I've just returned home from another year of volunteering at Fibre-East. It's my 'local' fibre festival, even though it's a good two and a bit hours of driving to get from Norfolk to Ampthill in Bedfordshire. But it's definitely worth it! It's a lot of fun being part of a team of friendly people and while I was there, I felt 'normal'. You also get to appreciate the hard work that goes into organising an event such as this. Flo had to go and stay in a cat hotel which didn't impress her greatly, but I knew she was safe and being cared for. When I arrived at the school where Fibre-East is held, the marquees were already up and marking out had begun. The spaces have to be marked for each vendor's stand and tables put in place ready for them. We got on really well and even started decorating the site with bunting that day. The following day, vendors started arriving from 10am; that's always an exciting time as you get to see little sneaky peeks of what delights they have brought with them. All the signs were stuck up and there was knitted and crocheted bunting hung from every possible structure. It really did look bright and cheery, ready to welcome the visitors at the weekend. Even though I was on volunteer duty at various points over the weekend, I still had plenty of time to browse and shop. My pal Snoopydog wasn't able to come so I had strict instructions to get her a couple of 'pretty skeins'! I was also able to meet up with my fellow blogstars, Jane Crowfoot and Kathryn Senior as well as a couple of Instagram friends. I took loads of photos throughout the weekend, so at the risk of boring you, here are some of my favourites. Go and make a yourself a cuppa before you start looking through them!
I have loads more photos, these only show but a few of the vendors that were there - everything you could possibly need for knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning and felting and more. It really does cater for all fibre arts. As well as the vendors, a number of local guilds were also in attendance demonstrating their skills, so it was the perfect opportunity to have a go and learn something new.
On Sunday morning, I was excused from volunteering duties so that I could take part in a drop spindling workshop. It was really excellent and I learnt loads. I think the fact that I could already spin on a wheel was a big help because I was comfortable drafting the fibre. I'm hoping to use this new skill with the children at school next year.
So what did I buy? I bought some lovely bright merino fibre from Jon at Easyknits, a couple of skeins of yarn from Sparkleduck which I will use on very special projects, a rainbow skein from Babylonglegs, a hat kit that is a collaboration between Woollywormhead and Babylonglegs, a self-striping rainbow yarn cake from The Knitting Goddess and a gorgeous olive wood and sycamore drop spindle from IST Crafts.
There was a lovely floral tribute to Heather from Sparkleduck who died very suddenly earlier in the year. I signed the book of condolences, remembering my trip to Uunravel back in February, when Heather and I had had lunch together, and Heather was telling me all about the birds that had been visiting her garden. Her beautiful yarns and creativity will be missed. RIP Heather. xxx