Oh, Who Are the People in Your Fiber Festival?*
’Tis the season for going to fiber events and woolly gatherings! Maybe you’ve added a fiber excursion to a family vacation or planned a solo getaway to indulge in your craft. Wherever you roam this summer, traveling plus attending a fiber festival equals a great opportunity to meet new people and expand your handspinning community.
Year after year, while shopping at my local fiber festival in Wisconsin, I got to know several of the vendors. The merchants have great insight into what’s trendy and new. When I moved to Colorado a couple of years ago, I was delighted to find some of the same familiar faces, and friends, working the booths here, too. Now, I look forward to seeing them every year at Interweave Yarn Fest.
The shepherdess who supplied the divine fleece that you adored preparing and spinning last fall can teach you a lot about the animals in her flock. Strike up a conversation and make a new fiber friend! Sign up for her mailing list so you can get first dibs on freshly shorn fleeces. Have a favorite ewe? Spinning the same sheep’s fleece can educate you on how wool can vary from year to year.
You can’t learn everything in a single class—even with the best teacher. Taking several classes from your favorite instructor will not only expand your skill set, but will help you get acquainted, too. Some of my teachers have become good friends. We may not see each other regularly, but I look forward to catching up with them when our paths cross at fiber events or when taking their latest class.
The easiest person to get to know at a fiber festival is the person sitting right next to you in a class. Get started by offering encouragement or asking a question, and the conversation will flow. You already have something in common! Once, while traveling to attend a fiber class, I serendipitously met several women from my hometown, and we decided to start a weekly knitting group when we returned home.
Have you made friends at a fiber festival? Share with us in the comments below! Find related Interweave posts on Fiber Festivals!
*Sung to the tune of Sesame Street’s “People in Your Neighborhood”
Featured Image: Members of Gunnison, Colorado’s 4-H Get Your Goat Club present a Cashmere doe, kid, and buck at the 2017 Estes Park Wool Market. From left, Josie Bifano, Marissa Hatch, Madeline Igo, Ava Cody, fleece judge Wendy Pieh, Cole Hatch, Nick Bifano, Kaytlin Camp, Tyler Tucker, and Lydia Anderson.