So this past weekend was the Madrona Fiber Fest. Unluckily for me, I had no idea when class signups were and so I was beyond late and couldn’t sign up for any awesome class. But the marketplace and demonstrations were free, so I decided to make the ~40min trek down to Tacoma for the fest.
It was my first fiber festival and boy oh boy, was it an experience. I went alone, as I don’t know too many people who would want to give up their Saturday for a fiber festival, and thought it would simply be a shopping and watching experience. What I had failed to remember was that fiber people are incredibly friendly people (I’m trying to decide what crowd is friendlier and more welcoming: fiber people or frisbee people – it’s a toughie) and within a couple minutes of walking around the marketplace I was already talking to people about yarn, spinning, fiber, etc.
The first two laps of the marketplace experience were quite overwhelming. Prior to arriving, I set a cash spending limit so as to not go crazy with my purchases (I’ll recap afterwards). In order to absorb it completely, I just walked around the area twice to see what the whole entire experience even had to offer. Throughout that time I also talked to a few people about yarn options, colors, and the sort. After my warmup laps, I headed to the Habu booth since I also set a rule that yarn purchases must be in sweater quantities; no less. My stash consists of far too many single skein entities. In the end, I made out quite successfully with these items:
They include hand carders, some roving, habu yarn, size 17 dpns, some lovely boucle yarn, and an issue of ply.
I tried to get an image depicting how lovely the roving is, but I don’t think images or words could describe the silky softness of the camel-silk roving that I’d found. I got the roving from the Carolina Handspun (I think?) booth and it’s to die for. I’m afraid to spin it right now since I’m rather rusty on both my spindles and my wheel, but sooner or later I’m envisioning a delicious single ply.
That is the awesome boucle yarn I got from the Artful Ewe, located in Port Gamble, WA. The ladies at the booth were so sweet and delightful! I’m hoping to create the “Boxy Sweater” out of this…when I get to it.
Last, but not least, is the some of the Habu yarn I got. I love the variety of textures this company comes up with for the yarn…not to mention the amazing contemporary designs. But the textures are what get me every time I see Habu yarns. I’m hoping to make a lovely, simple cowl out of these two balls.
Afterwards, I checked out the few demonstration booths they had: spinning tips with Sarah Anderson, some 12 pairs of socks being knitted with a magic loop, some kumihimo braiding, and weaving. I finally got to try my hand at a harness floor loom and it was absolutely delightful! (not that I had any doubts that I would enjoy the activity) This cemented the notion of getting a loom and luckily I have a friend who’s trying to get rid of one of her floor looms! As soon as I can figure out how to a) get it to my apartment and b) find a place for it, I’ll have a new toy! SO exciting!!
While I was only able to experience the magic of Madrona for one day this year, I’m going to make every effort to get some classes next year and spend much longer there. Though it was relatively daunting to be there without anyone I knew directly, I’ll definitely like to try sitting, knitting, and absorbing the magic that is fiber people there next year. Maybe between now and then I’ll be able to burst my shy/introverted bubble?