Who Is Who in the Fibre Tribe

As we approach our fifth (!!) gathering for the Manitoba Fibre Festival we will use this space to introduce some of the people, organizations, and businesses that come together to create this unique event. We are so blessed to have a wide community of folks who embrace the Festival and are happy to share their skills and time to make it happen.

Refresh your memory of the market place by scrolling down through some of the vendor profiles from last year. Then watch this space over the 80 day countdown to the Festival for lots more stories from our community.

Our event starts with healthy fibre animals on healthy land. We love to connect fibre farmers with interested craftspeople. Our “Hall of Breeds” display will again offer you the chance to get up close and friendly with several breeds of sheep and alpaca.

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Manitoba Shetland ewe and ram lambs, May 2017

 

Wolseley Wool

Today we feature Wolseley Wool, the local yarn store owned by Mona Zaharia and Odessa Reichl. They have been great supporters of our Festival from the beginning, and continue to find new ways to add to our success. Thanks, ladies!

What do you offer in your store?
We sell yarn, fibre, books, magazines, needles, hooks, wheels, looms and even more fibre related things we can’t think of right now. We (Mona & Odessa) own the store together and love to make a space for fibre lovers to feel at home. We just moved to a bright new space at 889 Westminster Avenue and we are so excited to share it with all of you.
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How did you get started in fibre arts ?
Mona: I learned how to knit from my oma, it was a life skill learned along with cooking and gardening.  She used her knitting to relax at the end of the day, secure in the knowledge that she was still accomplishing something.  I continued to knit simple things until I started working at a yarn shop when I was 18 and then my fibre world exploded and I knew that one of my life goals was to own a yarn shop.
Odessa: I got started knitting when a friend and I just decided to give knitting a go about 15 years ago and it stuck! I became involved with Wolseley Wool a bit over 5 years ago shortly after Mona expanded the store. She asked if I’d come on board and it’s been an amazing time!
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What inspires the work you do and things you create?
Mona: Inspiration comes from all around me; from the talented people that I work with, our customers sharing their projects and of course the beautiful yarns that surround me every day.  I love the community aspect of my work, sharing what I know with others and continually learning from those around me.
Odessa: What inspires me is helping our customers to realize their creative potential. Finding the perfect materials for that special project that really lights a spark and leads to more making and experimenting and just having fun with yarn & fibre. Personally I am really inspired by colour – colour is so important to a project and is where I always start.
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Do you have a favourite creation?
Mona: Each and every project is a new experience and for that I love each one.  I am very proud of one particular coat/shrug that I made because I spun the yarn and knit it and it actually worked out quite well.
Odessa: This seriously changes with every thing I make. It always feels like my new favourite! Right now it’s a hat I just finished. But my absolute all-time favourite thing I’ve made was a pair of socks for my son. He had to come to work with me for a bit and I showed him how to dye yarn. I let him make his own skein and made them into socks that he just loves.

Stop in to the Wolseley Wool booth at the festival to say hello and thanks to Mona, Odessa, and their crew.

Imagine Yarn

Anel Meerholz, a first time vendor at the festival this year, tells us about her business Imagine Yarn.

“Our line includes felted and crochet purses as well as exclusively designed kits which will allow you to create your own fabulous purse. I wanted to make it easy for anyone to create the purses that I love and so I developed patterns, sourced the components from across the globe, and assembled amazing kits.”

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My love for natural fibers was nurtured while growing up in beautiful, wild South Africa.  There is a creative high when I felt a purse, and that process is what inspires me. Working with raw materials and seeing how a beautiful purses is born is an amazing feeling.

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My favourite purse is one made for a good friend’s special occasion.  I found the  Malabrigo yarn on a road trip to the United States and used a vintage looking frame to create this Stephanie purse.  Join me at the fabulous fibre festival and share in  this creative event!

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Dragon Fibre Bags

Today we meet Rebecca Misseghers and her Winnipeg based business, Dragon Fibre Bags.

“I have been sewing since I was four years old and it’s always been a large part of my creative life.  Two years ago, I decided to sew myself some project bags and received a couple request.  From there Dragon Fibre Bags was born.

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Rebecca is inspired by amazing fabrics, including digital prints and one of a kind fabrics that cater to different fandoms.  “I love being able to find the perfect lining for each bag, creating something special with each piece I create.”

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Like so many makers, her favourite piece is her latest creation. “Each time I sew, I create a new favorite bag.”

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North Sun Studio

Let’s step away from fibre for a moment and look at the work of Janine Bergamot, at North Sun Studio in Hadashville, Manitoba. Her handmade artisan jewellery incorporates fibre art techniques in a very different media. Using a variety of metals she creates necklaces, bracelets, earrings, knit-safe pins, and stitch markers. This is Janine’s second year as a vendor at the Manitoba Fibre Festival.

Janine says “I enjoyed designing and creating embroidery and stitching for may years, but after seeing a photo of viking knit chain in 2013 I decided to give it a try. I love that I can treat metal as a fibre and use some of my thread experience to solve various design challenges.”

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“Much of my work is inspired by the stones I select, sometimes I have a vision as soon as I touch them, other times I receive a feeling that takes time to reveal itself as to what it wants. Interpretations of nature, memories, or events also feature strongly in my work.”

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Stitch markers on a knit-safe pin.  Wear your tools!

“It always seems that the last item I create is my favourite, but I really enjoy making necklaces. I like trying to reach a balance between something quiet that could be worn anytime and something exciting that would be saved for an occasion — in the same piece!”

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Take time for a close look at Janine’s work at the Festival. You are sure to find something that will perfectly complement your hand knit sweaters and shawls.

 

Cloud 9 Fiberworks

Daria Rakowski of Cloud 9 Fiberworks answers our questions today. This is her fourth year as a vendor and volunteer with the Manitoba Fibre Festival.
Tell us about your business.
My business is called Cloud 9 Fiberworks and I make and sell hand dyed yarns and fibres, mostly one-of-a-kind or limited run colourways as well as design and sell knitting patterns.
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How did you get started in fibre arts?

There was never any hope of my avoiding fibre arts! I started crocheting and knitting both before I even started grade 1. My aunt was the founder of Vicuna Wool Studios (for those of you with LONG memories) so I was always surrounded by fibre arts of one sort or another. I started dyeing in 2008/09, first learning and supporting Castle Fibres from South Dakota and then on my own, regularly, in 2012.

What inspires you?

I love colour. A lot. A friend recently asked me to take a stab at replicating some very muted yarn that she absolutely adores. I was game for the challenge but told her ‘I don’t do subtle very well.’ Which sort of sums up my creative process: it is usually all about vibrancy.
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What is your favourite piece you have created?
My favourite yarn that I’ve ever made was my first attempt at capturing the Crab nebula. I love love love images from deep space for inspiration and this one turned out just exactly as I had planned. It was the first time I actually struggled to put a tag on something for sale. The lady who eventually purchased it shared a photo with me – it was a wonderful thing to see knit into something well loved.
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Prairie’s Edge Wool Farm

Barb Mulock from Prairie’s Edge Wool Farm, Kleefeld Manitoba answers our questions this morning.

What do you produce and make?
I raise Shetland sheep and Angora goats.  I sell raw and processed fibre from my animals, including washed fleece and angora locks, batts and rovings of various fibre blends (wool, mohair, alpaca). While I also sell hand -spun yarns, I primarily cater to spinners and felters.

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How did you get started in fibre arts ?

By chance, about 15 years ago I a met a wonderful group of spinners who taught me the art.  From there is seemed completely reasonable to buy a farm, move to the country, and start raising my own source of fibre 😊

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What inspires the work you do and things you create?
I love seeing a product from beginning to end.  That is –  raising the animals, shearing, skirting, washing, carding to finally spinning or felting.  Each fleece is different and unique to work with.
What is your favourite piece that you’ve ever created?
The first sweater I knit from my own hand spun wool from my first ram sheep. (priceless – literally)
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Experienced festival goers head straight for Barb’s booth to stock up on local fibre. This year be sure to also find Max, her bottle baby angora goat and our unofficial mascot!
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