It’s time to take another look around this year’s Marketplace to introduce you to some more of our lovely exhibitors. Unlike many of the fibre festivals, Fibre-East is very fortunate to have plenty of space so there is lots of room for everyone to be able to see all the stands and get excited about all the amazing things that have been brought along. The most difficult decision is where to go first! By sharing some of our exhibitors with you, you will hopefully be able to start writing your own Fibre-East wish list.
Watercolours and Lace will be making their 6th visit to Fibre-East this summer. As well as all their beautiful yarn, they will be bringing with them kits for several new designs. Designer, Julie has been working hard with several new patterns in recent months. Following the success of the ‘Nicole’ Crochet Shawl last summer, they introduced the ‘Penelope Shrug’ just before Christmas. Designed for intermediate knitters, Penelope features a cabled panel in the centre back. There are kits available with suitable 4-ply yarn. Next out of the blocks came ‘Quentin’, which is a Unisex Gansey Vest, designed for confident beginners and worked with circular needles. The more observant amongst you, having seen the N, P and Q, from these names, will be wondering what happened to ‘O’? Well, O is for ‘Olwyn‘ and this represents Julie’s newest shawl design, which was released as a Mystery Knit Along on 1 May. So for some gorgeous yarn and kits, visit Julie and Alan’s stand.
Creative You will be bringing their T-shirt yarn to tempt you with. Set up in 2010, Karen was one of the first people to start selling T-shirt Yarn in the UK. T-shirt yarn is upcycled from the T-shirt manufacturing industry. Therefore the yarn she sells can be made of 100% cotton with no stretch or have a very high lycra content. Along with this colours are based on current fashion trends. Over the years T-shirt yarn has become more main stream as has big knitting and crochet with many people loving making durable items for the home in on trend colours. As always they will have the full range of their current stock on sale with some great show offers. They also display a wide range of samples to inspire people as well as a “Have a go Table” where people can try at crochet, knitting and Tunisian crochet with the T-shirt yarn and discuss ideas. So if you’ve always wondered what it’s like to work with a really thick yarn, make sure you go and have a try!
Town End Yarns is based in the Lake District where they produce luxurious alpaca-based knitting yarns. They will be bringing a number of yarns including: Morecambe DK yarn, a colourful blend of British alpaca fleece and local Blue faced Leicester wool, sorted and blended here on the farm. It goes off to Yorkshire for scouring and spinning before returning back to them. Their super-soft fingering-weight blend of alpaca with Falklands Merino and Mulberry silk is ideal for shawls and lightweight tops such as Susan Crawford’s Amies lacy top. Finally, their pure natural alpaca yarn which is where they started. This is un-dyed, British alpaca, carefully sorted so only the finest fibres are used. They produce small batches of this yarn which is available in 4ply, DK and aran weights. So if you want the best in British alpaca yarn, make sure that you pay Town End Yarns a visit.
Although Emma Jane Makes been on the craft fair circuit for a while selling clothes and jewellery, Fibre-East this will be her first yarn fair. She’ll be launching an entirely new range, including a sterling silver jewellery collection for knitters and sewists; a range of hand embroidered hobby aprons; knitting bags, stitch markers, resin and hand drawn buttons and all sorts of other goodies. Everything she makes is entirely handmade, from scratch by Emma which means everything is unique. Sounds like the perfect place to pick up some special things.
Baavet are the manufacturers of pure wool bedding that is made completely in the UK using 100% British wool. They are passionate about the fact that their products are completely British and do not have huge carbon footprints. They have good relationships with the farmers that provide their wool and are passionate about the advantages and benefits of wool. One of the biggest benefits being that it regulates temperature which goes a long way to enabling excellent sleep. They do not use chemicals and their wool only receives a basic wash to remove organic matter; this way none of the properties of the wool are destroyed. They will be selling duvets, pillows and mattress protectors on their stand at Fibre East and some of their carded wool. As they do not use chemicals, many needle felters find their carded wool excellent for their work and others who use it to stuff soft toys. If you’re interested in getting a better night’s sleep, pop along and chat to the folk at Baavet.
The Knitting Shed are making their third visit to Fibre-East this year. They’ll be bringing along their popular Bunny Sock and Mouse Mitten blockers; these are cut from FSC approved birch plywood and finished with beeswax. They’re great for smoothing out your hand knit socks and for displaying the finished items. There will also be Lazadas blocking wires for perfectly turned out lace too. They will have the complete range of children’s clothing kits with Robin, their winter design, new for this year. It comes in a choice of two colour ways and feature an easy slip stitch pattern, simple cross stitch embroidery and a soft needle cord skirt. There will also be their hand dyed Ainsworth & Prin yarn on a range of bases from a super soft everyday merino and nylon through to luxury, fluffy kid mohair and silk. They’ll also have a range of yarns from the British Isles with Jamieson & Smith Shetland Wool and Knoll Donegal tweeds plus what ever else they can squeeze in! Wow! Definitely worth taking a look!
Last but not least for today is Whim Wham Buttons. Whim Wham Buttons, formerly known as Staffordshire Buttons, are back at Fibre East for the third time. Once again they will be tempting us with their beautiful handcrafted ceramic buttons, stitch markers and earrings. As a small family business they produce their items from their home in Stoke-on-Trent, the heart of the Potteries. They use fine bone china and traditional skills to deliver their finely crafted buttons. But don’t worry, they are a lot more robust than they look and are machine washable, so you can add them to your handmade creations with confidence. Robert Mack (who now runs the company with his daughter, Jocelyn) began making ceramic goods back in 1980 with his wife Joyce. They created a range of figurine British birds; Robert did the making while Joyce hand-painted each piece. Later in the 80’s they created a range of buttons and miniatures for doll’s houses. Never really settling into retirement, Robert recently revived the button business with his daughter Jocelyn, renaming it Whim Wham Buttons, which takes its name from whim-wham meaning a small decorative object or trinket. Pop by their stand to see their beautiful creations.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look around the Marketplace. There will be another blog post soon with more of this year’s exhibitors. If you’ve already starting writing a wish list, why not buy your tickets in advance so you can make sure that you’re one of the first to get to your favourite exhibitor’s stand? You can get your tickets here so don’t delay!