Tag Archive: carolina

Local Interest: Upcoming Fiber Events in Raleigh-Durham Area

I know this blog attracts readers from around the world, but today I’m writing especially to those of you that are in or near North Carolina to make sure you aware of some really fun local fiber events that are coming up locally.

Carolina Fiberfest (May 18-20, 2012)

This is one event I look forward to all year. It is held at the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh as part of the annual Got To Be NC Ag Fest. This year’s Fiberfest will include over 70 vendors, plus demos and other fiber-related events. For full information on Carolina Fiberfest events and a map of vendor locations, see the official website.

My husband and I have enjoyed walking around the Ag Fest every time we’ve gone (this year will be our third time). He especially enjoys the charity Pig Jig—an all-you-can-eat Carolina BBQ contest—held on lunchtime on Saturday. The festival also has carnival rides, tractor shows, local food and wine exhibits and more.

Admission and parking to Fiberfest and the larger Ag Fest are free and open to the public.

Durham Bulls Mascot: Wool E. Bull

Durham Bulls Stitch N’ Pitch (May 19, 2012)

Yarn + knitters + Durham Bulls Baseball = a great summer evening!  This Saturday night, May 19, area knitters and crocheters will take over Bull Stadium (or at least a section of it) and watch the Bulls take on Charlotte at the annual Stitch and Pitch.

In years past, each knitter has received a swag bag full of goodies at the door. There may also be door prizes.

Tickets to this event are $9 and must be reserved in advance through your local yarn store. Some of the stores are taking orders over the phone via credit card. Full details can be found on the Durham Stitch and Pitch website.

Other Stitch and Pitch events are taking place around the country, so if you aren’t in NC or you are traveling around the United States this summer, you may want to check the national Stitch N’ Pitch website.

NC Maker Faire (June 16, 2012)

The North Carolina Maker Faire is happening next month at the NC State Fairgrounds Kerr Building in Raleigh.

This event includes fiber artists, but it is also open to all kinds of other craft and hobby groups. Favorite highlights for us a last year’s event included a great exhibit by Spoonflower, a locally-based company that offers printed fabric that you can design yourself, local craft and yarn vendors, and even a greyhound rescue association. I also enjoyed getting to see one stall that featured a memorable antique machine for spinning rope and twine.

Adult tickets for the event are $10, kids prices are less. For full details, see the Maker Faire website.

So there you have it: three fun local fiber events. If you happen to see me at any of them and recognize me from my occasional FO photos, please come introduce yourself—don’t be shy! I’d love to meet you guys and see what you are knitting.

Anyone know of other events coming up that I’ve missed? Feel free to post them in the comments.

Carolina Fiberfest Fun

Walking around the Carolina Fiberfest was a blast on Saturday. The event is held in conjunction with the annual NC Ag Fest at the state fairgrounds in Raleigh and this year’s display was twice as big as last year’s.

Before we made it to the yarn and fiber, my husband and I visited the Pig Jig—an all-you-can-eat charity BBQ contest. We had some really delicious food. My favorite was the banana pudding on offer at various stands.

Pig Jig fare.

When we had both eaten more than necessary, we waddled into the Fiberfest area—this year thankfully held in an airconditioned building.

The view from Fiberfest entry

I took a lot more photos than this with my point-and-shoot camera and every last one of them turned out unrecognizably blurry. I’m sorry! There were vendors selling yarn and fiber of all kinds. There was a ton of handspun yarn on offer this year. Some vendors were selling spinning and weaving equipment. Many vendors were from North Carolina or nearby states–Virginia, Tennessee.

I also briefly wandered into a space where whole unwashed fleeces were for sale. I have nothing but awe and respect for people who get this close to the sheep, but for now, I draw the line at washing poop out of my fiber. Having a spinning wheel in my dining room is going far enough for me. I reserve the right to change my mind later on though.

So by now you must be wondering about what came home with me, right?

My Fiberfest Loot

Since this may be the only such event I make it to this year, I stocked up on a few special things that I really liked. As a rule, I don’t buy brand name yarns at fiber shows like this one. I prefer to get small batches of stuff that I may never run into again and use my budget to support the vendors, who are mostly small businesses.

Here’s what I bought:

  • 4oz pretty teal merino from Hippie Chix Fiber Art (Cullowhee, NC)
  • 425yds of handdyed superwash BFL sock yarn in Rosewood from Fiber Charmer (Atlanta, GA)
  • An adorable mini skein of handdyed yarn from Unique Sheep (this was a free sample!)
  • Two silk “hankies” for spinning in bright blue from Misty Mountain Farm in VA
  • A gorgeous skein of handspun laceweight alpaca in a peachy cream color from Frostglen in Tennessee

This last item is my favorite of the bunch. It is beautiful yarn, and something I could not—yet—spin myself. Moreover, I had a lovely conversation with the owner, Sherry, who spun the yarn herself from the fleece of what was clearly a favorite alpaca named Flower (she and her husband raise alpacas). I can’t wait to make this yarn into a beautiful shawl/scarf.

Last but not least, I bought two bundles of alpaca (for a really amazing price!) from Asheville Homecrafts. These were a source of great fascination to Luna, who supervised the photo shoot, as you can see:

Luna and the alpaca

You readers may be relieved to know that the alpaca and my other goodies all underwent the rigorous battery of canine olfactory inspection that my husband and I call The Sniff Test. The goodies passed, thankfully. Now I just have to decide what to make first!



Local Interest: Fiber events in NC

This post is directed at those of you yarn benders who are here in North Carolina (or in nearby states) and who may not know about some of the fun fiber/craft events coming up this summer, starting this weekend.

Carolina Fiberfest, May 20-22 at State Fairgrounds

In conjunction with the Got to Be NC state agriculture fest, the Carolina Fiberfest will be held at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh starting today and running through Sunday. Admission and parking are free.  The Fiberfest will feature a bunch of yarn and fiber vendors as well as demonstrations of various fiberarts (spinning, weaving, knitting). Last year there were also sheep and alpacas to meet. This year the event is supposed to be twice the size of last year. There will be a Ravelry meet up on Sunday (check the website at the link above for details).

My husband and I went to the Ag Fest last year and had a blast. It’s much more fun than the State Fair and less crowded. In addition to the Fiberfest, there are other fun things such as an exhibit hall full of North Carolina food vendors, a petting zoo for kids, and on Saturday, my husband’s favorite: the Pig Jig. Contestants in the annual BBQ contest offer all-you-can-eat samples for the price of a ticket.

Maker Faire: NC, June 18 at State Fairgrounds

This festival is for all kinds of artists and crafters in the area. There is a cost for admission ($4 for adults), but it seems pretty reasonable for access to the cool collection of exhibitors. I’m most exited about visiting booths for Spoonflower and Kitchen Sink Dyeworks.

I’ve never been to this event before, but it looks really fun and I’m excited about going in a few weeks.

TKGA Show, September 23-25 in Greensboro

The fall show of The Knitting Guild Association will be held in Greensboro this year. This event features a huge exhibit hall with yarn vendors and a schedule full of classes taught by various knitterati. I’ve never been to one of these, but since this one is right in my backyard, I’ll probably go check it out. Anyone else planning to go?

Registration for classes, which probably fill up fast, starts in June. Check the website for details.

So there you go: three fun events to look forward to! I hope to see some of you this weekend at the Fiberfest. If you see me, please come up and say hello!

Five for Friday: Unique Home Items to Make

As boring as it has sometimes been, my success in cranking out a knitted throw in the past month has been inspirational. I LOVE that I don’t have to think at all about fit issues on the blanket. No one is going to outgrow it or become too fat or thin to wear it.  It will be ages before it goes out of style. It is a pretty neutral color and will provide its recipient with years of warmth and enjoyment. Why am I not making more home stuff?!

This question sent me on a new pattern hunt this week in search of other interesting projects that I could make for my home (or the homes of friends worthy of handmade gifts).  Not surprisingly, I found many wonderful options, including the following that are available online free. Here are the five I was most excited about, but if you want to see the full list I bookmarked, go to my favorites tagged “home” in Ravelry here.

1. Puff Daddy and Puff Daddy’s Baby by Anna & Heidi Pickles

{source: www.pickles.no }

I just love this knitted pouf. It reminds me of a sea urchin.  You may have spotted similar poufs in high-end design catalogs, where they seem to sell for a lot more than your materials will cost. The creators of the one pictured at www.pickles.no were nice enough to post free instructions for this cushion and a smaller version online so we can all possess these adorable, cozy items.

2. Celtic Pillow by Janine Bajus for Two Swans Yarns

{source: Two Swans Yarns}

Another free pattern. This one is for a fair isle pillow.  If you are going to do all that colorwork, how great would it be not to have to worry about fit or style issues as you would for a garment? This seems like it would be a terrific way to try out stranded knitting without committing to scary steeks too.

3. Sunny Spread by Ellen Gormley for Crochet Today!/Red Heart

{source: Crochet Today!}

I was thisclose to making this throw for the wedding gift instead of the one I ended up going with. I was worried I would run out of time before I finished this (I am not the world’s best crocheter…).  Still, I would love to make this. I think the pattern is so unusual and pretty.  It is also a free downloadable pattern.

4. Fishy Tawashi scrubber translated from Japanese by Rhonda White

{source: knittingknonsense.com}

I’m not sure these little fishies can make doing the dishes fun, but hey, it’s worth a shot. I bet these would make great gifts, too.

5. Mug and French Press Jacket by M. K. Carroll

{source: MK Carroll}

Blogger M. K. Carroll posted directions for this gorgeous cabled mug cozy on her blog and on Ravelry.  A more detailed PDF version of the pattern is also able for download with most of the profits going toward charity Knitters Without Borders.  I bet this would be a quick and satisfying knit. It would also be extremely handy to have since hot beverages cool quickly when your hands are busy knitting.

Though this is meant to be a list of five things, I can’t possibly wrap it up without two more quick mentions.

First, the Lifetime Achievement Award in this category of unique knits for the home goes to the ladies of Mason-Dixon Knitting, Ann Hahn Buechner and Kay Gardiner.  If you aren’t already familiar with their work from their fantastic, long-running blog or their two wonderful books, you really should check out their work. They both have turned knitting for the home into an artform, continually cranking out patterns for items that are functional and practical yet at the same time stunning to look at and interesting to knit. Most of the patterns that caught my eye in this category seemed to be from the Mason-Dixon ladies. Hats off to them for sharing their ideas with us!

Second, a Local Interest Award goes to the Tarheel Dishcloth by Lindsey Ligett for Waterloo Wools. Who would have thought that a blue dishcloth with a UNC Tarheel logo on it could be so cute? If you have never been to the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill metro area, you may not entirely understand the concept of school spirit. Even public buses in Chapel Hill are often Carolina blue! Doing the dishes with a handknit Tarheel cloth seems perfectly natural to me. Thanks Lindsey for this great pattern.

Happy weekend everyone!

Five for Friday is a regular feature that highlights short lists of patterns or other links that I like within a certain topic. If you have ideas for topics you would like to see featured, please don’t hesitate to post a comment or email me at wooldurham@gmail.com.

Like cupcakes?

I knew that would get your attention!

If you want to learn how I came up with these pretty pink cupcakes this weekend, check out the guest post I have today on my husband’s food blog, dembellyfull.com. Hint: these are extremely easy and look like they were much more difficult to make than they actually were.  Don’t you love it when that happens!?

If you try your own version, drop me a note and let me know how they turn out.