Kawartha Yarn and Fibre Festival - Great Place to Meet Wonderful, Like-Minded People and Vendors
June 8, 2019 was the Kawartha Yarn and Fibre Festival (KYAFF). The show was well advertised on social media and well organized.
I had been to this show last year when it was held in the gym of the local high school. I remember it as being very well attended (aka crowded) and that parking had been a challenge. We’d wound up at the end of a cul-de-sac a fair way from the venue.
This time, the show was at the community centre which gave you more parking and space in which to move. It was much easier to see the items on display. The morning was busy but the crowds thinned around 2:00 pm. So, if you hate crowds but love everything fibre and want a chance to speak to the vendors without having to fight for attention, then mid-afternoon is definitely a great time to come to this show. Best of all, the early birds will have gone so you’ll have no problem getting a parking space.
I got a chance to speak to some vendors that I’d seen at other shows and met a few new ones. I’m going to highlight some of these in this blog post. Be advised that I’ve only selected a few as I could write a novel filled with great stories if I were to feature all of the vendors.
First up, Moosehill Woodworks. Check out this very clever logo.
John McConnell makes beautiful pieces that would entice any fibre artist.
He’s particular about the wood he chooses and uses. It shows in the quality of his work. I’d been SO tempted by his Turkish spindle when I first saw him and his work at the Prince Edward Country Fibre Festival held two weeks prior to the KYAFF show. This time, temptation won out. I bought a spindle AND nosterpinne, both made of alder. I’ve tried both and it’s definitely love at first use.
Gilbert and Lorraine of Cottage Craft Angora were delightful.
As I approached, I immediately recognized the accent of a fellow “Quebecer”. We struck up a long conversation in French. I discovered a lot of fantastic information about qiviut. If you’re unfamiliar with this fibre, that’s not surprising. It’s definitely a luxury fibre sourced from the undercoat of musk ox.
Gilbert mills the qiviut through a process that is not as easy as wool. The delicate qiviut fibre is usually mixed with much tougher guard hairs. The challenge is getting the hairs out without damaging the finer fibre. If my memory serves, Gilbert can only produce 1 kg of qiviut per week: it explains the price and why this luxury fibre is sold at a premium.
The partnership between Gilbert and Lorraine is obviously a good one. Lorraine handles the yarn production using this super soft, light and very warm fibre. The skeins produced are gorgeous. Who could resist this yarn; a blend of qiviut, cashmere and merino…the ultimate self-indulgence.
It’s taken me several years to develop my networking skills – particularly the ability to approach total strangers and strike up a conversation. That’s my only excuse for not having connected with Ann McDow of Wool 4 Ewe until earlier this spring. I’d seen her Wool 4 Ewe booth at several shows. However, it was after meeting and speaking to her at the Peterborough Fibre Arts Festival in March that I got to know this warm, kind, generous business person.
Ann makes wonderful felted products, wool batts and rovings AND has her own mill! She was kind enough to invite me to tour her workshop and I loved every minute of the visit. Now that I’m over my initial shyness, I know that Ann and I will be dealing with one another soon. It’s her enthusiasm about her work that led me to introduce Sue Needle of Fuzzie Wasie Rabbitry to Ann.
Sue and I met at the Orillia Sunshine Festival in early May. Sue raises angora rabbits. I’d purchase angora fibre from Sue. Wow! It was outstanding. In our chat, Sue had said that she was looking for a fibre mill. I’d told her I knew someone and introduced Sue to Ann.
At the KYAFF show, Sue was exhibiting with the Ontario Angora Co-Op. As I’m sure you’ve already figured out, the ladies at the booth were a ton of fun, friendly and boy! These ladies know their stuff! Yarn made with angora is something not to be missed…truly decadent.
I must admit a guilty secret. I didn’t spend much time at yarn booths…probably because I spin my own. However, something drew me to All Dyed Up where I met Edith and Denise. I love the colours and techniques used to dye their yarns. We had a lovely conversation and I look forward to meeting them at future shows.
Sorry for this picture being a little blurry. I’m still trying to master the art of digital photography using my cell phone. That aside, I first met Jeremy and Rebecca Lamperd of Santosha Fibreworks and Farm at the Peterborough Fibre Arts Festival and was greeted as a long-time friend when we met again at this show.
They have lovely fibres from their own sheep, which I’d purchased before and am currently spinning – so beautiful. I’ll definitely be getting more from them. They had natural and lovely dyed fibres on display and plenty of other products to entice buyers.
I was getting a bit tired and overwhelmed after having spent several hours at the show and didn’t get pictures of these last two.
I’d seen Christina Weeks of Chip and Sparrow at a few of the shows. Her booth was always busy so I’d not had a chance to speak with her until the KYAFF show. I love all of her looms in varying shapes and sizes. They are cleverly designed and the craftsmanship is apparent in each piece. Her mini looms are a terrific way to introduce budding fibres artists to weaving.
I look forward to seeing Christina again soon as she was delightful.
I bought a hand dyed fleece from Adele of Adele's Locks of Love at The Gathering in Port Hope at the end of March. Adele hand dyes fleeces and fibres in the most glorious colours. The fleece I’d bought was so irresistible that I photographed a portion of it and set it as the background of my Facebook header.
Any fibre aficionado would be hard pressed to resist such extraordinary colours and skillful dyeing.
There you have it, my take on the KYAFF show and a handful of the terrific vendors at this show. If you attended the Kawartha Yarn and Fibre Festival, which booth was your favourite? And why?
If you’ve attended a fibre show recently or in the past, which was your favourite booth and what made it so special for you?
I look forward to seeing your comments in the section below.
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All the best.