I wish there were more of those combed braids available. I love the stained glass merino from spotted circus, which I ordered at some virtual fiber festival last year. I just wish I had spun it using chained ply instead of regular plying. I muddied the colors that way.
I cannot wait for my next fiber festival but I’ll have to take some time as it seems everything keeps going up in price. I still love it!