Twist Festival August 10-13, 2023, Complexe Whissell 530 Rue Charles Auguste Montreuil,Saint-André-Avellin, Quebec J0V 1W0
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.
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.)
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.
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!
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.
6) Shark boy had fun trying to flirt with other guild members we saw while shopping.
7 -23)Slide show – first quick once around
24-28) Slide show – first tour of the Gym
29) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
49- 53) A few more shots of booths at Twist 2023
The rest of this year’s Shopping;
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),
57) 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!