Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fiber Festival the Michigan Way

It’s summer. In Michigan. That means the Michigan Fiber Festival is on the horizon. The festival is held every August at the bucolic Allegan County Fairgrounds in Allegan, Michigan. This year the festival is Saturday & Sunday, August 15 & 16. Activities include competitions for various kinds of fleece (wool, mohair, angora, pygora) and skeins. During these competitions, the audience gets to watch and hear the judges do their work. There are animal shows and sales (if it’s an animal that yields fiber, you’ll find it here!), a fiber arts display, fiber arts demonstrations, herding dog demonstrations, shearing demonstrations, kids activities, music, and more! Parking is free, and admission on Saturday & Sunday is $5, or you can get a weekend pass for $8.

Oh, did I mention the vendors? Over 120 vendors will have their wares for sale. It’s a fantastic opportunity to talk to farmers and makers; examine the near endless types of fiber, fiber tools, and fiber arts (with a good dose of soaps, lotions, baskets, paintings, and pottery); and soak in the love of fiber.

In addition to the weekend festival, there are workshops offered Wednesday through Saturday, August 17-21: spinning, knitting, crochet, weaving, basketry, felting, soap making, rug making, and MORE. It’s a distinguished line up of instructors. If I weren’t teaching, I would most definitely be taking some classes.

Yeah, I’m teaching some workshops: Mechanics of Your Wheel on Wednesday afternoon, Beginning Spinning on the Wheel on Thursday, and Spinning Wools of North America on Friday. That last workshop I usually teach over two or more days, so it’s going to be a whirlwind to spin test all the wools.

Also on Friday, over 60 vendors are open, and admission that day is free!

So, go. Just go there. Have fun. Have fiber fun. And lots of it.

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