Carolina Fiberfest offers visitors plenty of warm and fuzzies; doubles in size

Anyone with an interest in fiber crafts will want to visit the expanded Carolina Fiberfest taking place May 21-23 in the Holshouser Building as part of the Got to Be NC Festival.  Interest in fiber crafts has been gaining momentum for the past seven years, with more and more people learning to knit, crochet, weave, spin or construct other fiber craft items.

The Fiberfest will feature 18 vendors with a variety of products from naturally dyed wools to unfinished fibers. The focus will be on showcasing North Carolina fiber products that people might not see in more traditional stores.

Visitors to the Carolina Fiberfest will be able to see a variety of naturally dyed fibers on display and for sale. A daily demonstration of indigo dyeing will be held from noon to 2 p.m. outside the Holshouser Building.

Visitors to the Carolina Fiberfest will be able to see a variety of naturally dyed fibers on display and for sale. A daily demonstration of indigo dyeing will be held from noon to 2 p.m. outside the Holshouser Building.

The event will be a nice blend of demonstrations, workshops and products for sale, said Carolyn Beasley, a Fiberfest organizer. Visistors will be able to see sheep being sheared and raw wool carded and spun into yarn. Angora goats and rabbits, shetland and border Leicester sheep, and alpacas will be part of the daily shearing demonstrations from noon to 2 p.m.

The demonstrations will be held in the center of the Holshouser Building throughout the day.

Friday’s schedule of demonstrations follows: Fiber Preparation and Color Blending, 10 .m.-11 a.m.; Spinning Basics — The Spindle and the Wheel, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Working with Cotton, 2-3:30 p.m.; Machine Knitting, 4-5:30 p.m.

Saturday demonstrations are: Rug Hooking, 10-11:30 a.m.; Spinning Basics, noon to 1 p.m.; Indian Finger Weaving, 1-1:30 p.m.; Feltmaking, 2-3:30 p.m.; Working with Cotton, 4-5:30 p.m.

Sunday’s schedule of demonstrations follows: Fiber Preparation and Color Blending, 10 a.m.-11 a.m.; Spinning Basics, 11-12:30 p.m.; Creative Carding, 1-2 p.m.; Art Yarn Spinning, 2-3:30 p.m.; Working with Cotton, 4-5:30 p.m.

The event is drawing a couple of nationally known fiber arts teachers, including Nancy Shroyer, Linelle Dicksinson and Cynthia Mollenkopf, who will be leading classes at Fiberfest.  A few open spots will be available for walk-in visitors. There is a fee for most classes.

Each day from noon to 2 p.m. just outside the Holshouser Building, visitors can see a demonstration of fiber dyeing with indigo. The process may be best described as a “must-see” event for people with kids. Beasley decribes the process as “magical.” When the fiber is first pulled from the dye, “it comes out light green in color. Once the fiber hits the air, it turns that wonderful indigo color. It is chemistry in action,” she said.

Sounds like something that should not be missed. The Fiberfest hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

About Merrie Go Round

Merrie Go Round is the midway alter-ego of Andrea Ashby, who has officially spent 241 days during the past 23 years at the N.C. State Fair. That's perfect attendance in case you were wondering. In addition to promoting the Fair, looking for untold Fair stories and working on various special events, I also spend a great deal of time roaming the grounds taking photos for the Website and State Fair publications. I like to keep my eyes and ears posted for the unusual and different things that make the State Fair such a great celebration of North Carolina people, traditions and history. I look forward to sharing with you the things I come across on my journey.

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