Monday, September 28, 2015

Fiber Arts Fair Recap

This year's Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair was a fun-filled success for the many families, friends, and animals that participated. As always, we had a great selection of interesting vendors at the marketplace and a  wide variety of fiber arts classes.

Participants, as well as vendors, came from our region and all over the country. Shoppers at the marketplace were able to revel in a delightful selection of colorful roving, yarns, and goods--everything from goat's milk soap to fish leather wallets.

One of the new highlights was the Sheep-to-Scarf competition. Three teams raced to prepare a fleece, spin yarn, and weave a finished scarf within the morning.  The teams were very interactive with the crowd, explaining the process as they worked. This demonstration helps children and people in the community bridge the gap between agriculture and textile production.

The hands-on demonstration booths were busy throughout the day giving people an opportunity to dip their toes into a new art.

A special performance was given by the Scottsbluff Sprouts, a group of five- and six-year old violinists. The crowd seemed to enjoy these adorable young musicians.

The fiber animals are my personal favorite part of the fair--the animal breeders must work with them for weeks beforehand to train the animals to walk calmly on a lead through the marketplace. Adults and children alike are delighted to pet and interact with the alpacas, yaks, sheep, goats, and rabbits.

This day is so filled to the brim with activities, it's impossible to capture all the excitement in just a few photos. To see the full album from the day, be sure to like our Facebook page, Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair.

Thanks to all who came to the fair as a vendor or participant--we hope you had a great time!



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Midwestern Knits

As we transition into a new season, there's suddenly an abundance of new patterns, colors, and trends. . . And with the weather getting cooler, knitters are gearing up for new projects.

We wanted to highlight a new book, Midwestern Knits, featuring a pattern in our Nature Spun Sport. I especially love the name of this garment: the Storm Cloud Tee. One of the best parts of living in Western Nebraska is being able to see the entire sky, all the time. I no longer need to check my weather app when I can scan the horizon to the west and see, from miles away, what kind of weather is approaching.

Earth and Sky by Nebraska photographer Michael Forsberg

All of the patterns in Midwestern Knits are sourced with yarn from the Midwest. When you live in a place where the weather could be 80 degrees and sunny one day, then snowing the next, wool is a necessity. This pattern is a versatile top that could be layered on a cool day or even worn on a warm summer day. There is just enough color work to keep the knitting interesting, without being too daunting.  I am loving the current trend toward knitting with lighter yarns-- Nature Spun Sport is the ideal weight to wear comfortably. If you're looking to start a new project--check out Midwestern Knits! Be sure to look up the Ravelry group-- and if you're an Instagram person, post your project pictures with #StormCloud.

Happy Fall Knitting!