Sarah Elizabeth Fibre Works

We are pleased to welcome Sarah Elizabeth from Rossland, B.C. to the Festival as a vendor this year. You will be delighted with the unique style of  locks, batts, yarns and notions she has to offer. Sarah’s class “The Textured Spin” runs on Friday morning, September 14. 

Here are some excerpts and photos from her website, Sarah Elizabeth Fibre Works: 

“I started Sarah Elizabeth Fibre Works the year after my first daughter was born. I was driven to create a business that would allow me to work from home and enjoy every precious (and sometimes exhausting) moment together. In  July 2017 we welcomed our second daughter into our fibre filled world.

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My love affair with fibre (from the crimp, to the texture, to the transformation from raw fleece to finished product) has taken me on an extraordinary journey of creation. I love almost every aspect of my business from searching out of raw fleeces to the spinning of hand carded batts, to large felting projects. I have transformed my artistic practice from paint and canvas to all things fibre.

With a focus on sustainability, environmental consciousness, and consumption with awareness, my aim is to both inspire creators, wearers and admirers as well as to create change through action. I am proud to be a part of the slow fashion movement.

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I aim to use only the highest quality fibres and yarns in my creations; from hand processed and dyed fibre supplies to one of a kind fashions, I have hand-selected my raw materials from all over the world. I work hard to make conscious purchasing decisions that recognize a need for strong local, regional and global trade practices that in turn promote resilient economies throughout the world. I focus on purchasing fleece from small scale farms, minimally processed fibre and yarns from eco friendly mills with good working conditions and, in general, from suppliers that have a strong focus on community.

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I want each and every customer to feel like they are a part of something bigger than just the fibre, yarn or fashion item that they purchase. A conscious purchase from Sarah Elizabeth Fibre works is a full circle connection; to the farm, to the fibre, to the mill, to the fabric, to the people involved in the process, to the natural world.

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I hope that this approach will fuel change. Each of these steps taken together can produce change. Change in product origins, change in consumption patterns, change in resource use, and, ultimately, the ripple effect of a safer and more sustainable future.”

Welcome to the Manitoba Fibre Festival, Sarah.

Regal Rose Rabbitry

Meet two sisters who are starting out in the entrepreneur world and promoting angora rabbits within Manitoba. They live near Neepawa, Manitoba. Their interest in rabbits started as a 4H project and has blossomed into a young business.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESRegal Rose Rabbitry is offering Satin Angora Rabbits and hopes to expand in the future with providing angora yarn and fibre. This breed of rabbit is incredibly friendly, inquisitive, calm, and provides lovely fibre to spin or felt with.

The girls will have a display at the Manitoba Fibre Festival on September 14 & 15. People interested in the rabbits they currently have available for sale can contact them at   regalroserabbitry@gmail.com .

Here’s an example of what you can do with angora fibre —  at a recent workshop on raising Angora rabbits, Anna Hunter said “I spun just 40g of locally grown satin angora fibre with some Manitoba Rambouillet and it made this beautiful, soft yarn!”

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Stop in to see the Regal Rose Rabbitry girls at the Festival and learn all about the lovely creatures that provide this luxurious fibre.

The Campaign for Wool – a 2018 Manitoba Fibre Festival Sponsor

We are extremely pleased to announce our latest sponsor, the Campaign for Wool. Having the support of this international program is a milestone in the growth of the Festival. It means we are recognized as the primary focus of fibre related activities in that large geographical area of Canada between Toronto and Vancouver. The Campaign is sponsoring the 2018 Fashion Show at the Festival, featuring work from our talented vendors.

The Campaign for Wool is a global endeavor initiated by its patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, in order to raise awareness amongst consumers about the unique, natural and sustainable benefits offered by wool. The Campaign now operates in 12 different countries across the globe including Canada, France, Australia, Japan and the United States.TCFW_Logo_MainThe Campaign was officially launched in Canada in 2014 by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during an event in Pictou, Nova Scotia.  Every year since, the Campaign has worked with all levels of the wool value chain (farmers, processors, manufacturers, retailers, designers, etc.) to promote wool in general and Canadian wool in particular.   Their activity centres around an annual Canadian Wool Week where media, retail and event partnerships are all leveraged to educate and inform Canadians about the wonders of Wool. The Campaign also supports wool research and other events throughout the year that promote wool as a sustainable and renewable fibre.Prince Charles Sheep T Sandler _7063

Canadian Wool Week 2018 takes place from Nov. 2 – 11 with events in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver including our signature partnership with The Royal Winter Fair. KTP_7766

Robin & Yarn — new vendor profile

My name is Merita Robin Ferrada and my business is called ‘Robin & Yarn’.

I make wall hangings, jewelry, and clothing patches that are hand woven by me on upright looms that either perch on a table or held in my lap.
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I began weaving a couple years ago after being inspired by my friend who brought her small weaving project out to a campout. She made me a small loom and I learned how to weave from youtube. Loom weaving has since become my passion and I now have a serious yarn addiction.
My inspiration comes from a love of bright colours, textures, architecture, and the Canadian prairie and shield. What I enjoy the most about weaving is the process of making something with my hands. I find weaving to be calming, meditative, and a unique way to experiment with colour combinations and textures.
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My favourite wall hanging I have created is featured in the photo below. I love these colour combinations and I made this piece for me! The blue roving was purchased from the Blue Hills Fibre Festival in Carberry in 2017. I feel like it is a great accomplishment to create something I love enough to hang on my own wall.
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Welcome to the Festival, Merita!

Marigold Made – vendor profile

Raia Bryan of Marigold Made is a new addition to our vendor market. Welcome, Raia!

Raia started out experimenting with plant dyes and was taken with the luminous quality of natural dyed silk. She then discovered pleating as a way to create lovely wearable shapes out of the silk. The shapes are reminiscent of items from nature: flowers, leaves, coral, the gills of mushrooms.

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She loves the playful, experimental aspect of natural dyeing, and bridging a connection between art, colour, and the natural world.

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A favorite piece would be a pair of earrings made from bundle dyed silk. The various colours turned out beautifully and the way the colours come together after gathering the silk is always a fun surprise.

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LeVerne Tucker — Last Dance Ranch –

“LeVerne Tucker and Last Dance Ranch” …. a great country music band? No, that’s our vendor profile for today! 

My name is LeVerne Tucker, and my farm/business is The Last Dance Ranch.  In 2010, I jumped rubber boots first into farming.  The adventure began with the gift of Loki, the housewarming llama .  Loki was joined shortly by several alpacas,  and my first fibre business,  Storybook Art & Fibre was born.  I am a self-taught indie dyer, an avid spinner, and a lover of all things fibre and textile.

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A farm move in 2014 sparked new beginnings on the farm.  Adjacent to a now closed, locally famous dance hall, The Last Dance Ranch is home to Icelandic sheep, and a small herd of dairy goats.  I use only ethically sourced Manitoba fibre for my yarn and roving;  soaps are made from raw goat’s milk from the farm herd. IMG_1115

IMG_1495I am passionate about local goods, and am proud to be a member of Manitoba’s farming community.  My inspiration for colour comes from daily living; this year’s colourways include Alfalfa, Weathered Wood, Rhubarb, and Big Red Barn. IMG_1491

The Manitoba Fibre Festival is an exciting, inspiring event for vendors and visitors alike, and I look forward to sharing my new work with everyone!

Introducing “Manitoba Sheep Thrill” – 2018 Custom Colourway Yarn

Tammy Ivanco, of Manjusha Fibre Arts, shares her process of designing and dyeing this limited edition yarn. Each year a local dyer creates a colourway for us based on our wonderful ram’s head logo drawn by artist and shepherd Gerry Oliver.

The yarn will be available at our merchandise table at the Festival September 14 & 15.

Tammy has named this colourway “MB Sheep Thrill”. Here’s her story:

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“MB Sheep Thrill – 2018 Custom Colourway Yarn”

“It was very exciting to create the Manitoba Fibre Festival 2018 Custom Colour.  This yearly event is something that I am very happy about – it started small and grew in ways that were hard to imagine even just a few years back.  The crew running the event have done a great job keeping it going and expanding it.  With this in mind, I was also very nervous!  The general direction for the Custom Colour was the Manitoba Fibre Festival Logo.  I had a high resolution copy on my Ipad and I could zoom in and out to think about the selections I would make. 11898634_624971950977739_3527468810237243922_n

The sheep head is rather unique with a lot of colours, so had so many places for inspiration.  I thought I had my general plan very quickly, but in the end, the process was a bit all over the place because of the techniques I had been using, and then the modifications that came when the yarn decided it needed to be something else.   In the beginning the sheep head reminded me of my sheep and the colours I saw were harder, darker, and really based in the grey and black tones.  I did some test skeins on a heavy sock yarn and really liked them, but then when I held and started working with the yarn I was going to use for the Custom Colour, I revised my colour schemes.  The light and beautiful organic merino/nylon fingering weight yarn really called for the softer colours in the logo, with the expression of the darker ones less pronounced.  I have called this yarn base GAIA, which in Greek mythology is the personification of the Earth. Gaia, the goddess, is the mother of all life and was also the giver or gifts. I selected this base for the custom colour to the idea of making clothing from sustainable sources, but also to generally sing the praises of the Earth and the benefits we get.IMG_2327

The colours I selected were from the creamy golden yellows on the sheep horns and face, the rose grey on the face that shifted from pinks to greys, the black and teal curls of the sheep fleece, and finally the teal and orange of the eye.  I also wanted more white to capture some of the light curls of the fleece, and this made so much sense to me as a dyer because white fleece is so prominent and necessary in a dyer’s toolkit.

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The technique I have been rather hooked on lately is based in knots, and maybe a little like the tie dyeing that some people have done.  This technique was used for the “Prairie Storm” yarn that became Heather Bailey’s inspiration for her “Prairie Wheat Shawl” in the Maker’s Challenge, as well as my “Polar Bear” and “At the Leg.” from the MBFF 2018 Mood Boards.  I really like how this technique creates a unique variegated yarn, with less obvious pooling, but that works for a range of patterns.  For the MBFF 2018 Custom Colour, I used a single knot that was in the same location on each skein, with the orientation the same in each dye pan used.  This allowed me to layer a blush pink and grey to give the mottled look of the logo sheep face, and have a bit of transitioning cream gold found in the head.  The fun part was that I could use the knot to have teal blue and black spattered in the white areas remaining with the base yarn colour around them, like the fleece curls.  A small bit of speckling with teals and orange captured some of the subtle teals throughout and the sheep eye. 

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All in all, there were 10 different dye colours used to capture the logo colours I selected.  The yarn will work for shawls and socks, and a range of other items calling for a fingering weight.  It has a mix of colours that allow it to be part of a fade pattern, or just set against a solid from the selection.  I called the MBFF 2018 Custom Colour “MB Sheep Thrill”, and I have been knitting with some of it and I love it.  I hope others find it as fun and great to work with as I have.”

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There and Back Yarn – new vendor profile

Here’s Kaeleigh Schroeder from There and Back Yarn to introduce herself. Welcome to the Manitoba Fibre Festival, Kaeleigh!
My business is There and Back Yarn, and I sell hand-dyed yarn and patterns. I’m working to incorporate wooden accessories and yarn-working items (think shawl pins and nostepinnes) into my repertoire. My patterns are available on Ravelry, and I sell my yarn through Etsy and directly via messaging.
I got started in fibre arts way back in the 90s when my grandma taught me how to crochet. I was pretty bad at it – ridiculously tight tension and couldn’t make a square to save my life – and soon lost interest. While doing my masters degree, I inherited an unfinished afghan from the same grandma after she passed away, and tried picking it up again. Of course my work wasn’t as good as hers, but the spark was lit once more. Not only was I crocheting, but I was knitting, too. I moved to the UK for a few years and the fibre scene there is amazing; there are so many inspiring dyers and designers, and I strove to become a better knitter so I could do justice to the beautiful yarns I was buying from the local Oxford shops. I transitioned into wool (I’d been intimidated by natural fibres and stuck to acrylic before that) and indy designer patterns from my starting points of big yarn companies and their patterns, and then started experimenting with my own ideas for patterns, and my own attempts at dyeing yarn. My business is still pretty new – I’m still using a single stovetop pot in my kitchen and looking longingly at hotel pans and dyeing workshops – and I haven’t settled on my favourite colourways, but I’m hoping to expand into a series of set bases and colours, including my own homegrown fibres.20180226_151947
I’m constantly inspired to create by my surroundings; I see ideas for patterns in the shape of geese flying, or the clean lines of wrought-iron railings, and dye colours in the beautiful prairie sunsets, or the English Lake District rock caves. I also like to draw inspiration from reading or movies – something a character wears or sees can set the wheels turning in my head, and I have to reach for my sketchbook. My first pattern was just inspired by necessity, however: we’d just moved to our place on the edge of the valley, a popular hunting area, and I was short on bright orange gear for myself. I figured a balaclava in some bright orange I’d stashed would be just the thing to keep me visible whilst fetching firewood or chopping the rogue hawthorn in the pasture. I love to work in pretty details or interesting structure to simple patterns, and a lot of my patterns are just that: classic pieces with details that set them apart. IMG_20180111_130854
My favourite pattern is probably my Lone Pine cowl: I wear it all the time once the weather turns and I love that it’s short enough not to dip into my sink (we don’t have a dishwasher so I spend a lot of quality time at the sink!) but covers my neck to keep out the cooler drafts, especially at work. I also love the matching mitts, which fit me perfectly. My favourite yarn right now is probably either a 4ply superwash dyed an orange-red to match my lilies – when a colourway comes out exactly the way I envision, I’m always so pleased! I’ve got a couple single-ply fingering weight yarns that have come out well too, though that base seems to take colours with a mind of its own, so I’m often surprised by the ways it takes the same dyes I’ve used on other bases. fullsizeoutput_bca
Getting into the Manitoba Fibre Festival this year was a huge business goal for me, so I’m very excited to be there; it’ll be an official launch for There and Back Yarn and also my first chance to get back to the festival since its launch in St. Norbert and see how incredibly the community has grown. I’m so honoured to be a part of the fibre community in Manitoba, and I’m also pleased to have a pattern in the Make Along this year, called Snowy Path; I loved the patterns last year and Devil’s Punchbowl is a toque pattern favourite around our place!

Mammoth Yarn Studio – new vendor profile

Welcome Deana from Winkler, Manitoba —

My name is Deana Wilson, and my business is Mammoth Yarn Studio. I am an indie Dyer and my mom Judy sews project bags!

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I had been playing around with dyeing a bit of yarn for fun!  I am also a hair stylist, so color isn’t anything new to me…yarn is just a different version of hair!  My husband and two sons had been encouraging me to sell my yarn. Without them I certainly would not have taken the leap to open an Etsy shop.
So, one afternoon I was running some errands with my boys, and we were talking about my potential yarn shop. I asked them what I should call it. My youngest son, who was about 10 at the time, thought wooly madness would be a good name. With a mammoth as a mascot!  He also had this idea for the slogan “we dye like a beast!”  He said “cause you’re dyeing yarn, and mammoths are dead!”  I loved that!!  So I just tweeked the name a little and still keeping the general gist of his idea, Mammoth Yarn Studio was formed!  I launched my Etsy shop in November of 2017!
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All of my colorways are named after people who have played a role in my life, or places and experiences I’ve had. I like to include a little story about the colorway as a way for my customers to get to know me a little better!  I love to put colors together in a pot and see how they melt together and create a beautiful piece of art. And I feel so honored when I get to see the beautiful pieces of knitwear that my colorways become!
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One of my favorite colorways is probably the yarn I dyed for the Comfort Fade Cardigan by Andrea Mowery. It was challenging to create the fade, but also a super fun thing to knit!  It’s also a piece that I wear a lot!  Considering I dye yarn in many colors, my wardrobe is fairly bland!  I wear a lot of black and grey. I guess that’s the hairdresser in me!!  So this cardigan is a black speckle fade, and I absolutely love it!
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“Sew Into Knitting”

Welcome Mary Ann as a first time Festival vendor  — 
My name is Mary Ann Groening from Sew Into Knitting.  My husband and I live in Morden, Manitoba and we have two girls and two grandchildren.    I have been sewing and knitting since I was a little girl and honestly it’s not something most people knew about me until social media.  Four years ago my business partner and I sold our Flowershop/Yarn Shop and since then I have been knitting and quilting for fun or for family.  I have just recently started into dyeing yarn and love it.  Discovering colour combinations and being surprised with the outcome has been great. I’m always interested in trying new crafts especially fibre related.
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I opened an Etsy shop this year to start selling bags and yarn that I have created. Being a vendor at the  Manitoba Fibre Festival is a good chance to get local exposure and meet some of the local fibre lovers and creators.  
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This is something I love to do and when others like the things I’ve made it encourages me to keep making more. My inspiration comes from my knitting and sewing friends.  Their energy and their passions for the craft keep me inspired.  It’s exciting to see each week the progress they have made on their projects.
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The Frugal Designer – Karen Luchak

It’s time to start introducing our new vendors for 2018, starting with Karen Luchak. You will find her at the Festival as The Frugal Designer.

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Karen has been passionate about fabric and sewing since her youth. Her love for fibre arts eventually led her to a teaching career in Fashion Technology (Murdoch MacKay high school vocational program). The program included: illustration; pattern design; construction; and theory. After retiring from 36 years as a public-school educator, she sought out ways to express her creativity. As a result, she now undertakes theatrical costume making, staging homes and is continually pondering new projects.

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Her current focus is on sustainability and reusing fabric remnants, old jewellery pieces, beads and buttons to build whimsical one of a kind fashion accessories. Karen is inspired by current artistic trends, interesting colours, pinterest, nature and by the work of her colleagues and peers. Current necklaces include pieces of driftwood gathered from exotic Lester Beach.

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Karen is also sharing her talents with us by organizing a fashion show to be presented at the Festival. Stay tuned for more details about that!

It Started with a Spindle …

When you are just getting started in the world of fibre arts and fleeces it can all seem a bit overwhelming. Julie Schneider shares her story of how she went from a novice spinner to the proud owner of a freshly washed fleece. We are happy to say that Festival workshops are helping her along the way!

Having caught the spinning bug 3 years ago, I progressed from a Capar drop spindle, to my grandfather’s spinning wheel. I took Joanne’s Breed Tasting class ( * like wine tasting – but for wool*) – where I discovered wool that came in something other than a roving or top!Feeling like I needed some more information before delving into the world of wool and fleeces, the next year I took Susie’s Fleece to Finish class where I felt confident enough to try my hand at the fleece auction. I came away with a beauty of a Texel-Romney fleece!

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My fleece then sat dauntingly in my sewing room all winter.
Summer came along and I asked myself, “Can I really wash fleece while watching my 4 and 2 year old kids play outside? Is it really that easy!?”
Yes, it was that easy.
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Now, I knew it was pretty and white, and I knew I could wash it – but how do I process it after!?
It was a pleasant surprise when I came upon this year’s workshop lineup and saw that Diana was offering a class on hand carding!
It’s almost like the universe is telling me I need to go to a class and buy more wool….

 

Excellent message from the universe — attention everyone — take a class — buy more wool — take a class — buy more wool …   Susie’s Fleece to Finish class gives you all the information you need to shop with confidence in the wool auction at the Festival.  Wondering what to do with that beautiful fleece? There are still a few spots in Diana’s class Hand Carders: A Spinners Best Friend.  So, maybe dyeing next year, Julie?

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