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Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival 2023

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Fest was rainy this year, but lots of fiber folks made it out anyway. I scored a yummy bratwurst instead of my usual apple cobbler and wish I had taken enough cash for another. Two days later I’m still thinking about that bratwurst; I think I need to pick some up at the grocery store or visit Döner Bistro.

But the best part of Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival was seeing some of the fiber friends I’ve made over the years. I saw some folks from the knitting group we all used to go to, Loudoun Needleworkers, and Karen, who I also played roller derby with. I also met a few new people and for once was relaxed and able to talk with people without getting too awkward (I think).

In terms of other non-fiber encounters, like many, I mistook the Northern Shenandoah Valley Quilt Show booth for the raffle that your admission ticket gets you a ticket to, but we had a lovely chat and I might just go to the show next April 12-14. It’s a non-juried quilt show so should have quite a variety. Right next door was the the Winchester chapter of the Embroiderers Guild of America, which I may go check out since I’m spinning for embroidery & embroidering with handspun.

Now, the haul.

SVFF 2023

Spinning fiber and beautiful Suri alpaca yarn called out to me from Shirsty Cat Designs booth. I also squished plenty of Posh Fibers yarn before settling on the most buttery smooth sock yarn I’ve ever encountered – Penelope has put together some really great yarns. I plan to use one skein of white and the red to make some mini Christmas stockings and I think I might dye the second skein with the cochineal I picked up at Maryland Sheep and Wool this spring. (I didn’t post about MDSW because I got COVID after going, but not from MDSW; a co-worker of my husband’s infected him.)

SVFF 2023

Phi Fiber and I talked about the difference between Angelina & Stellina, the sparkly fiber that a lot of folks like in handspun. Stellina is much finer than Angelina and doesn’t feel like vegetable matter running through your hands when you spin it; VM is grass, seeds, stems, and other plant material that gets stuck in sheep fleece that makes it through cleaning and prep. I got a bump of red fiber with Stellina and a bump of blue and green fiber.

I got something for Ky! I handmade soap saver with a fish pattern from the very sweet Heather Scott of Lightening Bug Studios, who handwrites and stamps all her bags. It fits perfectly in the shallow soap shelf in our shower and the unglazed edges mean it’s less likely to slide all over the place.

SVFF 2023

The neon colors from Polymorph Dye Worksare way out of my comfort zone and at the same time, I love them. I also met Lindsay last year (or earlier this year?) when I sold her my Addi Turbo King Size circular knitting machine. It’s funny – we both want to get circular sock machines now! They just seem so useful and selling handmade socks seems like it would be a good business, one that I could take to local farmer’s markets. Lamb Knitting Machines was there demonstrating a circular sock machine – I really wish I had stopped and checked it out.

Lastly and biggest of all, I purchased a table loom and a bobbin winder & bobbins from The Fiberists. I told Ky it’s my holiday/xmas present, though of course I can’t wait to put it together. I met Spencer and Reggie a few years before they started The Fiberists and I’m glad I impulse-bought the loom from them instead of impulse buying it online. I’m glad I bought a warping board for my little Structo Artcraft loom (it’s only about 10″ wide).

It wouldn’t be fall without SVFF. I’m so glad I went and also glad I sucked it up and went by myself. Some things empty the well and others fill it: my well is full. Until next year!


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