Yarns by the yard at FibreFest

Knitters, crocheters, weavers and other lovers of fibre arts can gather with like-minded people during the third annual FibreFest held Sept. 22 at the Senior Citizens Activity Centre.

It started with The Great Northwest Yarn Crawl held during the summer that covered the northwest with stores in Prince Rupert, the Northwest Territories, Fort McMurray, AB and 100 mile participating along with three stores in Prince George.

Yarn Crawl participants could visit the stores throughout the summer and now some of those stores will bring representatives and their wares to a one-stop location where knitters can get those items they didn't purchase while at the store and participate in a variety of workshops offered throughout the day.

Playing With String members Jen Boots, Bonne Leiphart and Darlene Wainwright have organized both the yarn crawl and the FibreFest.

"We are encouraging guests to bring items they have created down to FibreFest," Leiphart said.

"Anyone whose got anything that's kind of fun, different, whatever should bring it in and let people see it because that's one of the really nice things about an event like this. People want to see what others are doing."

Local stores Top Drawer, Darling Deviance and Olde Spinning Wheel will be on site along with Faking Insanity from Dawson Creek and Wooly Ewe from Telkwa.

"Along with the stores there are vendors at the FibreFest," Leiphart said.

There will be many independent yarn dyers at the event, some even spin the yarn they have dyed.

"They have absolutely gorgeous yarns and because they are doing their own it tends to be unique," Leiphart said. There are some indie-dyers, as Leiphard calls them, that have their own signature style so you just have to look at the yarn to know whose it is.

"For example, we have one Called Tumble Mountain Yarns from McBride coming in and they do absolutely lovely yarns and another one is Twisted Faye and she does a lot of fun things," Leiphart said. "We're getting more and more vendors that are outside our area so that people who are attending the FibreFest can see items from someone they don't ordinarily see."

Other things visitors can find at the event include buttons and shawl pins made out of antlers, project bags, yarn accessories like stitch markers and cubes.

And new to this year's event is a local wood worker who will custom design knitters' tools like doubling stands but with any twist your imagination can create. Leiphart has suggested a doubling stand end table to make it a multipurpose item suitable for a knitter's home and the wood worker will be bringing a sample of his creation to the FibreFest and take orders.

"I was hoping to find someone who would create knitters' stuff because it's a bit of a specialized niche," Leiphart said. "And he does amazing work and he's ready to do customized orders."

During FibreFest, there will be workshops taking place so even experienced knitters can learn something new. Workshops include instruction on mosaic stitch, which will be taught using two colours of yarn that achieves a complicated-looking design that in fact is quite simple to create, Leiphart explained. There's also a workshop for reverse knitting, dropping stitches on purpose to create a beanie that can feature a scarf laced through its brim to give it extra panache, felting soap, how to read a knitting chart, make a market mesh bag and quick tips on things like how to do a Russian join or Icelandic bind-off, l-cords or magic loop.

Each of the stores at FibreFest will contribute a prize for the draws held during the event.

Everyone is welcome to attend. It's a great place to find gifts for knitters, which might be hard to find otherwise, Leiphart said.

FibreFest takes place on Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Activity Centre,

425 Brunswick St. A light lunch will be available for purchase from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with coffee and tea available during the day.

For more information and updates about the FibreFest visit www.playing-with-string.com.