Monday, September 24, 2012

Southern Adirondak Fiber Festival

This past weekend was a lovely one.  The Southern Adirondak Festival is a lovely festival in upstate, near Saratoga Springs.  It's fast becoming a can't miss festival, and I've been lucky enough to be invited to teach there for the last two years.  It's held at the Washington County Fairgrounds, inhabiting at least 8 barns of vendors, plus classes, herding competitions, and all things sheep and fiber.  The vendors are selected by a jury process, ensuring a nice variety of offerings for spinners, knitters, crocheters, dyers, and anyone else involved in yarn or felting.

This year as I wandered the barns.  There was a wonderful vintage button dealer, with fabulous collections.  Just the thing for the sweater you have on the needles right now.  These wooden ones to the left are from Lazy Day Farms. **Slurp** (A little knitting drool!)

The felted poppies at right are another product on offering, with vintage button centers.  They make lovely lapel pins, hair clips, and bag decorations.  The colors were great, and was generous enough to let me take these photos.

Valentine Arts had these unique yarns in their booth.  Each ply is hand painted separately, and then plied together to make these beautiful yarns. And, each yarn is hand-spun.  Fiber Festivals are one of the few places where you'll find a wide variety of hand-made yarns.  For fiber fans who are looking to break out of the commercial-look mold, it's terrific to have several yarns to choose from.

This spinning wheel, right, is unlike any I've seen before.  It's a interesting blend between modernity and history.  Handcrafts enter the 21st century.  It about $600, available from a builder in Vermont.  All the woods are locally sourced.  No word on whether the carbon fiber wheel is "organic".

As wonderful as all the "stuff" is at all these festivals, the best part is getting to spend time with the people.  I love getting to visit with my students, who have wonderful stories and knitting styles that we build on in class.  The owner of Battenkill Fibers, Mary Jane Packer, and I got to have a quick visit about sock knitting, and the preferences we have for the same type of long wearing heel patterns.  Stephanie Grieger, of Dirty Water Dye Works, introduced me to some terrific new sock yarn, and we're brewing up something for the Rhinebeck 2013 Sock.  Laurie Perrin, of Silver Moon Farm Fiber Arts, led me to some lovely superwash superfine merino which will allow me to finally make Louie's blanket.

These are all parts of why I love these events.  If you haven't gone to a fiber festival yet, it's time to get off the couch, and go!  Meet some fiber people, and make some new fiber friends.  See things in person that will inspire you.  I hope to meet you at a festival soon!

1 comment:

Kayten said...

Liz- It was lovely meeting you this weekend. Can't wait to see the blanket! I do have to let you know that it's Sliver Moon Farm, not Silver Moon Farm. Don't feel badly- everyone does that at first!