Festival Patterns – a brief history

Looking back over our 10 years of planning, we’ve had a lot of fun engaging with local makers. Remember our pattern collections with local designers? You can find them all in this bundle on Ravelry.

It all began in 2014 when Wolseley Wool hosted a Knit-A-Long for the Festival and solicited designs for a competition. The winning design was used for the Knit-A-Long. From what I’m sure were many lovely submissions, Wolseley Wool selected a delightful summer shawl designed by ash alberg, of Sunflower Knits. Double Scoop will be available again at this year’s Festival as a gift with entry in the Festival Program.

Double Scoop. Photo copyright ash alberg

Two years later, the Festival planning committee decided to host our own collection of patterns for the 2017 festival. The theme was Flatlands. Designs were solicited from emerging and established designers in the region who were inspired to contribute patterns using yarns and fibre sourced from local producers and dyers. ash alberg curated the collection and photography. A beautiful digital LookBook was published that featured each designer, producer, and dyer. Altogether there were 13 unique designs for our inaugural collection that are still available for sale individually on Ravelry. A make-a-long with prizes was hosted leading up to the Festival to encourage folks to join in celebrating our local designers, producers, and dyers.

2017 Flatlands designs
2017 Flatlands designs

The Flatlands collection was fun, so we decided to create a fresh collection in 2018 using a Mood Board that featured wintery landscapes with pops of colour. The resulting collection features 9 new designs from local designers that once again feature yarns and fibres that could be found at the Festival. Designs are available online through Ravelry.

9 squares. Each square shows a knit item that is part of the 2018 design collection
Manitoba Fibre Festival 2018 Collection

Our inspiration the following year was the ever-stunning prairie horizon at sunrise and sunset – both rural and urban. Dyers and designers accepted the “Create Make Collaborate” challenge to create 7 beautiful new patterns that capture the full range of colours, including natural colourways. Some dyers also prepared unique yarns and fibres inspired by the challenge that were sold at the Festival. Designs are available online through Ravelry.

Manitoba Fibre Festival 2019 Collection

In 2020 and 2021, as we pivoted to hosting a Fibre Trail, we did not coordinate a collection. For our first trail in 2020, designer ash alberg donated a fresh sock design, Eutrochium, for a knit-a-long with pattern sales being donated. You can still purchase a copy on Ravelry.

2020 Knit-a-long Pattern: Eutrochium

The Festival has not coordinated a new collection or make-a-long for 2021 or 2022. However, for folks who enjoy a make-a-long featuring locally sourced yarn and fibre, the Pembina Fibre Shed hosted a One Year One Outfit challenge in 2021 and issued a fresh challenge in 2022. Details can be found on the Pembina Fibre Shed website.

If Festival folks would like to see another Make-A-Long in 2023, let us know! Do you know some designers, dyers, producers, and makers who would like to participate? We do love a good community make-a-long. Chat with us or send an email to volunteers@manitobafibrefestival.com

Leave a Reply