2023 shopping trip to Twist Fiberfest. (cheap vicarious shopping!)

2023 shopping trip to Twist Fiberfest. (cheap vicarious shopping!)

Twist Festival August 10-13, 2023,  Complexe Whissell 530 Rue Charles Auguste Montreuil‎,Saint-André-Avellin, Quebec J0V 1W0

map to Twist from Ottawa 1) Map to get to Twist from Ottawa

About 2 weeks ago my trusty Sherpa, Shark Boy and I, jumped in the car early Saturday morning for about an hour and 20 minute drive (there’s a detour so it’s a bit longer this year), to Twist Fiber Festival in Quebec. Last year I went with Mr. Mer on a quest looking for his Hair, this year his son, Shark-Boy, is in want of hair! So far I have tracked down and purchased some locks that look like they may be good for highlights. I have also traded and been given some white locks that can be dyed to the colour he is looking for but let’s have one last look for long locks before we go questing for the perfect die colour. (I don’t think any of the home hair dye companies offer something tailored to the young teen Mer-person, but I guess I could investigate further. If not, I do have food colouring, cool-aid and some actual commercial dyes.)

We arrived, found the special parking, and unloaded my comfy walker which I will be sharing with young Master Mer today.

Shark Boy sits in his progect bag cliped to the back of my walker wating for twist to open lady with blue/gray purs in front of us is similer in colour to some of Sharkboys highlights in his shark parts 2) Waiting in line for Twist to open (Shark boy sitting in his project bag which has been bulldog clipped to the backrest of my walker. I think he is admiring the colour of the purse of the lady in front of us.)

labled diagram of site of twist fistival 3) Sight map sign.

Twist is held at the local community centre in Saint-André-Avellin. There is a large arena and gym space as well as 2 large, ok huge, tents outside. There are also workshops held on the Thursday to Sunday. I have taken some excellent felting and spinning workshops here in previous years. (Sculptural felting with Marjolein Dallinga and felted portraiture with Megan Cleland.)

We headed first to the arena to see the giant pile of bags of fibre (decreased by Friday shoppers) at the Black Lamb’s booth then started the search for long locks.

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 4 -4.2) Awaiting the shopping hoards as Twist opens Saturday morning.

While looking through their fibres (and making the pile just a bit smaller), I spotted something as good as gold! 2 oak-handled Roger Hawkins mini combs!

Oak wooden handled mini combs made by Roger Hawkins 5) Two sets of Roger Hawkins Mini Combs. I have a set and they are fantastic. I was tempted to get a second pair but left them for others to enjoy too.

A quick circuit of the Arena did not look promising for Shark Boy’s hair. There was again a lot of yarn for the knitters. There seemed to be a few more booths with fibre than last year. there were also booths with tools and supplies for weaving, spinning, Knitting, and Sewing.

shark boy trying to flirt. 6) Shark boy had fun trying to flirt with other guild members we saw while shopping.          

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7 -23)Slide show – first quick once around 

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24-28) Slide show – first tour of the Gym

2 ladys in 1900's skert and shirts finger weaving Centure Flechay29) There was a display of Centure Flashay finger weaving

There was a booth selling circular sock knitting machines that had a display of old machines. Some of the old machines are works of art as well as functional tools.

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 30-32Slide show – Circular knitting machine display

I checked in with my Sherpa before starting a more thorough look through the booths.  He was enjoying his book and I got a report from another guild member he had been spotted earlier having a nap and snoring happily.

Shark boy and my patent sherpa 33) Shark Boy and my patent Sherpa.

I had only a few items on my shopping list; Shark Boy’s hair, fork needles and some interesting fiber. I got into the booth with the books from the slide show above, it had been too crowded when I went past the first time and I could not see the back of the booth. Eureka!! Long locks!! And in colours Shark Boy might like! he had a hard time deciding on 2 of the packages. I also picked a bag of mixed colour locks and one in extremely bright red that may help Mrs. Mer later.

34-36) Happy Happy Mer shark!

Still no sign of a fork needle, unfortunately, two of the needle felting suppliers that are usually here, are not this year. I did find 10 spiral needles at the black lamb, and there were a couple of booths with a few other needles but they were not prominently located and I already had plenty of the gauges they had available.

On to the last item on my list, cool fibre. I had spotted some in a booth in the gym but wanted to look a bit more carefully through a couple in the arena booths too.

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37- 39) Popular fibre booth

This booth was quite busy so it took a bit of patience to get in and see their braids and batts. But it was worth the effort and I found 3 braids that were particularly appealing.

Twist did not seem as busy as previous years but it was steady. There were also threats of heavy thunderstorms throughout the day but held off until the late afternoon. The vendors I talked to said it was busier on Friday for shoppers, but the sales were better so far on Saturday.

40) late Saturday afternoon at Twist.

One of the vendors had some very nice raw fleece. She had brought a picker with her and I cot her using it. I have an old Patrick Green picker that needs sanding and cleanup in the basement. I will show you when I get working on it. A picker is used to pick apart a fleece to prep it for carding. I did buy a bit of her fibre (unpicked) I will show you later.

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41-41.1) Swing picker in use

Shark Boy and I had done a pretty good job with our shopping and it was time to check in with my patent Sherpa and see if he wanted to have a lunch break and to show him our finds.

  42- 46) shopping acquisitions before lunch

Heading to the car we checked on the sheep herding displays but the sheep or dogs were on brake

47) Sheep herding on the brake

We headed out to the other end of town to the restaurant, La Toquade for their fabulous “Club Sandwich au confit de canard sur pain an apricot, raisin et tournesol” Yummm…Cumfy Duck!!!

Comfy Duck sandwitch with half side of fries and salid 48) I have been thinking about this sandwich since Twist 2019

Last year, coming out of covid shutdowns, the restaurant was having staffing difficulties and was only open for breakfast, we both were very happy to see that lunch and dinner had returned. While we waited for lunch to arrive I went through the photos I had taken so far at Twist,  there were a couple of things I wanted to go back and see if I could find.

A few last shots from 2023 Twist.

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49- 53) A few more shots of booths at Twist 2023

The rest of this year’s Shopping;

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54-56 ) little batt of expensive fibres

I picked up the small batt of super expensive fibres (try playing name that fibre before reading the 4 fibres in the batt),

Diz and Diz hook57) a diz and diz hook (I added the leash to the hook so it won’t wander off),

58-59) a heat shaping felt sheet,

This felt has an odd feeling closer to non-wool craft felts but much more substantial. (I will investigate that further at another time).

It was a long day of shopping, photography and fantastic food. Now that it was time to head home, the forecast rain finally arrived. Even Glenn bringing the umbrella in could not forestall the water any longer. We have had a lot of rain lately, a full sponge as it were, so what was not an extremely heavy rain was lingering on the road longer than usual. This gave the car the fun of trying to hydroplane on the road to the highway as well as on the highway. We stopped under a bridge, got out the GPS and fled the Highway to the slower driving back roads until the rain gave up. After we won the debate with the GPS who wanted us to take the ferry across the Ottawa River, we returned to the highway and safely made it home.

I hope you have enjoyed our shopping trip. I always enjoy seeing my fibre friends’ photos of festivals I can’t get to, it’s cheaper and lots of fun cheering on their shopping!


15 thoughts on “2023 shopping trip to Twist Fiberfest. (cheap vicarious shopping!)

    1. thank you both! it is a lot cheeper to watch someone else shop! but still fun to look at what they selected. i wish you could have joined us for lunch, it would be much better in person! the apricot and razen bread is realy good. Maybe next year if you in the area! (ok its a bit of a trip but if you do make it, twist in August and Almont fiber fest in September are both lots of fun, and usualy good shopping. good thing fiber is light and squishes well to fit in a sute case!)

  1. Wow Jan what a fab, colourful feast for the eyes seeing all your photos….certainly a lot cheaper for me than you!

    From your description it was an eventful day too….I think (after recent weeks) you totally exaggerated ‘jumping’ into the car though – my head was shaking ‘No way’ 🤪. Sharkboy is playing it cool with his hair colour choice, but wow, his mum’s choice of colour will set the family on fire!

    BTW did Sherpa Glenn pose when you created Sharkboy’s features?

    So pleased to hear that your drooling for your sandwich paid off. Driving to the other end of town in search of whether they were serving lunch….it must have been good last time.

    For most of us, the main fest with all the colours and products to pick through and our yummy purchases would be eventful enough, but you had to top your day….by aqua-planing home???

    So pleased you, Sherpa Glenn & Sharkboy made it back in one piece to make us all jealous. X

    1. thanks Antje! no my rush speed is more emotional intusiasum than actual “jumping” but it ididnt hert getting in, slowly, so its all good!!
      i think Sharkboy now has a good collection of colour options and i may go find a red and white koi to check the red on. i also think its a bit bright but i can alsays do a bit of over dieing if it needs to tone down a bit . i have some scarlet wool that is just a bit less intence that may be the exact colour i need for her fish part spots.
      i did not use Glenn as the modle but did use another member of the family. i am not sure if they will get the likeness. i have more work to do so i hope i can keep the likeness.
      we have stoped to have the comfy duck sandwitch each time we had gone to twist. and then tryed to figure out if it was fesable to drive over an hour to get to lunch so we didnt have to wate another year. 2019 was the last time we got to have this sandwich, it is memerable enuff that it has vividly stuck in our minds since then. unfortnatly the price has gone up so once a year it is. (and no Creme brulay!!!) well maybe next year.
      Driveing home started out much too exciting but we all decided to stay on the road and on our side (and well below the posted speed limits) i am just glad my car was feeling like being a good driver when she was steering (and not me).
      if you happen to be in the area next year i would suggest twist or Almont as one to try to see. if your around in November the Ottawa Guild has its sale, it is smaller but lots of fun! just think of all the mony you have saved already for your fiber trip by shopping vacariously this time!
      have fun and keep felting!

  2. Ps….with all the rain can I assume you are safe & not affected by the horrendous fires we are seeing on the news?

    1. corssing fingers the rain has helped here but the fiers have started up in the other end of the contry much firther north and west. where there is rain we are getting bukets, other spots are still quite dry. the weather is broken and needs to be fixed. i have 2 frend with farms grow vegtable out side of ottawa. one had rain the other did not. just wered weather. i hoope the weather stops being mad at us! (but the last big storm that took out the power for about 20 minits did fix my land line fone problem!! it is now working again!!!)

  3. That was a great show, Jan, thanks for the tour. I wish I had been there, but then I don’t as I’d only have added to my stash, which I am vanely trying to reduce. So much stuff and so little time.
    There were some beautifully dyed fibres there, mind you, in photo 52, the lady with the camera had gorgeous colour hair – I wonder, was that all hair or did she have some fibres draped round her neck too?
    I’m glad that Shark Boy managed to choose his locks, they will make him look gorgeous too.
    That Luxe Batt you bought looks wonderful, though I assume you won’t be felting with it. I once made myself some nuno felt with baby camel, silk and merino with cotton scrim sandwiched in it for strength so that I could make myself a jacket. Unfortunately it wasn’t until I’d almost finished making it up that I realised that I hadn’t fulled it properly and it wouldn’t stand up to wear and tear. Then I remembered that part of the felt had more camel and silk than merino, pity that I didn’t remember until after I’d tried to full it further. Part of it fell to pieces and the rest shrank to doll size.

    1. Thanks Ann i am glad you enjoyed the vist! fiber is squishy you can always squish a bit more in to the fiber hord. the lady with pink hair had a felted scarf like thing that went realy well with her hair. sorry it was hard to tell since i shrunk the image for web vewing. (i got comments about the pixle sizes of my photos and dont want to use up all the storage space!!)
      Shark boys plan at the moment is an impressive Mohok with a very long mullet. lets see if he will need hair jell to pull ioff the style. i think he was watching when his dad was looking at hair styles too.
      OH no!! over shrinkage! maybe you too need a Northern Mer so you can make a smaller vertion of jacket for them? i might use up some of your fiber stash and let you get more!!
      i think most of the batt will go to spinning but a bit might be saved for the top layer of a sculputre.

  4. Sounds like you had a lovely day, Jan! I too enjoy going to fairs vicariously, so I’ll also imagine myself next to you as you investigate that felt sheet and (spin?) the expensive batt.

    I hope you and your patient Sherpa arrived safely home, and I hope the rain means no more fires in your area…

    Looking forward to seeing those new locks on somebody’s head!

  5. Now that is some mouth watering display of photos Jan. It looks like an amazing festival, a worth while day out. I loved them all, especially the carved spinning wheel – what an heirloom.

    Your Sherpa is the best in the world! Your trip to the restaurant no doubt made all the more special because of its return to normality.

    You mentioned the heatable felt. I did a few posts about how I used my piece to make hats. You can find them at https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2021/08/19/its-good-to-bend-rules-now-and-again-part-1/ and https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2021/09/18/its-good-to-bend-rules-now-and-again-part-2/ . DHG Italy also have a super instruction sheet on how to use the product: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-U2-hnWjeYRcFpjOE0waGRHNW8/view?pli=1&resourcekey=0-MXu7UqDWzFg1PKwFqDQsqQ if you have difficulty accessing that last link, just let me know and I will download a copy and send it on to you.
    Helene x

  6. I wish I could have gone with you. It is so much fun to fondle fibres. I am disappointed you didn’t get me a to go order of that sandwich. It really is amazing. I will get to Almonte on the Sunday. I am part of the demo team that day. It will save me money going Sunday, all the best stuff ( or at least the blue stuff) will have been bought by Carlene by then. LOL

  7. What a trip. I really enjoyed vicariously taking that trip with you all. Such beautiful things to see and buy too.

  8. I love the braids you picked up. And for the hair problem… have you ever thought about trying Silk hankies? I think you might be able to make wild afro type hair from them.

  9. What a great fibre show, if only it was nearer!! I also envy you having had the opportunity to take a workshop there with Marjolein Dallinga, such a lovely lady and an incredible artist.
    I remember that sandwich from a previous visit you and Glen made…..that alone must be worth the drive.

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