Manitoba Fibre Festival 2014
Let's be honest, I had been counting down the days until this years' Manitoba Fibre Festival. Last year was so wonderful, I was anticipating another great day and I was not dissapointed. The festival was such a success in its first year that this time, they needed A LOT more space. There were several more vendors and so many interesting workshops that they expanded the location over slightly to include the arena area of St Norbert Community Hall.
I was also excited for the wool show, as I was invited back to judge the fleeces. This year we had 17, so almost double from last year! The more the better and this also makes for a more interesting competition and class set-up. We had 4 classes - Fine, Medium, Long and Specialty. I saw Polypay, Corriedale, Suffolk, Dorset, Romney crosses and Shetland. A nice representation of breeds common in the prairies. It was also nice to see fleeces from producers from both Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Grand Champion and a First Place in the Fine Class was awarded to this Polypay fleece from Manitoba Producer Gerry Oliver with a score of 95.5%. You can see that she takes great pride in her wool and the quality of her fleeces and it shows. After the show, she even told me that she was up into the wee hours the night before, making sure her fleeces were perfectly skirted and looking their best. Well worth the effort. Congrats Gerry!
The Shetland fleeces were also gorgeous, the colour ranges in that breed are lovely and the fleeces themselves were tip top.
Janet from Qu'Appelle was also at the festival, attending workshops and even entered fleeces which placed first and second. It was quite nice to see so many people from Saskatchewan attending the festival this year.
I was in the perfect location to snag a beautiful Capar tiny turkish spindle that was calling my name! It's made from Olivewood and Walnut. I must be crazy because I'm not a big turkish fan, and the little, teeny tiny ones just make no sense to me yet, I couldn't stop looking at it. They have an Etsy shop, I don't think this will be my only purchase from them. Keep an eye out for a spindle review on this one in the future.
There were also lots of demonstrations in weaving, machine knitting, spinning, and net making. You could have also brought your wheel and joined in with the spin-a-long that was happening. There was a book signing with Carol James - who is well known in the art of Sprang and finger weaving. I purchased a couple of her books at Olds a couple years ago. Her personality is so addictive, I promise that you will be so amazed with both her and her work, you will want her to come teach a workshop in your area.
Joanne Seiff, who is also one of the coordinators of the Manitoba Fibre Festival, had a couple books that I was very interested in; Knit Green and Fiber Gathering. She signed both for me and I have already delved into them and flagged several of the projects to knit for myself. I also love how both are somewhat reference books in the fact that they are chalk full of useful information and you can tell she has done her research. I highly recommend both, they would be a wonderful addition to your library.
I appreciated that Jeremy ran my booth for me during the entire day. He even said that he had a great time talking to people and sharing all the enthusiasm and passion for fibre arts that everyone bonded over. Congrats to both Margaret and Joanne for another successful festival! Can't wait to see everyone again in 2015 and thanks so much for those who came out!
Hat Patterns on the Way
I am working on the patterns for Speargrass, Wally and Un-named. They will make wonderful accessories for fall and winter. I am working on handspun versions of the last two as well.
I have updated the shop with some more handspun as well as different Spinner Starter Kit Fibres. I will be taking everything with me to Saskatoon next weekend for the first Etsy Made in Canada Day. Its a really cool idea for people who have Etsy shops. On Saturday Sept 27th, there will be pop-up shops happenening all over Canada and I will be participating. If you are in the Saskatoon area, come see my yarns and handmade items up close. I will be at Le Relais (103 - 308 4th Ave N) from 10 - 5. Hope to see you there!
Maker: 3G Woodworks
Weight: 49 g / 1.72 oz
Length: 9 1/4" Shaft
Style: Top Whorl
Woods: Amboyna Burl Whorl, Walnut Shaft
I will admit this spindle was an impulse buy. The burl wood caught my eye and I HAD to have it, without knowing anything about them.
My sample is BFL/Silk (75/25) in the colourway "Renaissance Fair" from Littlest Lamb Boutique. The skein is 20 yards of n-plyed yarn.
Let's get right down to the obvious - the whorl is absolutely stunning. Chaos and little storms are spinning within this wood and you can't help but become mesmerized.
There is a nice deep notched at the 9:00 position and its wonderful because it holds your fibre, no matter what thickness you are spinning.
The underbelly of the whorl has been carved out to push the weight to the outside without taking much of the guts out. As you check out the spin time below, this spindle has the longest spin time so far of any spindle reviewed this year. Even longer than the Golding!! That alone may be a major reason for you to look towards these spindles for your next purchase. The weight of the spindle has been engraved into the underside of the whorl, it has been done neatly and the writing isn't too large.
One downside of the whorl is its thickness at 1/2". The wood used is very lightweight so that's not a huge deal breaker for this particular spindle but another, more dense wood might change this from a 1.72 oz spindle to a boat anchor.
The hook is very dainty and quite nice. No cup hooks here. It is well centered, balanced and glued in tightly. If you happen to drop this spindle and bend the hook, it would be a breeze to re-align. The depth of the hook is also just right, not too shallow and not too long.
I bought this spindle 4 years ago and it was under $30 including shipping. When I think of 3G Woodworks, their use of interesting woods comes to mind. They use really cool combinations and rare woods that are hard to find. These spindles may surprise you. They are on the heavier side but would make wonderful plying spindles and the slower spin makes spinning longwools that don't need a lot of twist much easier. This is also a great travel spindle because you can throw it in your bag or basket and know that it can hold its own. It's hefty but also a hardworker.
Length of spin: 38.3 seconds!!! (average of three tests)
Fibre storage ability: Very, very good
Overall Rating: 8.0/10
3G Woodworks aren't as well known as many other spindle makers but don't let that deter you. You may surprise yourself with these spinners. I've kept it in my collection and not only because of its beautiful whorl but it is a great spindle for beginners, its dependable and I can spin thicker yarns on it and maximize yardage at the same time.