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.


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.


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.


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 .

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!”


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

Gauging Fabulous

How do you gauge how fabulous something is?

We could try a scale. On a scale of 1-10 how fabulous are these goodies that will be available at the Manitoba Fibre Festival this year?


I’m going to go with 120.

That’s 10 for each item: sturdy cotton canvas bag, luxurious yarn in this year’s Festival colourway dyed by Manjusha Fibre Arts,  super-handy needle gauge made locally for us, and nine pattern designs that were created for the Challenge this year.

Wait, you ask, what’s so super-handy about a needle gauge? Can’t I just look at my needle and read the size?  Sure, sometimes you can. However, I know that not all my DPNs and interchangeable needles have the size written on them. I use my gauge often.

In addition to the obvious use of the rulers as well (basic measuring, gauge swatch measurements, seeing exactly how close you came to losing in yarn chicken, there is one more handy-use for a needle gauge I can show you.


Have you ever used a needle gauge to help you choose a good needle for a particular yarn? Pulling a sample of yarn through those measured diameter holes gives you a very useful indication of how your stitches will “smoosh” or “grow” to fill a space – and that space is determined by the diameter of the needles that will be creating those stitches (assuming a basic tension and you’re not making double-loop stitches and so forth).  I find this particularly useful when assessing my handspun yarns for a project, but it also works great with commercially-spun yarns.

I made a video if you’d like to see.

Where [are] your stitches at?

There is one more week remaining in August.


Inquiring minds want to know how your Challenge projects are progressing.

What is still on the needles/hooks/wheel/loom?

What is an FO? What needs the final step? Feel free to mark it as a finished object before blocking 🙂  We are looking for the projects that use our design challenge patterns as well as all projects inspired by our Challenge.

We want to see the WIPs and FOs so that we can update the list on our Ravelry group.  That way we can add you to our prize draws. Tag them with #mbff2018challenge on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook – make sure they are set to “public” so we can see your posts. Or send us a note regarding your Ravelry page.

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.
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.
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.
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.

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


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.


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.


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!

Spin Me a Winner

Every skein of handspun yarn is a winner in my books.  I knit up all my first yarns. They provided delightful texture to simple projects.  Even now, after years of spinning, I wouldn’t assert my spinning to be great. I have uneven parts. Those are the sections that remind me this yarn was made by hand – by my hands.  I will even grant that a lot of those “character” characteristics are a result of simply not paying attention while I spin: I spin to relax; I spin while I am doing other things; I spin for the delight of making yarn, but not to create a perfect yarn that could be mistaken for commercial-spun yarn.

All of the above is my way of encouraging folks to show us your handspun yarns, even when you think it’s “not good enough”.

Did you join in with spinners across the globe this July for the Tour de Fleece? If so, you must have at least one skein of yarn to submit to the Handspun Skeins competition.  If you did not, I highly recommend adding this event to your calendar for next year.  It’s a great way to challenge yourself to spin.  (I made a decent dent in my fibre stash as a result.)

Perhaps you have been spinning all year and have an abundance of handspun yarns gathering at home.  Be they beautiful natural fibre or fabulous dyed yarns, we’d love to see them.


Handspun Yarns of all weights, colours, and construction are welcome!

It is equally possible that you have a stash of fibre waiting to be spun, or some unfinished projects.  You still have several weeks to spin and prepare a skein or two.


There is always more fibre to spin.

Whatever your tool of choice is, dive into those fibres.  Don’t forget that there is a special category for yarns made from a single animal when you have access to the raw fibre.  Sheep wool and alpaca each have their own subcategory, but there is a third subcategory for “other” animals, and I don’t want my chiengora (dog fur) to be the only submission.  Angora rabbit, dog, and mohair goat are all options that I know exist in Manitoba; let’s see what you have. You only need (at least) 2 oz.


Who could resist casting on with this merino-cashmere-silk?

Avoid the temptation to wind up that new skein of handspun yarn and use it in a project. I know it’s difficult.  I confess, I couldn’t hold off another day to cast on a new project using the yarn I recently spun from fibre I purchased this June.

I have no regrets.  I’d do it again in a heartbeat. However, if you can refrain from knitting/ weaving/ crocheting all your new handspun yarns, that would be great.  Start a new spinning project if you have to or at least save one skein if you have multiples.  You can finish knitting the sleeve of your handspun sweater after the festival, right?  Okay, I confess, I was really hoping to see that sweater knit up at the festival.  You can still spin another yarn.

Time to grab your fibre and get spinning.  You know you won’t regret it. Then submit a skein before the festival opens.  Thanks 😀

Details HERE.

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.


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. 


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!

In Memoriam: Wayne Capar

Thank you to Shelley Kent for preparing this piece in honour of Wayne Capar of Natural Knot Wood Designs. Wayne has been a vendor at the Manitoba Fibre Festival and other local fibre events for several years.  His passing is mourned by many in our community.

Sometimes in life you get really lucky and one-of-a-kind people cross your path and become a friend. Sometimes you are even luckier because they happen to be a talented craftsman and they sell their wares for us to buy. This was the case with Wayne Capar of Natural Knot Wood Design. Wayne passed away just recently and I was shocked and deeply saddened.

I met Wayne one summer day out at Pineridge Hollow at, of course, a Farmer’s Market  – because that is what Wayne did. He made beautiful wood gifts. I know the wood creations caught my eye first, but who could miss that mustache of his, really, and that smile.  Of course, that was followed with his attitude. You couldn’t talk to Wayne without coming away feeling a little happier with life. If Wayne and Kelly were at a craft sale, I always looked for them because, as I said, you felt better after spending a few (and sometimes quite a few) minutes chatting and shopping with Wayne.

His talent at wood working was amazing. He supplied us fibre people with some of the most beautiful one-of-a-kind tools to play with. I bought a Turkish drop spindle from Wayne and I knew when I bought it that it was more because it was made by Wayne and it was beautiful.  The chance of me becoming a spinner was remote, but I loved the wood and the talent it took to make it. There are many of us that have Wayne’s works of art and we need to hold these close in our hearts and our hands. Every time I use my nostepinne I think of the hassle, a good one, that Wayne gave me every time we met. Ever wonder why you create? Well leaving something behind that can be held and, even better, be used is a wonderful gift.  Now I have a bit of Wayne in my house: a nostepinne, a Turkish drop spindle, knitting needles, and my sheep ornament that hangs year round in my dining room.

Thank you my friend Wayne; you made my life better with what you made and who you are.