Last weekend, I went to the Dallas/Fort Worth Fiberfest Market. This was the first time I had been to anything along those lines in years, and I had a wonderful time!
It was especially interesting to see how the demographics of the attendees have changed over time. There were a lot more men and children there than I have seen at other conferences or markets in the past, and these were men and children with tags identifying them as conference attendees. Twenty-five years ago, attending CGOA Chainlink Conferences as a teen, I was consistently the only or one of the only children in attendance, and the male attendees could be counted on one's fingers. I saw similar demographics attending the Stitches West marketplace a decade ago. Seeing such a markedly different balance was fascinating.
Of course, the yarns and accessories were gorgeous. Most of the vendors seemed to be small, hand-dye companies, and their wares focused on sock yarn. I love the current trend for mini-skeins, given the cost of 50 or 100 gram hanks of luxury yarn, and I also loved seeing those mini-skeins packaged in color-coordinated bags, perfect for projects using multiple colors. I know this trend has been around for a bit, but this was the first time I had seen it in person, because I live far from any yarn stores that would carry such things.
While I was there, I handed out brochures to advertizing Stitch Whisper's patterns, and I was pleasantly surprised at the enthusiastic reception I met from more than one vendor. There are things in the works from that little bit of leg work, and I look forward to writing about that here soon! Suffice it to say, there's a fair amount of follow-up I need to do in the coming weeks from dipping my toes into the pond of professional networking.
Here, you can see my haul of new fluffies :) I went with a shopping list for yarns I need for upcoming projects, but I also bought two additional skeins just because I liked them. From top to bottom, I bought:
- The very top, blue, purple, and white is a Yummy 2-Ply Toes mini-skein from Miss Babs. It's 100% merino superwash, and the colorway is Across the Universe. This was one of my unplanned purchases. I don't know what I'll do with it yet, but it has 133 yards, so I might make some Monster Socks with it or something else along those lines.
- The grey yarn right below the Yummy 2-Ply Toes is a skein of Mimi DK from Haute Boheme Fibers (They've paused online sales until they get back from Fiberfest, but it's still fun to window shop!). It is also 100% superwash merino. It has 231 yards, and the colorway is 90's Grunge.
- The blue yarn next to the Mimi DK is Mohair Silk Lace from Wander Luck Fibers. It is 69% silk, 22% kid mohair, and 9% nylon, with 459 yards in 50 grams. I have always been and will always be a sucker for mohair, so buying this skein was a necessity. I'll be using it for a crochet pattern that I hope to publish before the end of the year.
- The green skein is Luminosity from Lazy Cat Yarn. I spent quite a while at the Lazy Cat booth chatting with Rebecca about The Original Lazy Cat, among other things. She was a lot of fun to meet, and if you go to her website, you will see that she has a couple Monty Python-themed colorways, which is a huge plus in my book. You can't see it in the picture, but Luminosity is a sock yarn that has little, sparkly threads sticking out of it. I saw that kind of yarn at several booths, but I wanted to buy something from the Lazy Cat Yarn booth. Luminosity is 75% merino, 20% nylon, and 5% stellina, which I'm guessing is the sparkly part. The colorway I bought is called Ocean Depths, and it has 438 yards per 100 grams.
- The dark pink skein on the bottom of the picture is Makimo from Fiber Lady. It's 100% bamboo, with 335 yards per 4 ounces, and is a DK weight yarn. This was my other impulse buy. While I'm not always sure what to do with bamboo, I love woring with it, and Fiber Lady's colors are amazing.
- Last but not least is the lighter pink yarn on top of the skein of Makimo. This one is 3-Ply Sport from Rancho Inca Alpacas. Alpaca is probably my all-time favorite fiber to work with. Rancho Inca Alpacas is an alpaca breeding ranch in southern Texas, and judging from their website, selling yarn from their animals is a relatively new part of their business. Their yarns don't come in bright, exciting colorways, but they do show off the natural look of alpaca. I love that their skeins are each made from the wool of a single alpaca, although they are blended with other fibers, which means that the yarn tags each have a photo of the alpaca in question on the front and a little information about that animal on the back. The skein I bought is 80/20 alpaca/merino and contains 330 yards per 3.5 ounces. I spent a lot of time at the Rancho Inca Alpaca booth, and it was a pleasure chatting with Bill and Mario, who are clearly passionate about their alpacas.