There’s a first time for everything. This weekend, I attended the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival as a normal shopper and fiber enthusiast, rather than a vendor.
It was weird.
(Brief backstory for those who might not have heard: the Spanish Peacock chose not to attend SVFF because an attack of life prevented Mike from being able to produce enough inventory to put on the kind of event that he felt his customers deserved. If you’re looking to catch us at a fiber show in person, Frederick FiberFest in November is your chance!)
I guess I’m spoiled! I’m used the vendor parking, and a safe location to stash my stuff while I look at all the other vendors’ booths.
On the other hand, it was a refreshing change to linger anywhere I wanted and chat with folks because I didn’t have to dash back to our own tables in case there was a crush of customers. Oh, and not being exhausted all day Saturday from setup the day before!
I can’t compare the turnout to previous years, because I don’t normally mill about. But it seemed like a decent crowd, like folks were excited to attend an in-person show. The weather was gorgeous, sunny and cool with a light breeze and low humidity – the exact opposite of the sweltering conditions from the last in-person show, in 2019. Wearing masks – and hand knit shawls – was entirely bearable.
Yes, that’s right. Another first. I actually wore my hand-spun, hand-knit shawl to a fiber festival! (As it happens, I tucked Angelique away somewhere “safe” after finishing it, but thankfully I started looking a few days early!)
I might’ve also started a new work in progress (WIP) for the occasion. Yes, you read correctly. Despite all the effort I recently invested into reducing my spinning WIPs. I need something, well, less precious than any of the projects I tried to finish for Tour de Fleece this year. Something that could be imperfect if my attention faltered, or dust or straw got caught in the fibers. Or the spindle slipped out of my spoon when I got distracted by some gorgeously dyed combed top.
On a related note, the problem with destashing any fiber you don’t truly love? No sacrificial fiber available to demonstrate that you really can spin supported and walk at the same time! I had to use one of my last Hobbledehoy braids because it was slightly less precious to me than the Into the Whirled and Allons-y fibers I had already queued up. Alas.
Never fear, I re-upped my fiber supply at SVFF. (Ooops?)
In my defense, the black merino on the left was specifically selected for a singles yarn to ply with my TdF WIP #6, and was actually on my shopping list. (And a big thank you to Delly’s Delights Farm for having just… plain… black… boring… merino that would beautifully complement my existing sparkly green and black singles.) The braid on the right, well, that is my splurge from Wild Hare Fiber Studio. It’s a merino-tencel blend, so I’m branching out from my usual merino-silk tendency!
Last but not least … well, let me rephrase that. The two shawl pins at the top of the photo, stylishly pinned onto Angelique, were the first and last purchases of the day. The silver and lapis wire shawl pin, from MAB Elements, coordinated beautifully with Angelique without weighing down the shawl and distorting its shape. The pink and blue square pin, from Dimensions Raku Fired Clay, has a super strong magnetic backing that allows it to stay on through multiple layers of knitted fabric without puncturing any holes. It too looks great on Angelique, though I didn’t have the opportunity to show it off at SVFF. Maybe next year!
Speaking of next year, I’ve already been approached about teaching in 2022! So if you live anywhere within traveling distance of Berryville, VA, and feel an instructor-led supported spinning class would help you meet your fibery goals, mark your calendars now! SVFF is always the last full weekend of September, so I would be teaching my class, The Gentle Art of Supported Spinning, either September 24th or 25th. Start planning now!