A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair. It was out on the east end of Long Island, where shopping malls and cramped neighborhoods dwindle and are replaced by sprawling farmland and vineyards. I was very lucky to catch a stray post on Ravelry announcing the event, and immediately made plans to head home. Mom and Scott tagged along, and I’m sure that both saw me more happy and visibly excited than they ever had before. It was amazing.
It was my first fiber fest, and it couldn’t have been in a more perfect setting. It was held on the grounds of a museum that was really more of a collection of small historic buildings. Each housed a different theme, ranging from carding wool to weaving to rug-hooking. There were plenty of animals to pet, lots of enthusiastic fiber folk, and an ample supply of yarn and raw wool. But what was of particular interest was that the event was structured around education—many families with small children attended, and it looked like special care was taken to appeal to these kids and teach them the value of fiber crafts. People really welcomed the engagement of the children, and allowed them to touch delicate spinning wheels and weaving looms. It was really incredible to see.
To be fair, the fiber on the spindle is actually locally sourced—the beauties I picked up at the fair are far too gorgeous to learn with. I’ve been spinning through this merino quickly, though, so hopefully I’ll have my first skein of handspun to show soon!