This year, yarn show Fibre East took place between 27-28th July at Redbourne Community College in Ampthill, Bedford. We gave our readers the opportunity to review the show for the chance of winning a fabulous stash of Rowan yarns, and are delighted to announce Jen Snow as the winner! Find out how she got on.
By Jen Snow
This is only the second craft fair I have ever attended. The first was a somewhat impersonal, commercial enterprise at one of the larger London venues. So I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was very, very excited to be going.
I live in South-East Essex, and had arranged to collect a friend from a nearby town en route. Traffic was practically non-existent, and the weather was simply glorious – warm with a delicious breeze. We arrived in Ampthill at around half ten, and were both greeted warmly and made to feel very welcome. I use a wheeled walker to get around, and was immediately given sound advice on how to make the most of the day. And then we were unleashed on all the glorious, sumptuous yarns!
Fibre East stands out for me as well worth the four-hour round trip for many reasons. Stallholders were largely selling their own wares, or else specialised imports for true yarn connoisseurs; you only had to look hopeful to have questions answered, or tools such as spinning wheels or drop-spindles thrust into your hands.
Everywhere there was passion, commitment, and simple love for things crafted by individuals in so many different ways. Sit down anywhere for five minutes and you were caught up in a conversation with complete strangers who all shared your passion; children were spoken to, given space and encouragement, and wanted to share in the experience with such lively interest and wide eyes.
I had a go with a drop-spindle, while my friend tried out a spinning-wheel; we both left with a drop-spindle and various plans on how to build extra rooms to accomodate a wheel! Of course to try out our new-found skills we had to have some fibre to spin; in addition to that I somehow acquired a hank of home-dyed and homespun Bluefaced Leicester sock yarn, two hanks of the softest silk I have ever handled, and some vintage and new patterns. And to indulge my need to expand my skills, my last treat was a rag-rug wreath-making kit.
Here is a picture of my loot from the weekend!
Will I go to Fibre East again? Try stopping me! Thank you everyone who made the day so enjoyable.
The colourful drop spindles featured at the beginning of this post are available from Spin City UK.