Visiting Fiber festivals in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, 2019
The end of summer.
This is a busy season for me, made more so by adding a few surprise fleeces found while making the emergency anti-raccoon-garage-repair. OK add two storage bins of large, vary fine, crimpy fleeces and another bin of smaller bags of assorted fleeces. Since you endured all the skirting, washing, spin-drying of the fleeces leading up to the surprise it’s a Shetland, let us not chat about that. Instead let us instead enjoy a momentary paws, take a breath and look back on the opportunities of acquisition so far this year.
Although we have a couple of yarn stores with some felting supplies in Ottawa such Wabi Sabi on wellington, they don’t carry everything I’m looking for. We are very fortunate in Eastern Ontario and western Quebec there have been a number of shopping-worthy festivals of fiber within a drive able distances of Ottawa. It’s convenient to shop on line but it’s not the same as seeing something rite in front of you, being able to touch it and ask questions of the vendor about what you are looking for.
The first started in January 2019 with “Wheels on Fire Spin in”. It is just across the Ottawa River, 16km and google claimed was 40 min away. (It took about 25 minutes so we were early) https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2019/02/07/wheels-on-fire-spin-in-2019/ . There were various vendors selling fiber useful in wet or dry felting.
1 Wheels on Fire Spin in
February brings the Chesterville Spin In, in chesterville, south of Ottawa by 82km and about 53 minutes away. There were vendors with fiber and felting needles. I was not the only one felting at a spin in!
2 Chesterville Spin In
March saw us in Peterborough, for the the Fibre Arts Festival & Sale organized by the Peterborough weavers guild, which is 267km or 3h 11m to get there. http://www.ptbo-hwsg.com/events/fibrefest-2016/ . There were 4 vendors selling felting supplies.
3 Peterborough, Fibre Arts Festival & Sale
March is also the start of demo season (3 days Deming at the Farm show).
4 Ottawa Valley Farm show
May sent us off to Picton for the Prince Edward County FibreFest, that’s 261km and 2h 33m away. I picked up more base felt for pictures and of course more needles and fiber. We drove back along old highway 2 which was longer but much more scenic. We even stopped at a Blacksmith forge for Glenn.
5-6 Picton, Prince Edward County FibreFest
June had a few more demos which had a lot people stopping to talk to me who were interested in Felting.
7-9 Felt at Demos
August was Twist festival in Saint-André-Avellin, Quebec it’s 91.9km and takes 1h 9m to drive there. There were the two main Supply vendors I see regularly at fiberfestivals; Olive Sparrow and FiberCraft. There were lots of booths witch had a bit of felting supplies, or were selling felted items. There was a sculptural Artist working in felt who was very impressive. She also treated wool like a Watercolour! I had a most enjoyable chat with her and got a few more ideas to work with. https://festivaltwist.org/en/textile-market/tinnalaine/
10-14 Twist festival in Saint-André-Avellin, Quebec
If you make it to Twist don’t forget to look for the restaurant “La Toquade”. (http://toquade.ca/coordonnes/ ) We always stop for the “Club Sandwich au Confit der Canard” (the comfy duck sandwich….yummmm.) If you have room the “Crème Brulee a la vanille” is also exquisite!
15 Club Sandwich au Confit der Canard – apricot raisin bread, apple, celery, onion, duck , bacon and herb mayonnaise
In September there is Fiberfest in Almont, sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. This is the one I wanted to tell you about. You may have notice I enjoy taking pictures. A number of years ago I shared the ones I took at Fiberfest with the Museum, which has led to a request for me to take more pictures for them! The photos are used on their web site, in publicity and to document what booth displays looked like. In 2018 I took about 600 shots. In 2019 there were 1,051 photos. Don’t Panic!! I will not show you all of them!! But keep an eye out for Ann McElroy she was one of the venders there!
16-22 Fiberfest in Almont
Each year there are the same numbers of vender spots. This year they added more outside venders and kept the very popular alpacas. The guild displays were in the area before you enter the arena. Participants included; Out of the box (a Fine arts Group), Knitters, smawlkers and embroidery guilds were there as well as West Carlton fiber guild and the OVWSG. When you entered the arena you found the 101 venders booths. There were a few double booths but that still is a lot of venders!
23-27 Outside Fiberfest
Upstairs (there was an elevator) were workshops starting on Thursday and running through to Sunday. This is becoming a trend with quite a few of the fiberfestivals. Check the websites well in advance and see if they have something interesting offered. Workshops can cut down on the time for shopping but time for learning may be even more important!
When I snuck upstairs to take a few shots I found there were 2 Felting workshops under way as well as a rug hooking workshop just finished up. Wendo was teaching her 3-D needle felted tulips. There was also a wet felted bowl workshop using a resist nearby. I didn’t catch the name of the teacher sorry!
28-31 Two of the workshops upstairs at Fiberfest
This year I had a notebook in which I had written each booth number, the company and contact name. I photographed my reference page info then continued photographing the booth so I would be able to sort them more quickly and make it easier for Michael, the Museum Curator and his hard working crew to find shots they wanted. This worked very well except there were a few booths that had not set up on Friday night when I started taking shots or had draped there booth with covers before I could get a shot. So returning early Saturday morning I started to photograph as many booths as I could see without peeking under sheets or intruding into their space. I brought the monopod (it’s an extending tripod but with only one leg) so I could zoom in close and not worry as much about my hands shaking. I diched the monopod as soon as the customers started to come in and shop.
32-36 Ann’s page and a few of her shots
I took Saturday night going through and renaming shots so I could tell which booths had been missed or booths I only had a couple shots of. I drew a quick map of the venders in my note book circling each booth I had to go back to. I also noted how many shots I had at each booth so far. So back for more photos including the cute alpacas in front of the arena.
The Museum had requested time laps shots, which I had taken last year but were not the best since I have to take shots through the safety net or the hockey glass. They were hoping for hourly shots but nether my camera or my phone is connected to the internet so I couldn’t help with that. I did focus on booth documentation, vinyets trying for at least one from each booth (usually more) and some Happy shopping shots. I even documented the food vendor! They had some very interesting sandwiches and veggie arrangements, highly photogenic and the ones we tried were very tasty.
37-40 Food at Fiberfest
My husband /trusty porter of stuff, Glenn joined me. There was a handy bench and a few chairs beside the museum table. This seemed to be the husbands/spouse drop off location, which occasionally had a resting-from-shopping wife/spouse. Glenn accompanies me to most fiber activates to make sure I don’t lift anything that winds me up in bed for a day or two. He usually brings a book and takes care of my acquisitions while I keep looking, photographing and shopping. He has also been spotted sound asleep at all the fiber festivals we attend. Oh well, I didn’t catch him snoring and he did carry my shopping to the car.
41-42 Spousal snoozing area and my shopping acquisitions
We stopped for British fish and chips in Stitsville and saw an awesome sunset. It may inspire some abstract felting picture in the future.
43-47 Sunset in Stitsville
The Monday after Almonte was the first OVWSG meeting since the summer (so lots of library work). Tuesday was the West Carlton Guild meeting and I was able to burn off 2 DVD’s of Photos to be passed on to the museum. Then back to fleece washing and this week it’s been more fleece and car doctor appointments and a car spa day (she got her undercoat spray done). While my kea Sole was getting her various treatments I took the Lendrum Rook spinning wheel and spun in both waiting rooms. I was working at the giant Shetland fleece I just washed. (Sorry I didn’t get a picture of me)
Next is a fiber festival is in Kempville this coming weekend I have not attended before. The following weekend is the big demo for the Carp fair. Then I suspect the workshop schedule for the guild will be ready for me to turn it into a catalogue! Which means the Guild Show is almost here!!! And somewhere in there I want to get to doing a bit more felting!! I saw another sheep face I would like to try!!
I hope you are as fortunate as we are lately in Ottawa to have so many opportunities not too far away to buy supplies and like Ann sell you creations at all these fiber related festivals.
4 thoughts on “Visiting Fiber festivals in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, 2019”
What a lot of wonderful fibre festivals to go too. I have only managed to get to one this year, sometimes life just gets in the way.
Wow, you have loads of fiber opportunities! I haven’t been able to go to a show for a while. Keeps my stash from growing exponentially.
We enjoyed all the photos thanks Jan! But the food ones made us hungry – looked delicious.
How lovely to have such wonderful festivals within your reach and workshops at such gatherings are a great idea.
So many woolfests….I’m jealous, but totally with Ruth, on this not being a totally bad thing! I’d have to move into a warehouse.
Your photos are great.