Fall, Fiber & New Friends!

Yes, it’s Tuesday and I missed posting on Saturday.

Fall is one of the best times to live in the North Carolina mountains. Always looking for an excuse to have an adventure, our weekends have been filled with driving along the lesser-traveled byways of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee (we live 2 hours or less from all of these beautiful states!). We’ve been on the hunt of the golds, reds, and russets of fall that blanket the valleys and mountainsides of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

That was why I missed Saturday. My apologies to anyone paying attention.

Sunday was another story. The Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair was in full swing. Even though this was my second year and I went armed with a pocket-based budget (left the wallet in the car), I still felt like a kid in a candy store. Yarn, fibers, books, tools, and tons of people who love them all as much as I do! Woo-hoo.

Many of the vendors reported reduced sales on Sunday and a thinner crowd (wouldn’t have noticed based on the over-flowing parking lot) but it was the perfect time to go through the booths at a more leisurely pace and stop and talk with other artists and the vendors.

Can’t say as there was anything that I spotted as new or hot for this year as people were actively interested in everything and I didn’t hear anything in the booth chatter to indicate a break-out star. That said, there were tons and tons of luscious yarns, fleece, and fibers and the colors ranged the gamut from the natural tans, browns, and blacks to fire engine reds, sunburst yellows, and even some neon green. It was still a bit overwhelming despite being my second year there. Wow was uttered everywhere by first-timers and veterans alike.

And unlike so many of the other events in my area, it is a reasonable $2 to get in.

I promised a few vendors that I would publicly thank them for their kindness to me and here goes…

Gail White of the Ozark Carding Mill ~ I’m still in awe of your generous gift.

Birgitta Nostring of All Strings Considered ~ I can’t wait to use the beautiful roving!

Kathleen Weir-West of Kathleen Weir-West Handwoven Fabric & Apparel ~ So many colors, decisions, decisions; what to make first?

I found a great source of beautiful wool yarn for those of us who like making tiny things and don’t want to buy a giant cone full of yarn we’ll never finish. With the things I like to make, I could probably make two or three and bring the cone back an no one would notice any yarn was gone.

Jack & Jean Castle, owners of Lorien – Alpacas, Fiber & Yarn sell their beautiful yarn by the ounce! Hurray, someone who realizes not everyone wants a 10lb cone of yarn no matter how luscious it might be.

There was indeed one standout at the show. Melissa Gray of ABC Woolworks had on display her felted bobcat scene that was awarded Best in Show at another festival. Wow, wow and wow! She has a picture of it on her blog – but it doesn’t even come close to doing the piece justice. Her blog is Tomato Patch and her shop’s website, Tail Spinner is full of wonderful things to buy and free how-tos and patterns. She reports on her blog that she sent one of her felted puppets to Oprah Winfrey. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that it brings Melissa some well-deserved publicity as her work is truly outstanding.

I guess I’ve played hookey long enough and need to get back to work. Tomorrow’s post will be about something webmasterly – hopefully, I can come up with something good to talk about despite all this wonderful new stash distracting me.

A few suggestions for further reading...

3 Responses to Fall, Fiber & New Friends!

Great blog!! I wish we had a craft fair here in our small town. We dont’. I found out about that one a little bit too late or I would have planned something, I crave those get-togethers!

-katelynjane.etsy.com (:

Comment by Katie on

Better late than never to say Thank You for your kind comment about the roving !
Hope it is all spun and made into something beautiful ?
You know… I also do a fair amount of “regular” craft shows but always totally look forward to the fiber festivals. There is no place better to meet great people and exchange enthusiasm for natural fibers !
Thank You so much and see you again this fall ?

Comment by Birgitta Nostring on

Hi Birgitta,

I so wish I could tell you that I’ve been hard at work making something wonderful with your roving. It sits near my work area taunting me to put down the keyboard and get back to what matters – crafting!

It’s always so much fun to meet other people that are so obsessed with luscious yarns and making beautiful things with it. Despite living in an area known for artisans, there don’t appear to be any in my own neighborhood. 🙁

No worries about the lateness of your reply. I imagine you spoke to hundreds of folks that weekend and it would be quite the challenge to remember them all.

Don’t know where I might be next fall but if it’s anywhere near Asheville, I will most likely have to visit the fair again. If not for anything else but to talk to the many nice people that attend and show there.


Comment by Michele on

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