Annual Fiber Festival of New England Returns to Western MA

Fourth Annual Fiber Festival of New England
November 2nd & 3rd in Hampden County

The 4th annual Fiber Festival of New England is back in West Springfield, MA, and offering an incredible learning experience to guests interested in workshops, demonstrations and all things fiber. Workshops offered at the Fiber Festival includes needlefelting, hairpin lace crochet, and rug hooking. Other activirties include spinning and weaving demonstrations and a fiber fashion show.

Learn about all things fleece and fiber at The Fiber Festival of New England! Held on November 2nd and 3rd, 2013, at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA, the festival includes workshops, demonstrations, fleece and fiber art vendors, and even a woolen fashion show filled with beautifully spun, felted, knitted, and crocheted clothing items of all kinds. Families can learn about the vast artistic potential that fiber offers as a medium, as well as the specifics of raising animals for fiber.

Both days of the festival will include workshops where older students and parents can learn new skills like needle felting, crocheting, rug hooking, and more. There are workshops for all abilities – some are designed for absolute beginners, while others are geared towards teaching skills to more experienced fiber artists. Felting, knitting, and other fiber-related crafts are all based on their own fairly simple skill set, the basics of which still allow for a fair amount of creativity and originality in the pieces created. Additionally, once you’ve learned the basics of a type of handwork, there are lots of resources available for self-teaching. Kids who learn the basics of needle felting, for example, may expand their own skills using books, videos, and other educational resources

Along with the festival’s opportunities to learn new skills are vendor displays and special demonstrations, from which families can learn about the broad topic of fiber arts. Families will be able to see raw fleeces being spun into yarn, learn about wool dying from high quality vendors, watch master knitters work on their craft amongst displays of their work (that you can buy and take home!), and learn about the mysterious art of felting and the many ways in which it can be done. The vendors (of which there are over 150!) provide a museum-like array of all things fleece and fiber-related, perfectly illustrating the role that fiber plays in folk arts, farming, and our everyday lives.

The Fiber Festival of New England will take place from 9am-5pm on Saturday, November 2nd and from 9am-3pm on Sunday, November 3rd, 2013. Admission to the event is $5 for adults and $3 for children; workshops can be done for an additional cost, which varies depending on the topic. The Eastern States Exposition is located at 1305 Memorial Avenue in West Springfield, MA. For more information about the festival, call 413-205-5115.

Fiber Festival Workshops:

♦ Needle Felted Landscapes, Kristen Walsh – Nov. 2, 9:30am – 12noon
Create a beautiful landscape on wool felt. Many techniques will be demonstrated and used to make realistic trees, rocks and flowers.

Crazy Mixed-Up Slip Stitches, Jennifer Raymond – Nov. 2, 9:30am – 12noon
Looking for a challenge with your knitting? This 3 hour workshop explores the numerous types of slipped stitches: false cables, lifted stitches, wrapped stitches and much more.

Felted Jewelry Shapes & Design, Lyn Harris – Nov. 2, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Create jewelry with basic felted jewelry shapes: round and oblong beads, felted snakes and tassels.

Hairpin Lace Scarf in a Day, Jennifer Raymond – Nov. 2, 1:00pm – 4:30pm
Hairpin lace crochet is the perfect answer for a quick, classy gift! Learn the basics of this technique, using a loom, and create a beautiful scarf.

Lacy Felted Scarf, Lyn Harris – Nov. 3, 9:30am – 11:30pm
Come make a scarf with wet felted Wensleydale wool which creates a beautiful lacy effect. Perfect for holiday gift giving!

Hairpin Lace Crochet, Beverly Army Williams – Nov. 3, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Learn the basics of hairpin lace crochet by making a wrister you can use as the cuff of a mitten or glove or wear on its own!

Needle Felted Santa & Elf, Kelly Corbett – Nov. 3, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Learn how to needlefelt while creating two quick and easy holiday decorations – a roly-poly Santa and his cheerful elf companion.

Folk Art Rug Hooking, J. Conner – Nov. 3, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Like all old fashioned crafts, rug hooking is low-tech, simple and lots of fun! Learn the sequence and procedure of rug hooking, from start to finish.

Other activities include: Fiber Fashion Show, featuring handmade clothing and items made from natural fiber, Nov. 2 at 1:45pm; spinning and weaving demonstrations by David and Iris Westcott of the Rhode Island Spinners Guild; and the Fleece Sale will be ongoing throughout the Festival and is open to all.

[Photo credit: (cc) cobalt123]

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