Weaving Beauty: Annual Fiber Fair set for March 19 at Sycamore Shoals
Published 9:03 am Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Next weekend Sycamore Shoals State Park will play host to some of the region’s most talented fiber artists as weavers will gather to throw their shuttles and spinners will keep their wheels turning as part of the annual Overmountain Weavers Guild Fiber Fair.
The annual Fiber Fair will take place on Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Visitor’s Center at the park.
Visitors to the fair will have the opportunity to learn about a variety of fiber arts such as spinning and weaving as well as dyeing techniques.
“We have demonstrations of weaving, spinning and carding, which is taking the fleece and getting it ready to spin,” said Jean Green, a member of the Overmountain Weavers Guild and one of the coordinators for the Fiber Fair. “This year we also have a lady who will be doing felting, which is taking the fleece and turning it into felt balls, which is always fun for the kids.”
At 1 p.m. on Saturday, the Guild will give a special presentation that will last from 45 minutes to about an hour and will follow through the whole fiber crafting process.
“We do a full demonstration that is called ‘Fleece to Shawl,’” Green said.
In the demonstration, one person begins with a clean washed fleece and they card it to get it prepared for spinning. The carded fleece is then handed off to a spinner who will use the wheel to transform it into yarn. The yarn is then passed to a weaver who will weave the yarn into fabric that will become a shawl.
Visitors will also get the chance to sit down with a fiber artist and try their hand at weaving on a loom or spinning yarn on a spinning wheel, Green said.
Vendors will also be on hand at the fair offering a variety of hand-crafted items for sale including natural yarns, jewelry, hand-made scarves, housewares and mittens.
“We have 15 or 16 vendors right now and that is all we have space for,” Green said.
One of the purposes of the fair is education and helping to keep these traditional skills alive in the modern era.
“The members of the weaving guild also do knitting and crocheting,” Green said. “They are more than happy to talk to people and offer them helpful tips and pointers.”
For those interested in learning to weave, the guild will be offering a chance to sign up for beginning weaving classes which will be held later this year. A sign-up sheet for weaving lessons will be available at the guild’s information desk at the Fiber Fair.
Green said food and drinks will be available for purchase during the fair from Powers Coffee, which will have drinks, snacks and both breakfast and lunch items available.
The Fiber Fair is free and open to the public. For more information on the Overmountain Weavers Guild, visit their website at http://www.omwg.net.