I’m Just a Fiber Festival Rookie

Have you heard about Rhinebeck, New York Sheep and Wool festival?

Of course you have. It’s an annual October event with hundreds of vendors, tens of thousands of visitors, miles of yarn and tons of fiber. From what I’ve read or heard, it must be the mecca of the America’s fiber folks. Some day I would love to go. But not for a few years. I’m not ready.  

You see, I’ve only been to a few small events.
Oxford Fiber Arts Festival in Oxford, Mississippi
Fiber Fusion in Snohomish, Washington
Seattle Weavers Guild Annual Sale
Portland (who needs a festival when there’s 15 yarn shops in Portland)

I’m still a rookie fiber festival goer.

Oxford was my first festival.  I did not know about indie dyers.  I was safe because most of the vendors were bats and braids and fleece for spinners.  I was only an aspiring spinner and bought a drop spindle.

Last year I went on a fiber trip to the Northeast, I thought ONE souvenir yarn from each Portland LYSs and Seattle would let me stay within a budget limit. I blew that budget. (Ok, budget means the cash I have saved for fiber splurges.  If I blew the budget, it means I pulled out the credit card.) Still happy, no regrets. I have knitted four projects, a linen shawl, a cashmere lace shawl, charity auction shawl and one pair of socks. But there are still four left. I am struggling with what to do with them. They seem too precious still. No worthy pattern has been found to match it.  Or is it me who isn’t worthy of the yarns? Probably a mix of both are holding me back.  

Silly.  It’s just yarn.  I think I’ll go get the Mountain Colors, Portland Rose colorway to work on next.  

I thought SSK was just another small event. Yes, it is small but no, it’s not just another event. It was my first experience where I spent my budget at just the first three booths. I did better than the Northwestern trip.  I had more cash saved.  I did not pull out the credit card.  Again, I love everything I got. I just hate that I couldn’t really visit the other booths.  You see, if I looked, I would have pulled out the credit card.  I HAVE set a goal of making something with all the yarns before the next SSK (whether I get in or not.  I’m still on the wait list.)  I LOVE my first pair of socks from Must Stash yarns. Looking forward to the second. But lots to knit before next July.

Vendors at Fiber in the Boro

Vendors at Fiber in the Boro

My cute 92 year old mom went with me to the local festival a few weeks ago, Fiber In The Boro. While I was texting friends that we just arrived, I hear her whisper, ‘Don’t buy anything! Don’t buy anything!’. She’s so cute!  I had no intentions of buying yarn.  I just wanted to see.  Really!

Fall Color in Murfreesboro, TN

Fall Color in Murfreesboro, TN

Actually, I had a great time GETTING to the festival. There were a few patch of rolling hills with the last flashes of fall color.  That alone was worth the drive. I was suffering from a bit of fall color envy with all the pictures from Rhinebeck the week before.  I know, I know, I have lived in Boston and Minnesota. Nothing compares to the north and northeast.  Your fall color can be really spectacular and breathtaking. But I am going to enjoy what I have.

Bookhou Pouch from Fringe Supply Co.

Bookhou Pouch from Fringe Supply Co.

The only vendor I knew was Fringe Supply Company. I follow her on pinterest and her blog. And from her I started following Bookhou. Love her aesthetics. I bought one zippered bag.  Technically, Bookhou is a competitor of mine.  But, I don’t think I will ever get to her production level or marketing skills.  She’s good.

One souvenir was all that was planned, which I thought was the Bookhou pouch. Saw some wonderful shibori dyed silk scarves. Not tempted, just admired. I didn’t see any yarn that was better than what I already have. And I’ve decided SSK is where I will buy yarn (cross my fingers that I will get in next year). Fortunately, no fabrics at the festival.

Saori Wool Spools

Saori Wool Spools

But here’s the beginning trouble… I did fall in love with the colors in one booth, Saori. Not for knitting or for spinning, but WEAVING. Look at these spools of wool!  I missed taking a picture of the sets. Yummy colors. I asked if they can be used for knitting. He said knitters don’t like the single ply, but the two ply works. Oh dear, I do see trouble in my future…

My new Seam RIpper

My new Seam RIpper

And then the vendor mentioned his turned wood pieces. He had seam rippers with turned handles. THIS I could justify. Ergonomic for doing a dreaded task. Brightly colored, so I won’t lose it. A unique item, especially at a festival for knitters and spinners.

Maybe I should add quilt festivals to my activities.  Will have to research what’s in my area or where we’ll be traveling.  Any chance they’ll have somethings for sewing on a road trip?  OK, maybe not a good idea.


Stitches South will be in Nashville next spring.

Maybe making a 2015 knitting goal list will help me focus. Yep.  I’ll do that soon, while on the next road trip.  

Happy Thankgiving everyone,



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