Muskoka Yarn and Fibre Festival - Successful First Show
The last time I wrote about my attendance at the Kawartha Fibre Festival. This time, I’m writing from the vendor’s point of view. This was the first time that I was exhibiting after the launch of Totally Into Fibres on June 1, 2019.
Emma and Annie were the organizers of the first ever Muskoka Yarn and Fibre Festival and they did a great job! The show was very well organized and well advertised. You’re never sure how many people will attend a new show. There was plenty of foot traffic and the final count was approximately 600 people who came through and were ready to buy.
There was tea and coffee as well as lunch provided for a very small fee. The venue was large enough that people didn’t have to squeeze their way through the aisles and there was lots of free parking.
I spoke with many of my fellow vendors and the general consensus was that they’d do this show again next year. I’m definitely up for that.
The best part was meeting up with some of my friends from previous shows like Rebecca and Jeremy Lamperd of Santosha Farm, Sue Needle of the Angora Growers’ Association who told me about the warmth of mittens made from angora; Adele Forward of Adele’s Locks of Love, her dyed fibres are simply beyond description gorgeous.
Now, I’d like to introduce you to some new acquaintances that I hope will become friends – these are only a handful of my fellow vendors.
To my immediate right, my neighbor was Barb of South Beach Yarn Company.
She was selling beautiful hand dyed yarn of the prettiest colours. These looked to all be fingering or light worsted weight. Personally, I think they’d make fantastic luxury sweaters.
My neighbours across the aisle to my left, I had a corner booth, were a talented mother daughter duo, each featuring their particular items.
Danielle Hutt of Felt creates beautiful felted pillows. Some may have had similar design features but each one was unique. Her mother, Lynda Low of Looma Studio was selling woven carpets of the loveliest colours, designs and patterns. These carpets are the type that will last for years.
Debbie Wilson of Sheeps Ahoy had a huge booth that included knit items, yarn, kits and fibres – mostly from Shetland wool. I enjoyed our chat about the great products she had on display.
The Pinecone Treadlers were a group of ladies demonstrating their spinning skills. It made me wish that I’d brought my spinning wheel so that I could sit and join them. Karen, Norma and Marilyn seemed to be having a lot of fun.
Kathy Enright of Alpaca Tracks Thread Lightly sat calmly in the corner of her booth and was easy to miss among all the of the cool stuff she had to sell. If you asked each individual what had caught his or her attention, you’d get a different answer. My husband noticed the suet cages filled with fibres for birds to use for nesting. He’s an amateur birder, so that’s what he noticed. I fell in love with the fluffy imitation guinea pigs that looked real from a distance. They were adorable! Of course, she also had a lot of products made with alpaca fibres.
Emma Bonnar was one of the organizers (well done) and her partner in crime, I mean business and life, Mike worked their Northern Bay Fibres booth. I’d met this pair at the Prince Edward County Fibre Festival. That’s where I learned about the Muskoka show and when I was invited to participate.
Northern Bay Fibres carries a lot of the cool types of non-wool fibres that I’d been getting from a company in the US as well as beautiful wool fibres too. I’ll be shopping here more often. I couldn’t resist getting the pineapple cellulose fibre. It should be interesting to see how that spins and dyes.
I’d seen Annika of Dragon Strings at a few other shows and bought product from her. If you like quirky and irreverent, then you’ll want to check out her inventory of cheeky sayings on stickers and such. She also featured hand dyed yarn. I’m apologizing ahead of time to Suzie, Annika’s neighbor. I should have gotten a little more information from her. I think Suzie is Valhalla Creative and that she made beautiful hand knit items, but I’m just not sure. My bad on this one but I didn’t want to leave Suzie out completely.
The best way to describe the felted scarves and wraps made by Elena Pozdeeva was WOW! She's a felt artist and her work...outstanding and oh, so beautiful! Her talent, skills and keen colour sense combined to produce one of a kind clothing that were truly works of art. Hers was definitely a booth not to be missed. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Across the aisle from me was Tracy Minnema.
We didn’t get much of a chance to talk until later in the afternoon when the foot traffic died down. I’d bought unusual knitting needles from her when I’d attended The Gathering show in Port Hope two years ago. She’s a dream supplier for not only yarn but all that’s needed by the avid knitter and crocheter.
So, there you have it. These are the new friends I made at the Muskoka Yarn and Fibre Festival. Of course, there were many other terrific vendors and you can get your chance to meet them at next year’s show on July 4, 2020 at the Bracebridge Fairgrounds.
My next excursion will be the Twist Festival in Saint-Andre-Avellin in Quebec, relatively near Ottawa on August 16, 17 and 18, 2019. This is THE big Canadian show. I’ve attended in the past but this year will be with the goal of making new contact and forging new friendships and alliances in the fibre arts world.