Have you ever tried to explain to a customs agent what a fiber festival is? Nothing edible, I swear. Just wool and silk. A whirlwind weekend full of fiber fun started after crossing the border at Sumas, WA/Huntingdon, BC Friday afternoon. We started with a stop at FibresWest in Abbotsford, BC. We watched some spinners at work, browsed the various booths, and pet two llamas in an enclosure at the back of the hall.
In addition to picking up some hand dyed mohair locks, silk noil and silk/cashmere fiber, I visited with Keri, a high school chum who now works in the offices for the Abbotsford Exhibition Park, which include the Ag/Rec building where the festival was held.
After a zippy trip down the highway to my parents’ place, we arrived to the gorgeous smell of Papa Pizza crafting a fine dinner.
Once the children were safely snuggled in bed, I dashed off to Tsawwassen in order to catch a ferry to Saltspring Island where I was enrolled in a workshop at Ulrieke Benner’s Art You Wear studio. Thank you Melissa for generously offering me the keys to her mAgiKal cabin in the woods.
Saturday’s workshop was wonderful, in terms of location, atmosphere, company and teacher. We spent a long day creating either a hat or a purse under Ulrieke’s patient instruction.
In order to catch my return ferry to Vancouver, I had to leave before my hat was really finished. The spiral ends mid-hat in the last photo. Lacking a proper hat block, I wore the hat wet as I drove to Fulford Harbour. I couldn’t help fingering the felt as I drove, and once in line, I couldn’t resist playing with it some more.
Ulrieke left me with the strict instruction to pinch the lines for a couple of hours to create permanent creases along the folds. As I reinforced the existing lines, I instinctinvely moved the line down to the edge, and once there, it seemed natural to create a small brim on one side.
It now resembles something a little closer to a quirky fadora. I love the colors and the lines. The squiggle is silk/cashmere fiber I bought at FibresWest, while the rest is commercial merino provided by Ulrieke. If you ever have the chance to attend one of her workshops, I would highly recommend it. However, make it a weekend getaway to fully appreciate all that Saltspring has to offer.
As Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny in New Westminster, we walked in and around Queen’s Park, stopping to look at the Rose Garden under renovation and play on the playground.
Time for a quick birthday photo – Happy Happy Dad!
All too soon, it was time to head back towards home, but not before stopping in LaConner to see “All Things Not Quilted” at the LaConner Quilt and Textile Museum located in the historic Gaches Mansion. This exhibit has been on my to-do list for several months, and since it will end on March 29th, it demanded a detour on our way.
LaConner is a sweet little fishing village full of boutiques, galleries, bookstores and cafes. We spotted a flock of wild turkeys across the street from the museum, and then walked behind the LaConner Civic Garden Club to peek at the town from above the main street.
The town is full of public art. Sculpture large and small can be found along the street. In addition to the textile museum, LaConner is also home to the Museum of Northwest Art. If you are spending time in the northwest, make a stop in LaConner and be sure to chat with the volunteer working at the front desk of the museum. You will come away with some bit of local history and charm.