Teyana Neufeld, Workshop Instructor

Teyana Neufeld used to live in south-western Manitoba, but she now qualifies as the person who travels the furthest to teach at the Manitoba Fibre Festival!  In her own words, here’s some of her story  —- 

While flying out of O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johanesburg last week, I was trying to decide whether or not to protect my luggage. This may be a specialty of the airport in Joburg, but it’s not uncommon for things to go mysteriously missing from checked luggage on its way from the check-in desk to the bowels of the airplane waiting on the tarmac. So for only 90 rand (just under $9 CAD), you can get your luggage wrapped in layers and layers of what is essentially industrial saran-wrap. I am not immune to the fear that my luggage might be rifled through, and like all travellers I have many precious-to-me items in there I would mourn if I lost. But the thought that convinced me it was unnecessary was this: It’s mostly yarn, some cardboard and 15 pairs of scissors.

I fly “home” to Canada once a year. And the timing of this visit is more than slightly affected by the Manitoba Fibre Festival. It’s a chance for me to re-connect with an artistic community in Canada and teach topics that I love to a dynamic and interested audience. I love teaching workshops, and I love Winnipeg, so it’s a win-win.

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Teyana teaching floor loom weaving

I’ve been living in Lesotho for the past three years – at first it was off and on, but for the last year and a half I’ve become pretty much settled. Lesotho, if you don’t know, is a small country of 2.2 million people, entirely surrounded by South Africa. Its known for its high elevation and wool and mohair production. This is why it has my heart – not only because I was born there and I’m working on sorting out my permanent residency. I love it because it allows me to practice, explore – and teach – the topic that has become the obsession of my life: weaving.

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Finished tapestry panel, woven using plastic

I’m based in Morija, a small town an hour away from the bustling capitol of Maseru. I’ve never been a city person, and Morija offers me beautiful landscape, enriching neighbours and a vibrant and growing community of artists. I am the co-ordinator of the Morija Arts Centre: a volunteer-run hub of arts education and outreach. We offer skills workshops, rental space, and offer existing artists a sales platform through our on-site shop, the Maeder House Gallery. We also host an event called the Tiny Gallery Concert every two months, which is a gathering of musicians, poets, creators and creative thinkers. Morija Arts Centre is the first of its kind in Lesotho. (Please feel free to check out the fun that we have on Instagram and Facebook @morijaartscentre.)

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detail of tapestry panel

Last year I got a grant to build the textile studio of my dreams. This included designing and building my own fleet of floor-looms. I also have been commissioned by the Lesotho National Museum and Art Gallery (currently under construction) to create two giant (I mean it: GIANT) tapestries for the entrance lobby. I’m involving 7 different weaving companies in Lesotho and teaching them a new technique that involves using recycled plastic bags.

Life is full and life is fun!

Workshops I’ll be teaching while in Canada this year:

Boissevain Arts Hall (Boissevain, MB) Sept 10

Manitoba Fibre Festival (Winnipeg, MB) Sept 13

Harvest Moon Festival (Clearwater, MB) Sept 14

Touchstones Museum (Nelson, BC) Sept 28

We are lucky to have this dynamic and talented artist teaching at the Festival. This year Teyana is repeating 2018’s popular Card Weaving class and debuting her Woven Jewellery class. Card Weaving is sold out, but there are still a few spots in Woven Jewellery. Registration details are here.

At the Ram’s Head

Introducing our fabulous 2019 custom colourway, a self-striping yarn dyed for the Festival by Allyson Schneider of “Dye for Ewe”.  Allyson has named her creation “At the Ram’s Head”, as the colour inspiration is derived from our ram’s head logo.

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This limited edition yarn will be for sale at the Festival merchandise table on September 13 & 14 only. It’s a superwash merino / nylon fingering weight. Coordinating solid mini skeins will be available in the Dye for Ewe vendor booth. Choose your patterns now so you know how many skeins to snap up!

 

2019 Designs

2019 Designs

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The 2019 Manitoba Fibre Festival once again has gathered together a delightful collection of patterns prepared by local designers who were inspired by the prairie sunrises and sunsets. These designs are one aspect of the 2019 Create Make Collaborate initiative. If you have not prepared your own creation, we hope these designs will further inspire you.

Some of the designs will be available at the Festival as kits. All of the patterns are available as digital files on Ravelry, sold by the individual designers, and gathered to view in one collection (see link). The yarns used are all prepared by local yarn folk and can be found at the Festival.BabyCardi

 

For the first time, we have a children’s cardigan pattern in the collection perfect for all the wee ones in your life.  Designed by Natasha Dueck (locolama00 on Instagram) with yarn from Warm Wool Gallery, the Baby Tweed Cardigan comes in sizes newborn to 12 months.

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Natasha has also offered up a design inspired by the shadows beyond the glowing skies. Dusk and Dawn is knit up in a soft, locally sources, alpaca-merino blend yarn from Hundred Fold Farm.  The natural colours of the animals shine in this two-tone design.

 

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The Umbra shawl, by Alex Richards (October.Evening), is also inspired by the long shadows at the end of day and is knit up in an equally inspired yarn dyed by Blossom and Fern Yarn Co.  Umbra serves as a gentle reminder that the beauty of a sunset is not only to be found in the brightness of the sky.

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The late summer has been cool, which is good for wool folk. If you’re thinking about the crisp days of autumn, you are probably also going to want to knit up a pair of cirrus mitts designed by ash alberg of Sunflower Knit and worked up in yarn prepared by Long Way Homestead.

 

img_3778square6501803160862845415.jpgCool weather layers aren’t complete without something to keep the cold from your neck.  The bulky Cumulus cowl designed by Johanna Giesbrecht of Nojo Textiles in local Rambouillet yarn by Ferme Fiola Farm is clearly inspired by the rich array of colours in our prairie sunsets full of glowing clouds.

Given how wide our horizons are on the prairies, it’s no wonder that folks are often inspired by the clouds as we look out.  Whether you are dreaming wistfully with the cirrus clouds, imagining a nap on a cumulus cloud, or thinking of cuddling up somewhere cozy when you see the altostratus clouds, this collection has you covered.

endlessIf you are still wanting to dwell in the warm summer days, then an airy shawl such as the Endless Summer Adventures by Jocelyn Douglas (Amberdragun) in yarn dyed by Cloud 9 Fiberworks (Endless Summer Nights) may be the project you are looking for.

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Finally, We Are Dawning is a small collection inspired by the dawn and changes. It includes a short and long cowl as well as a long scarf designed by Mandy Furney (Mandyz Moon).  Samples shown are knit up in yarn dyed by Cloud 9 Fiberworks and handspun (by Mandy) yarn using fibre dyed by Manjusha Fibre Arts.

Special thanks to the glorious prairie views – both rural and urban – that inspire us at the beginning and end of each day.   Thanks again to the local photographers whose work helped to inspire our collection of designs when we miss an opportunity to view the sun rise or set.
Heather Hinam – SecondnatureMB
Kevin Dowd – Genesis750
Penny Lane – Djpennylane

Ellen Paulley – Ayarnlover

Anna Hunter – Long Way Homestead

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#createmakecollaborate

2019 Fibre Art Show Featured Artist

The Textile and Fibre Artists of Manitoba have selected Helen Knockaert as their featured artist during the Festival, September 13 & 14. Helen’s work will be on display as part of the TFAM curated fibre art show, “Circles and Spirals”.

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Helen Knockaert comes from the prairies.  She grew up on a farm in Manitoba.  It would take a lot to convince her to live anywhere but where there is open sky and wild grass blowing in the wind.

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Helen works with hand painted cotton fabric as well as hand processed, dyed raw wool.  She integrates a variety of techniques into each piece she creates using cultural experiences and nature as her inspiration.  She is thrilled when a viewer needs a closer look at her art and is drawn to touch her 3D creations.

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Helen’s joy is in creating.

Janet Carroll

Janet Carroll is a Winnipeg based artist who works primarily in paper marbling and book binding.  Carroll’s work has been exhibited in Canada and elsewhere.  She has been a recipient of a Manitoba Arts Council Grant and has been an Artist-In-Residence at the Minnesota Center Book For Arts.

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Marbled papers and bookbinding by Janet Carroll

We are honoured to have Janet teaching two classes at the Manitoba Fibre Festival this year.

RIBBON BOOK

In this workshop we’ll sew pages onto ribbons to make classy journals, 8 1/4″ x 6″, covering them with handmade cotton-fibre paper.  No bookbinding experience necessary. All supplies provided, including pages, cover papers, thread and embellishments. Participants are welcome to bring special beads, buttons, yarns or handwoven tapes to incorporate into their books.

Saturday September 14
9:30 am – 12:30 pm     3 hours
Registration fee:  $45   (includes materials)           REGISTER

Ribbon Books

Ribbon Books


IDEAS NOTEBOOK

Need a place to record knitting ideas? Come make this handy notebook, 5 1/2″ x 4,” by sewing pages into a cover of handmade cotton fibre paper. Feel free to bring special beads, buttons or threads to embellish your notebook. No bookbinding experience necessary. All supplies provided.

Saturday September 14
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm    2 hours
Registration fee: $40  (includes materials)             REGISTER

Ideas Notebooks

Ideas Notebook

 

Fleece Show and Sale

One of the highlights of the Festival is the Fleece Show and Sale, where fibre farmers compete in several classes for the honour of champion fleece, and where avid spinners and felters get to examine and buy whole raw fleeces. The show includes wool from many breeds of sheep as well as angora goat fleeces.

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Our judge this year is Susie Gourlay. Each fleece will be thoroughly inspected by her, detailed information recorded, and marks awarded. The resulting tally sheet provides valuable information to both the producer and the buyer.

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It is very satisfying to see relationships building between local producers and appreciative crafters. Return customers know their favourite farm, the qualities of the wool from different breeds, and sometimes even know the sheep by name. Our fleece show has fostered valuable connections, supported the local economy, and resulted in some fabulous creations, from hard wearing socks to ethereal shawls.

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If you are a fibre farmer, please consider entering fleeces in the show. And if you are a visitor to the Festival be sure to spend some time looking at the fleeces on display.  Perhaps this is the year you will tackle the satisfying project of taking a fleece from the raw state to a finished product. The silent auction runs until 3:00 pm on Saturday.

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Tempted to acquire your first fleece? There are a few spaces left in Susie Gourlay’s class “Fleece to Finish”   on Friday evening, where Susie takes the fear out of buying and processing fleeces. She will teach you what to look for in a fleece, what to avoid, and how to read the information on a judging card at the show, so you can peruse the show tables with confidence.

See you at the Show!

 

 

Knit Green

Joanne Seiff is the author of “Knit Green: 20 Projects and Ideas for Sustainability”.

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Knit Green offers information and ideas on how to be a more environmentally conscious knitter, from sourcing materials locally and using organic products, to supporting fair work and fair trade programs.  Since the book was written Joanne has continued to explore sustainability in her home and her craft. Now that she lives in Winnipeg we are lucky to have Joanne share her knowledge and skills with our community.

Joanne is teaching a class at the Manitoba Fibre Festival on September 13 called “Using Recycled Materials to Make Yarn: for knitting, crochet, weaving and more. “

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This class will explore ways to use old cotton bedsheets, yarn leftovers, and roving to make something useful. Participants will get tips for how to rip or prepare things for making, advice for re-use, and a start on a handknit basket or crocheted seat cushion.

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 Register for Joanne’s class and green up your crafting practice with some creative recycling!

Wool Stone & Prairie

Artist Arlette Seib introduces her business, Wool Stone & Prairie 

I guess I am a modern day shepherd of sorts, raising sheep on a piece of Saskatchewan prairie land and using the wool to create artwork of the daily scenes I am surrounded by.

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I produce 2D wall art and recently began making felted rugs and felted pillows in order to include some functional decor items. My subject matter is pretty specific as I create artwork of what I am familiar with which is sheep and dogs.

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Six or seven years ago I came across an image of a felted wool picture on the internet. At that time I was doing occasional drawings with colour pencil. Since I raise sheep and produce fibre I was intrigued by the idea of using wool to make an image. I struggled with learning to work with fibres though and went through a long period of trying to draw with wool, giving it up and then trying again.

Every day life raising a flock of sheep on this prairie land is what inspires me, no matter what art medium I’m using. I believe a good life is built upon simple moments well enjoyed, and I enjoy the attempt to capture a simple, every day scene, or the expression of an animal as they enjoy a simple moment.

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One of my favourite pieces is Neutral Travellers. I appreciate the calmness and the movement of animals across a subdued landscape. It represents how I’d like my journey on the prairie to be, soft, not urgent, simple and knowing, and forward, always forward.

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Neutral Travellers

I try to keep up with a bit of a social media presence in order to share the work. There is a website and blog and folks can follow on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Welcome to the Manitoba Fibre Festival, Arlette.

Big Oak Farm — Jennifer DeGroot

Big Oak Farm is near Morden, Manitoba. This is their first year as vendors at the Manitoba Fibre Festival, so Jennifer has written this introduction for us.  

We sell Icelandic wool (Lopi yarn and raw) and pelts (lambskins) from our flock of 14 purebred Icelandic ewes and their offspring. In the future we will sell skulls and horns as well.  Many people are surprised at how soft our Manitoba Lopi yarn is.

We started raising sheep as a way to manage our pastures.  We were drawn to the hardiness, beauty and heritage qualities of Icelandic sheep. Our sheep keep our grass down without the use of machinery (and fossil fuels). They also provide us with fibre to make clothing and pelts to keep us cozy. And they are lovely company.  We know each of our sheep by name.

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We live a simple elemental life, with much time outside and plenty of satisfying physical work. Tending heritage sheep fits well with this. In addition to the beauty, character and companionship they provide, they are a key part of our integrated permaculture system of gardens, trees and livestock. It is a great pleasure for us to be able to provide premium Manitoba Lopi and uniquely colourful pelts to fibre lovers.

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I am learning to spin by spinning our ewe Lucy’s wool – right off her back.  I didn’t wash it or card it, I just tease it out a bit and uncurl the end of the lock and spin it.  I love the feel of the greasy wool against my fingers, the smell of her, and the fact that the finished yarn looks so much like her.

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Out of respect to the animal we attempt to find a use for all parts of the animal.  Along with the wool, meat and pelts, we have experimented with making a lamp from a ram’s horn, buttons, and hooks using the sheep’s horns.  We are also preparing skulls to use for artistic purposes.

We are deeply committed to holistic pasture management rotating our sheep throughout the summer through a series of paddocks. The primary medicine we use as both preventative and treatment is garlic we grow ourselves.  This helps them manage worms and keeps their respiratory systems healthy.

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We also grow vegetables and other meats as well as eggs and honey and produce most of the food our family eats in a year ourselves.  We are incredibly grateful to be able to spend our days with our children who work and learn alongside us.

Welcome to the Festival, Big Oak Farm!

Queenston Crafts – Lynn Gibson

Lynn Gibson has always been driven to create.  Year-round she is sewing, knitting, and stitching. In the summer it’s common to find her making jam and jelly as well as woodworking.  Self-taught in virtually all crafts, Lynn always has multiple projects on the go.

For the past five years, Lynn has specialized in repurposed wool projects, and her Queenston Crafts banner is known for quality, upcycled-wool sweater mittens.   Her sweater mittens are made from felted, thrift-store wool, angora and cashmere sweaters.   Each pair is lined with fleece for warmth and softness and are loved for their ability to keep heat in and cut the wind.  Mittens are available in three sizes and no two handcrafted pair are ever the same.

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Lynn also repurposes velvety cashmere sweaters into cowls to cradle your neck in softness.  It’s an ecofriendly way to create affordable luxuries.  With an eye for pattern and colourway placement, she often pairs mitten and cowl sets for easy gift-giving ideas.

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Catnip cat toys are made from sweater remnants in fun shapes including mice, mittens, stockings and long ‘kitty kickers’, and are often embellished with fringe for extra play value.  Being a cat-lover and WHS cat foster mom, Lynn can attest that these toys are ‘cat-tested, cat-approved!’

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Adorable, quirky gnomes are a fun product of Lynn’s upcycled sweater crafts and are sure to bring a smile to your face.  New at this year’s Fibre Festival, Lynn is previewing soft stuffed creatures.

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Thanks for bringing all this colour and coziness to the Festival market, Lynn!

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Lynn Gibson, Queenston Crafts

Planning your visit to the Festival?  WORKSHOP registration is open // The VENDOR list is posted // and we would love to have you VOLUNTEER

Yellow Door Art by Susan Hope

I am a fabric sculptor working with natural fibre fabrics to create whimsical pieces for both garden and home. Yes! I said garden! My pieces are uv and weather resistant and stand up to almost everything our Manitoba climate throws at it. 

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Frequently when I’m chatting with someone at a market I find myself looking at what they are wearing, not to critique the outfit but with longing to use the fabric that their outfit is made from! I look at the weight of the fabric, the type, how it is patterned and so on. I may have even mentioned a time or two that when the wearer tires of the item to please pass it along to me.

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Natural fibre materials such as cotton, silk and wool are what I use to ‘dress up’ my creations. They work best because they soak up the medium that makes material hard and water resistant. This does not happen with synthetic fabrics: no matter how much medium is rubbed into a synthetic fabric, it does not completely saturate the synthetic. 

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Time for a disclaimer: my creations are not 100% fabric. They all start with a framework of wire, foil and tape and then are dressed with the natural fibre materials. Oh! Did I mention crocheted doilies? I love doilies (made with 100% crochet cotton, of course!) and haven’t met a doily I didn’t like. Fabrics are thoroughly immersed in a medium that is a glue-like substance. The medium is massaged into the fabric so that it coats every fibre of the fabric. This medium is what gives the finished piece its hardness and uv and water resistance. 

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Every piece I create is one-of-a-kind and infused with little piece of my soul. Working with my hands as I do gives me inner peace, making me a MUCH happier person to be around. 

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Find Susan in the Yellow Door Art booth in our vendor market.

Smash Knits

Smash Knits is a curated collected of handdyed yarns, sewn & embroidery embellished project totes/pouches for knitters, crocheters, needleworkers and more, as well as an assortment of stitch markers, shawl cuffs, written patterns, and other tools of the trade. Ashlee Snell answers some queries about her business for this Festival new vendor profile:

How did you get started in fibre arts and with your products?

My little handmade biz actually started out as finished knitwear in 2009. I had been knitting up a storm and when friends and family wanted to buy my work, I thought I would try my hand at Etsy and craft markets. Over the years I’ve been able to partake in many unique markets, fashion shows, and vending opportunities with my finished pieces. In 2018, I began transitioning to dyeing yarn and sewing project bags, and haven’t looked back since! 

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What inspires the work you do and things you create? 

I am drawn to rich colours, in particular jewel tones, and I find the landscape of Manitoba (especially in the fall) to be a great inspiration. Many of my yarns are named after places in Manitoba as I love to explore and discover new places in our province. I am also a really big fan of word play and puns so you’ll find that some of my work has that incorporated (like the hand embroidered project bags, and tote bags). 

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What is your favourite piece/item/colour/etc that you’ve ever created?

That’s a tough question…. I recently tweaked a mustard shade that has gone through many variations and is finally where I want it to be – it’s named “Golden Boy” and is just begging to be knit into a shawl for autumn!

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What else would like us to know about you and your work?

I genuinely love the act of creating; I’m a maker through and through and truly do believe that happiness is handmade 🙂 

Very much looking forward to the festival! 

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Welcome to the Festival Ashlee!