- Arts and Design
Michigan Fiber Festival
A Weekend of Fiber Fun in Allegan, Michigan!
Each August in Western Michigan, fiber art lovers converge on the Allegan County Fairgrounds for a weekend of workshops, shopping and shows. This year was my first visit to a fiber festival, but it will not be my last. My mom and I travelled across the state to engage in this event, not really sure of what to expect. We had a wonderful time, and I hope you will consider attending a fiber festival, if you have not yet.
Fiber Festival Poll
Have you ever attended a Fiber Festival?
Skeins of Yarn in Every Color
What do you do at a fiber festival?
There is so much to do at the Fiber Festival. During the week leading up to the start of the Michigan Fiber Festival, you can take workshops on many different crafts. There are many workshops covering knitting, weaving, spinning on wheels or spindles, rug making, dyeing, basket making and so much more. If you are interested in learning a new craft these workshops are a great way to learn the basics of the craft as well as an opportunity for you to test out wether you enjoy the new craft before making the investment of buying the tools and supplies needed to start. Next year my mom and I are considering taking one of the loom weaving workshops.
During the festival weekend there are many shops set up in several of the buildings, as well as in tents outside. If this is your first visit to a fiber festival, you will probably be overwhelmed by all the amazing things for sale. Here is where planning a budget and sticking to it can be very helpful. I knew that I would be tempted to spend more than I wanted, so I made sure that I had only the amount I was willing to spend with me in cash, and opted not to put any purchases on my credit card. Also, you would be wise to visit all the shops first and write down the items you want to purchase, the price of the item and the booth number. We found similar items at vastly different prices as we browsed through the shops. I am extremely happy with the purchases I made, and look forward to using them in projects throughout the winter. My favorite part of the shopping boothes is all the bright and beautiful colors.
Like festivals and fairs across the country there are many tempting foods to be found at the fiber festival. My mom and I couldn't resist trying the fudge puppies - waffles dipped in dark chocolate, rolled in nuts or sprinkles and topped off with whipped cream. And it is served on a stick, of course! In addition to the fair type fare, we also had the opportunity to sample some sheep's milk cheese. We both are big cheese fans and the sheep cheese did not disappoint! It had a wonderfully rich flavor, and I highly recommend giving it a try if you get the chance.
What would a fiber festival be if it weren't for the furry friends that make such wonderful fibers possible? The fiber festival is a great place to meet the animals that give us such varied yarns and fibers. I enjoyed seeing all te different types of wool sheep. We were able to watch one being sheared, too. The angora rabbits were so fluffy, it was hard not to want to take one home. My favorite animals at the festival though were the alpacas. I just think they are the cutest!