Those will to go a few extra miles in pursuit of all this fiber may want to put the fourth annual Fiber Festival of New England in West Springfield, Mass., on the radar. Eastern States Exposition and the New England Sheep and Wool Growers Association will co-produce the event taking place 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, in the Mallary Complex.
The event will bring vendors and fiber enthusiasts together to promote the use of wool and other natural fibers, and related products to the general public. Visitors have the opportunity to participate in craft workshops and watch informative demonstrations. The event provides a firsthand look into the fiber industry, complete with live displays of llamas, alpacas, sheep, rabbits and goats.
The Fiber Festival workshop schedule is:
Saturday, Nov. 2
• Needle Felted Landscapes, Kristen Walsh, 9:30 a.m.-noon. Create a 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, 9:30 a.m.-noon. Explores the numerous types of slipped stitches, including false cables, lifted stitches, wrapped stitches and much more.
• Felted Jewelry Shapes & Design, Lyn Harris, 1-3 p.m. Create jewelry with basic felted jewelry shapes, such as round and oblong beads, felted snakes and tassels.
• Hairpin Lace Scarf in a Day, Jennifer Raymond, 1-4:30 p.m. Learn the basics of hairpin lace technique, using a loom, to create a scarf.
Sunday, Nov. 3
• Lacy Felted Scarf, Lyn Harris, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Make a scarf with wet felted Wensleydale wool which creates a lacy effect.
• Hairpin Lace Crochet, Beverly Army Williams, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 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 and Elf, Kelly Corbett, noon-1:30 p.m. 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, 1-3 p.m. Learn the sequence and procedure of rug hooking from start to finish.
Other activities will include:
• Fiber Fashion Show, featuring handmade clothing and items made from natural fiber, 1:45 p.m. Nov. 2.
• Spinning and weaving demonstrations by David and Iris Westcott of the Rhode Island Spinners Guild.
• Fleece sale ongoing throughout the festival. Open to all.
Fiber Festival will offer shopping opportunities and fun for the whole family. More than 150 New England exhibitors showcase their products including clothing, quilts, blankets, rugs, looms, spinning wheels and more.
The festival includes more than 200 vendor booths.
Admission to the Fiber Festival of New England is $5, free for children 12 and under. For information on cost of workshops, required skill levels and supplies, visit FiberFestival.org.