This past summer, the Knit at Night Guild (KANG) organized the first ever Houston Fiber Fest. The event took place the weekend of July 17-19, 2015. That very weekend, I was on my way out-of-town on business to South Africa and almost missed it. On Friday after work, I raced over to the Berry Center located in a suburb of Houston for about an hour before they closed. The exhibit area was large but very doable. Many yarn shops from the greater Houston area were there with their wares.
At Little Monkey’s Stitch and Spin, they had hand dyed two-stranded sock flats (those little bags hanging from the sides of the display). Each flat is already knitted together from 80% merino and 20% nylon. As you knit up your socks, you are basically, unraveling the flat. The result is two socks or mittens whose stripes or color patterns will match perfectly – very clever! You can find this shop on Etsy.
I thought the booth for The Barbed Dragon was a lot of fun. According to their website, the shop is “a Texan’s flight of fancy into the fiber arts.” The dragon motif carries through to the names of their gorgeous hand-dyed fibers and yarns such as Dragon’s Indulgence and Dragon’s Treasure. They are located in Burleson, Texas (had never heard of it) but you can find them online. I think this shop partnered with another called Brazen Stitchery because they had this wonderful sparkly yarn in the booth. The names of these yarns were also so creative like a sparkly hank of Zombie American Princess variegated sock yarn.
The Purl & Loop booth featured needlecraft kits by yet another Texan. I love Angela’s (the owner’s) story. As a career woman, she had little spare time to devote to crafting and would order kits that had all the materials needed to complete a project. Out of that need, she launched her shop primarily devoted to kits for the busy modern person who wants to create but has little time. She even features how-to videos on her website for weaving and needle felting.
Park Avenue Yarns lived up to its name with tastefully curated yarns and these lovely silk braids. The sheen is gorgeous and they are oh-so-wonderful to touch. They also carried packets of precut quilting squares in fabrics with modern designs and vibrant colors.
Finally, the members of the KANG yarn-bombed the area outside the conference center with smile-inducing knitting and crochet. Trees, benches and even trash cans were covered in yarn! I particularly liked the crocheted mandalas hanging off the trees like ornaments. And no yarn-bombing in Texas is complete without a crocheted Texas flag!
It was one of the most delightful hours I’ve had. A bit rushed but very much worth the effort. Kudos to the KANG for a wonderful festival. The 2016 Houston Fiber Fest is scheduled for June 24-25, 2016. Mark you calendars!
My very first spinning lesson was at the Kid’N Ewe And Lamas Too fiber festival a couple of years ago. This past weekend, I revisited this annual festival which is spread out over three large barns at the Kendall County Fairgrounds. There was weaving, spinning, felting, knitting and crocheting everywhere!
I spent hours swooning over fibers from animal and plant sources including camel, yak, buffalo, sheep, goat and silkworm as well as hemp, bamboo, and cotton. Many were hand dyed in stunning colors like these wool batts …
… and this hemp fiber in deep tones.
There were countless hand crafted tools throughout including this lovely assortment of spindles and shuttles.
Behind rows of vendor stalls in one of the barns, several teams were in full swing for the Fiber to Fashion demonstrations. Spinners using spindles and wheels were busily turning fiber into yarn. The yarn was fed to the weaver who meticulously wove it on a loom. The goal was to create a finished product – a 20″ x 72″ shawl – in one day.
The team pictured here held a raffle for their shawl. I bought one ticket for $1 but, alas, did not win. I watched them as they were making the fringe and putting the final touches on the shawl. It was absolutely gorgeous.
The air was cool, the sun was out, the animals were adorable, kindred spirits were plentiful, and there were three barns full of fibery goodness – perfect!
This is my second year attending the annual Artisan’s Market presented by the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston (CHH). The market runs from September 6 – 8 so if you are near Houston, you still have Saturday to stop by.
I am so glad that I went on their opening night. I did my usual walk around the rooms to look at all the displays. I then picked up a small plastic basket from the front so I could begin collecting the beautiful handwoven textiles, baskets, handmade jewelry, handspun yarn, and felted ornaments that I had singled out. I was too slow. Those ladies are fierce! Several items I had on my mental checklist were gone! Nonetheless, I had a great time looking, touching and taking pictures.
I saw beautiful handwoven textiles.
There were felted bracelets, handmade cards, woven rugs and artwork.
There were felted baskets, silk baskets and other sculptured baskets.
There were ghosts and goblins and catnip wrapped like mice for the upcoming Autumn holidays.
Even Saint Nicolas’ helpers offered their wares for the yuletide season.
Of course, there was yarn.
A huge round of applause to all of the fiber artists who produced these beautiful handmade items. By the crowds and the long line at check out, I am pleased to say that Houstonians truly appreciate the handcrafted arts.
If you want to see more lovely items like these, this is the post I wrote about last year’s event.