For fibre people, the sense of touch is particularly precious. We approach every project in great anticipation of the pleasures arising from those ineffable qualities described as sproing, squish, softness, and super yummy-licious-ness.
The Festival is a hands-on experience. From the warmth and bounce of the living creatures growing the wool —
To the lanolin rich crimp of fresh fleeces —
To the spinning, knitting, and stitching —
and the wonderful displays of market products —
Everything calls out to be touched. We move through the space with outstretched hands, and our hearts are filled with the richness of these physical connections.
This spring our world is transformed by the global pandemic. Physical distancing between people is essential to avoid contagion. Those of us lucky enough to have time and space to continue working with our hands can still revel in the feel of the materials and the joy of creating.
But we are also a community of people. We yearn for knit nights, and workshops, and visiting friends in the local yarn shop. So many gatherings and events and sales have been cancelled, while our local producers and makers face financial losses and new marketing challenges.
What will the situation be in September? We just don’t know. With all our hearts we wish to gather for a full celebration of the 8th annual Manitoba Fibre Festival this fall, and our planning carries on to that goal. We do know we will all be changed by this experience and large gatherings must adapt to our new awareness and health concerns.
Let us hope that in a few months we can safely stand shoulder to shoulder, fondling fibre and enjoying the wool fumes at the Festival. Tell then, take good care of each other.
photos by Carla Ackermann