Carolina Fiber Frolic in the Springtime
Last month, I was able to join a group of cheerful fiber artists in the mountains of western North Carolina. As I made my way south to the Sapphire Valley, the dogwood trees were blooming and the mountain air carried hints of springtime. The Carolina Fiber Frolic (CFF) is held each spring and fall, welcoming spinners, knitters, crocheters, and sock-crankers from around the region. We all converged at the Sapphire Valley Community Center, a lovely facility nestled into the valley with plenty of gathering spaces and alcoves that quickly became filled with fiber and laughter.
Event organizer Jan Smiley is a surface design artist and prolific seamstress whom I always find swathed in inspiring handknits. With the help of her husband and fiber friends, Jan has been hosting CFF since 2010. It has evolved and grown over the years, but has always maintained the inclusive feel of a healthy community.
Each spring CFF includes workshops and vendors, while the fall event is more retreat-oriented. This year’s vendors included Seven Sisters Arts, Kristen’s Fiber Studio, Copper Corgi Fiber Studio, and more. Workshops in spinning, knitting techniques, and rug hooking allowed many people to hone their skills or pick up an entirely new craft. Between classes, shopping, happy hour, and the fashion show, everyone still found time to knit a few rows or spin a few yards with new and old friends.
I was happy to spend some time with one of my friends at the retreat, Sallie Olson. She is a gifted fiber artist and member of the Piedmont Fiber Guild. Sallie has this to share about CFF:
“I feel very lucky that I have been able to attend [each] spring CFF since Jan started it. I have also been to one or two of the fall Frolics at which there are no classes, but lots of time for fiber pursuits, fun, and socializing. It’s fun to reconnect with those I’ve met at previous Frolics as well as meet new people. Good classes, good companionship, good food, and a nice venue. It’s a lovely long weekend.”
The next two Carolina Fiber Frolics have been scheduled for November 11–13, 2016, and March 24–26, 2017. If you are interested in attending or have questions, contact Jan Smiley at email@example.com.