Fibre Fill

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.


11 Responses to “Fibre Fill”

  1. 1 cat Monday, March 23, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    I just found you through tag surfer – those felted hats are amazing! Beautiful colours and contours.

  2. 2 nubivagant Monday, March 23, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    i agree the hats are really amazing! great colors.

  3. 3 Josiane Monday, March 23, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    You did a wonderful job on your hat: it’s simply fabulous! I love it!

  4. 4 Sarah Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 8:35 am

    You are so creative! Your hat is amazing! The unfinished version looks cool too — reminds me of the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter. 🙂

  5. 5 fibrespace Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Love the hat, it’s fantastic!

  6. 6 Wendy Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Those bags of fiber look so fun. One of these days.

  7. 7 Liz Theaker Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    We love your felted pincushions, and that hat is brilliant. So happy you made us part of the day’s itinerary . . . stop in & say “hello” to the curator the next time you’re at the LQ&TM!

  8. 8 nicole Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    That is a gorgeous hat! So whimsical and yet, elegant! And the kids are getting so big!

  9. 9 urban craft Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    THat’s funny about customs, was it the US or Canadian customs that had questioned you? Love your felt chickies and the hat is awesome!

  10. 10 kneek Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    It was the Canadian customs this time, and we were less than five miles from the enormous agricultural expo building where the event was being held.

  1. 1 Experiments with Shape and Structure « HomeWork Trackback on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 9:55 pm
Comments are currently closed.

Flickr Photos



%d bloggers like this: