Festivals, Fibre, Friends

The Almonte Fibre Festival was on this past weekend and I was happily in attendance there this afternoon with my BFF, Francine and a few other friends that we bumped into or who there as vendors.

This was my first visit to a fibre festival – time and distance often being a mitigating factor in whether I could go –  now that I’ve had a chance to, I’ll be trying to get to as many as I can!

The day was perfect, sunshine and warm with the temperature being in the mid-20’s. Almonte is about a half hour drive from where we live and is a quaint and historic little town with much to offer tourists in general but also folks looking for art and artisans.

Previously held in the twinned locations of the well known Mississippi Valley Textile Museum and the North Lanark Agricultural Hall, the Festival was held under one roof at the local arena. We were greeted by four alpacas from a local farm. Another first for me as I’ve knit a lot of alpaca but hadn’t seen one “in person”. They are adorable! Unbelievably soft and good natured, unlike their camelid relations the llamas and camels. Oh Henry and Megatron were great ambassadors and greeters.

Venturing inside, we found so many vendors I was a little overwhelmed. The layout was good and there were lots of people in attendance but not cheek-by-jowl (which would have sent this introvert into a a skeeved-out state). We had bumped into some knitting friends and with them, did a quick walkabout to get a peek at as much as we could and also to plan our purchasing path for later in the afternoon. Vintage clothing upstairs and the Button Collectors Guild rounded out the themed areas. I can see how people get caught up in button collecting now and I don’t think I’ll ever put readily available commercial buttons on a handknit again! Cards and cards of buttons, vintage and more modern, beautifully uncommon. I bought a card for a future sweater that is still just some skeins and an idea.

There was quilting, smocking, spinning, rug hooking, knitting, crochet, beading, felting, Nuno felting, textile art and all the supplies that you might wish to stash enhance or learn a new skill. Against my better judgement, I purchased a drop spindle kit… I swore I wouldn’t do it because I know this will inevitably lead to a stash of fibre braids and batts; I suppose there are worse addictions though. My BFF had her lovely shawl pins ~ Fancy That Creations by Francine ~ for sale alongside another friend, Genevieve, the colour maven behind Turtlepurl Yarns and so there was a bit of stash enhancing that went on – I’m sure there is one more nook in the work room that needs filling!

A visit to the tea room for sandwiches and a regroup before a second round of shopping, ogling, squishing and yarn sniffing; was a nice break. The festival closed at four in the afternoon and after the takedown of displays and with my wallet much thinner than before, we headed for home.

A perfect afternoon, a perfect September day, spent in the best of company and colleagues. Golden.

I would have liked to take more photos but there was just so much to look at. Here are a few from the day and with the Yarn Pr0n photos to follow in a day or two:

Mayflower Shawlette Finished

Cast off yesterday. Debating the blocking method due to the ruched bands. I’m really chuffed with this project. Anything hand dye, hand spun is wonderful to work with and this laceweight was particularly nice. I like BFL and I’m having a love affair with all things lace right now. I was able to use all but 7 metres. Knowing that I was just going to work it until I couldn’t, I planned ahead to use some leftoer ZYG from my Blackwood Shawl to do the cast off. Although a different weight and fibre mix, it is still all natural and echoes the thick and thin strand. Tonally, it was very close with the khaki beige and deep rose flecks and the khaki green that showed up in the very last bit blends well enough to suit me. Overall, very happy with this one.

Finished!

Finished!

Detail 1
Detail 1

Detail of the gradient colour and the ZYG used for cast off.

Detail of the gradient colour and the ZYG used for cast off.