Makers Challenge 2018

2018 Manitoba Fibre Festival

Makers Challenge

building community through creative collaboration

mff 2018 facebook banner 1


The Manitoba Fibre Festival is a multifaceted event bringing together makers, artists, instructors, producers, vendors, and consumers. It seeks to foster an engaged community of folks with diverse interests in the fibre arts.

Over the past 5 years, the Festival has developed an artists display, a handspun yarns competition, and has invited a wide range of demonstrations in the fibre arts. Last year we curated a collection of local knitting designs and offered a knit-a-long (KAL). Following from that first endeavour, we are seeking to expand participation on multiple levels through a Makers Challenge.

June 1, 2018 Update: The 2018 Collection of designs inspired by the Mood Board is now available to share. Details on the Collection Website; downloads through Ravelry.

The challenge is simple in its basics: Using the Mood Board provided, create a yarn, fibre, or design to share with the community. If this Challenge is successful, we will release a new Mood Board for inspiration each year.

While creating, share with our community through one or more form of social media. You can find us on Ravelry, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.  Use our hashtags to join in



Every challenge needs boundaries as well as a time line of activity to keep us on course. Over the course of the Challenge, we will release a series of posts to discuss a range of topics such as tech editing; photography; and developing relationships between local yarn producers, dyers, and designers. [Link above will take you to the collection of posts.]

Questions? Feel free to message us any time at


First and foremost, we want this Challenge to be fun. We’re providing a general timeline to keep us on track, but there are some more specific dates and boundaries that participants need to know of. [Dyers and Producers as well as Makers – see below.]


Designers new and established will be held to the same minimal requirements in order to have their designs included in the Make-A-Long collection that we will promote with the Challenge. (Designs are not limited to knitting.)

1) Designs must be inspired by the Mood Board. We want to be inclusive, but we also want each year’s challenge to have a clear visual theme.

2) Designs must be tech edited. In order to be able to promote all the patterns, we need to know that they have undergone a thorough editing process to ensure quality. Test knitting (or other crafting) is not required, however it is highly recommended. Designers will need to arrange their own editing and testing, but we can help advise on this.

3) In order to assess contributions for the Challenge Collection, designs must be sent to the organizers by May 25 for confirmation before the release date of June 1. You are invited to send your ideas early. For tech editing, we will need to know who the editor is.

4) In order to develop the Challenge’s goal of bringing fibre folk together, designs must feature yarns from our dyers and producers who are part of the Manitoba Fibre Festival (see our list of vendors from 2017 and/or check in with your favourite local vendor to see if they are participating in the Festival). You may spin fibre for the Challenge. Ideally designers will coordinate their efforts with a dyer/producer. However, it is possible that designers already have local yarn/fibre in an appropriate colourway.

5) Designers are strongly encouraged to use quality photographs. We realize this is part of the learning curve for new designers. There will be a voting event for favourite photographs to encourage creative quality.

6) Designers will directly sell their own designs and will be required to create a Ravelry design page. The Challenge Collection will link to all of the Ravelry design pages. Other pattern sale methods (such as print copies or kits) are at the discretion of the designer. In order to properly value the work of all the designers, we must require that participants price their designs in line with current standards (ranging from approximately $5-9 Cdn depending on the item type and complexity). If you are unsure how to price your design, take a look at some established design companies such as Quince & Co. or Canadian designers such as you can find in this Ravelry search.

7) During the release week (starting June 1), designers will be encouraged to offer a 20% discount using a common code: Challenge20

Dyers and Producers

The Manitoba Fibre Festival hosts a rich collection of dyers and producers that we hope will accept our challenge. Your requirements are simpler:

1) We are accepting fibre and yarn examples inspired by the Mood Board. These do not need to be single skeins or single colourways. Mini skeins, coordinated yarns, and yarn-fibre pairs are welcome. You are welcome to sell them however you see fit, however, we would like to be able to feature them during the Challenge and as such have a few more requests to make of you.

2) After the initial period of sharing our inspirations and samples, we hope that dyers/producers and designers will make connections so that new designs will feature local yarns/fibre. You are encouraged to seek out collaborations. We do not require that you provide free yarn support; the nature of your relationship with a designer is at your discretion. Likewise, kits or coordinated sales of patterns with your yarns/fibre will be at your discretion (and will be a topic for discussion during the Challenge).

3) Given that it is possible that your yarns will not align with any designs in this year’s collection, it is not a requirement that your yarn or fibre be part of a design in the Collection. Makers participating during the Challenge will be encouraged to use your yarn and fibre in their own creations. For example, our weavers and felters are welcome to be inspired by the Challenge and to use your fibre creations in their own way.

4) Dyers and producers are encouraged to participate in our one week sale starting June 1 when we launch the Collection and officially invite the Makers to join in. We would suggest a 15% discount. Sale participants will be included in our promotional activity.


Dyers, producers, and designers are all makers, but we don’t want you to think they’re the only important folks in this Challenge. On the contrary, they are creating for you because we know the Makers are at the heart of the Manitoba Fibre Festival exchanges. The artists, the charity knitters, the weavers, the felters, the spinners, those who crochet, and those who are taking up the fibre arts for the first time to explore their own creativity – these folks and more are you.

We hope that our festival Makers of all forms will join in our Challenge to be inspired to create something from our Mood Board. Be inspired by our designers. Be inspired by our dyers and our producers. Be inspired by your own ideas. Join in the Challenge with us and we look forward to seeing your creations over the coming months and at the Manitoba Fibre Festival.


Every “a-long” and challenge needs prizes (beyond personal satisfaction). If you would like to offer a prize and be featured as a supporter, please contact the organizers ( We have a few items already lined up that we will let you know about as the “a-long” grows closer. Possible prizes include yarn, fibre, designs, swag (everyone loves buttons), tools, bags, classes, and things we’ve not thought of yet. What can you think of?

Additional Details for the MAL prize fun have been posted on Ravelry. Here.  We’ll have one thread for chatter and FOs combined.