Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fiber Fair versus Machine Knitting Club Seminar

I attended SAFF, lucky me!  I so appreciate getting to participate and teach at that marvelous event.

We just got home yesterday, and we're back in our routine.

The SAFF event was the first fiber fair where I've taught.  I do attend a fiber fair in Texas most years with friends, but I haven't taught before. 

SAFF is a wonderful fair, with an enormous number of vendors selling all kinds of tempting goodies and lots and lots of teachers and classes.  This is quite a different focus from a machine knitting club's seminar, and since you may not have ever attended a fiber fair, I thought I'd try to describe it.

First of all, a fiber fair is critter-oriented - goats, angora rabbits, sheep, llamas, and alpacas.  You see lots of farm trucks and livestock trailers.  Many attendees are spinners.  Working with fleece isn't such an easy proposition as buying a bag of yarn - there's the cleaning of the fleece, the carding, spinning, plying, and dyeing, all before you can begin to knit.  At SAFF I saw lots of people carrying huge bags of fleece, lots of spinning wheels, carding machines and tools, and dyes. 

I admit I'm not much for making my own yarn.  I need too much yarn too fast!  I know, always after my next fix... However, when you're at a big fiber fair you can easily lose your heart and your disposable income to the amazing, soft, gloriously colored yarns available from natural fibers.  A fiber fair is absolutely the most wonderful place to find the Really.  Good.  Stuff.  At a fiber fair, you can not only pet an angora rabbit, you can pet the most glorious yarns.

The alpacas are adorable, but there's no way I can bring one home.  For one thing, we live in a suburb, and it's against our homeowners association rules, and for another, you can't have just one, because they pine away without companions.  However, I could bring home some heavenly soft alpaca yarn to pet!  And later, knit it into something heavenly soft to wear. 

I also found it very, very stimulating to look at all the displays and get a sense of what people are hand knitting and crocheting just now.  I liked seeing the popular colors and fibers, sweater shapes and embellishments, as well as some of the small projects people are doing.  It's also awesome to just look at what fiber folks are WEARING - sweaters, hats, shawls, and scarves. 

At the end of the day, what was the most fun about the fiber fair?  Why, the people, of course!  John and I met absolutely lovely folks.  It's a huge congregation of kindred souls, most of them dressed in knits. 

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