Kid’N Ewe Fiber Festival

Besides the absolutely adorable animals, the highlight of the Kid’N Ewe Fiber Festival was the fibers! From raw fibers, natural and dyed, combed and carded, there were fibers aplenty. I started a very healthy fiber stash to complement my yarn stash. My first visit was with Mary Berry, proprietress of Fancy Fiber Farms. Mary runs a family farm with her husband where she raises her own animals. Her booth was interesting because it allowed you to see the fibers from their sources (she had pictures of her animals).

Mohair locks from Blossom, Cherry and Flower, kid goats from Mary’s farm.
Close-up of Flower's curly locks.
Wool roving alongside a picture of their makers.
Brightly dyed sheep’s wool.
2 oz. of undyed Shetland Wool.
2 oz. of undyed Carded Mohair.

I then stopped by the South Texas Angora Goats booth. Their carded Angora wool was soft and crisp white. I highly recommend visiting their website. They have great pictures of their animals especially their Racka sheep with their spiral horns.

Natural Angora from South Texas Angora Goats.

I loved the combination of the purples and reds in this dyed fiber from the Weavery at Indian Meridian.

2 oz. each fine wool imported from the U.K.

Another fiber booth.

Like letting kids loose in a candy store.
Silk hankie from China.

My last stop was at the Wooden Spinner. Proprietors Mike and Brenda Harrower offer high quality, hand-processed fibers. They specialize in creating natural plant dyes for their fibers. The resulting fibers are cast in soft, soothing colors.

Naturally-dyed Merino fibers from the Wooden Spinner. From the left, 1 oz. dyed with marigold flowers and 1 oz. dyed using walnut with aluminum and iron.

Now we shall have to put my spinning skills to the test. Stay tuned!

Goats, and Alpacas, and Sheep! Oh My!

The Kid’N Ewe Fiber Festival took place at the Kendall County Fairgrounds in Boerne, Texas. The 23rd annual festival provided “quality supplies and equipment to crafts people, and share[d] knowledge about fiber producing plants and animals.” Source: 2011 Festival Guide. Highlights included: the animals, natural fibers, spinning and weaving tools and classes, dyeing techniques, and the resulting yarn. Here is a peek into the weekend festivities.

Texas-raised kid mohair goat. Playful toddler with soft, curly locks that are sheared twice a year. He kept butting his head against my legs and would not stand still! Cute little guy.
Kid'N Ewe Fiber Festival 2011
Alpacas in three shades of color.
Kid'N Ewe Fiber Festival 2011
Contestant in the South Central Llama Association (SCLA) Youth Show.
The competition.
Kid'N Ewe Fiber Festival 2011
Partially sheared but still displaying long locks.
Kid'N Ewe Fiber Festival 2011
Best in Show.

The 2011 festival was sponsored by the South Central Llama Association, the State of Texas Alpaca Ranchers, and the Texas Cashmere Association. You can read about the festival’s history here.

Kid'N Ewe Festival 2011 - LOGO

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International Quilt Festival

My friend, Natalia, and I attended the 2011 International Quilt Festival in Houston. More than simply utilitarian, these quilts are works of art. Styles ranged from traditional to contemporary, incorporating a variety of techniques including hand quilting, embroidery, appliqué, machine quilting, piecing and fusing. Here are a few of my favorites.

“The Laneway” by Grace Whiting from the O Canada exhibit. Techniques: Some machine piecing and quilting; hand appliquéd. Delicate threads create the foliage while the quilting pattern echoes the undulations of the fallen snow.
“Bouquet” was hand-pieced, appliquéd, embroidered and quilted by Keiko Morihiro from Japan as her 30th wedding anniversary present to her husband. Winner: Master Award for Traditional Artistry.
“Twitter” was assembled using recycled materials, including newspapers, to represent the artist’s vision of an environmentally responsible social network.
From the Art-Whimsical category, “Tokyo – Wish You Were Hair” by Pam RuBert. The artist made the quilt for an exhibition “exploring the intersection of fiber art with new technologies.”

For more quilts by Pam RuBert, click here.

“Dixie Dingo Dreaming” by award-winning fabric artist, Susan Carlson. Her work is like a collage that fuses small fabric pieces into a recognizable image.
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Read  more about Susan Carlson’s work here. Keep track of the happenings leading up to the 2012 International Quilt Festival here.