Thursday, July 29, 2010

Local Grown Fiber Trunk Shows

Locally Grown & Dyed Fibers

It's easy to go into any yarn store and buy pretty much any kind of yarn made in such places as Peru, China, or Italy, but quite a different matter to find yarn and fiber grown and processed here locally. Yes, there are a few larger American mills like Brown Sheep and Kraemer Textiles, and happily those mills are represented in many stores---but the local stuff is harder to come by unless you travel out to the sticks to get it.

The Oakland Fiber & Textile Festival was an attempt to bring you, the buyer, together with those producing locally grown and dyed fibers. Next we'll bring them in one by one to the shop, where they will present their wares and give you the lowdown on their product so you really get to know, on a very personal level, the garment you are about to make. It's like art versus reproductions. We all know how to do this with the food we buy; now we are creating a venue for your local yarn and fiber.

A discount is applied to all purchases made during the Trunk Show.

Updates on Trunk Shows can be found on Ravelry on the Piedmont Yarn Group, Bay Area Knitters, and Bay Area Spinners.

Trunk Show Schedule

Sandi Young of Buckeye Farm, Mountain Ranch, CA
Wednesday, July 28th, 5 to 7pm
Sandi Young graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York with a degree in Graphic Design and Visual Communication. She has worked as a graphic designer for such clients as Atlantic Records, The New York Times, and Apple Computers, and has won numerous design awards. Her design work has been displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum design collection in London.
Sandi has been a fiber artist for 40 years and has been the proprietor of the Crafts Gallery in New York State. Her work has been accepted by the American Crafts Council, and her sweater designs and handspun yarns are available in several California fiber studios. For the last 18 years Sandi has lived on a farm in Mountain Ranch, California, raising champion Angora goats, and uses their mohair for handspun, hand-dyed, hand-knitted wearable art. Trunk Show Sandi will be bringing handspun, hand-knitted, one- (or few-)-of-a-kind sweaters and shawls, and handspun, hand-dyed yarns (some for sale) and samples for custom orders.

Janelle Gunther of Snickleftriz Yarns, Pleasanton, CA
Saturday, August 7th, 1 to 3pm

Janelle's father gave her the nickname Snicklefritz, which he insists means "little cute kid," but other people say it means mischievous kid! Who is correct? Hmmmm... Polymer scientist by day and an indie dyer by night, Janelle (aka Snicklefritz Yarns) is on a mission to provide the masses with fun and unique colorways while educating them that not all superwash yarns are created equal! Using her knowledge of chemistry, she uses non-toxic dyes to create beautiful yarns that won't flash or pool. Her colorways are inspired by her travelling gnome's adventures. The gnome has gone as far as Norway, the UK, and the Bonneville Salt Flats to inspire Snicklefritz to create "Gnome Drag Racing on the Salt Flats" or "Gnome Floating Through a Fjord." In addition to showcasing new yarns and fiber at the trunk show, she will also be entertaining attendees with magnifications of yarn at up to 1000x so you'll see why so many people are in love with BFL yarn!
Like the gnome and nickname, the yarn and fiber at Snicklefritz Yarns are certainly cute and just a little mischievous.

Janet Heppler of Nebo Rock Textiles, Covelo, CA
Tuesday, August 17th, noon to 2pm

Janet has been involved with fiber, fiber arts, and fiber animals for over 30 years. She lives with her family on a farm in Mendocino County outside the town of Covelo, raising Merino sheep, Angora goats, and Angora rabbits, all of which produce multiple shades of natural-colored hand-spinning fiber. Nebo Rock Ranch and Textiles fleeces have won many awards at various California county fairs. Janet's fiber art interest starts with the animals and goes to the finished product. She likes hand-spinning fiber from her own animals, and then weaving the yarn into scarves, shawls, and rugs, plus dying her yarn in a multitude of rainbow colors. She also teaches spinning, weaving, and dying, and gives carding, fancy spinning, and animal care demonstrations at fiber events.

Brenda Collins of Pan's Garden Yarns, Boulder Creek, CA
Saturday, August 28th, 3 to 5pm

Brenda Collins is originally from Virginia. When she was a small girl, her maternal grandmother taught her to knit and crochet.

In the middle 1980s Brenda became frustrated with the lack of good quality wool knitting yarn in ther area. Chance would have it that she picked up a Whole Earth Catalog and noticed that handspinning was making a comeback. After a long search, she found a woman who taught her the basics on the drop spindle. Soon she was not only spinning, but also weaving and dyeing.

Since the late 1980s, Brenda has been selling her yarn and other fiber products at craft and fiber fairs on both coasts. She has exhibited her handspun yarn in various fiber competitions and has won many awards, including several Best in Shows.

Presently, Brenda lives in Boulder Creek, CA, and is active in the local spinning guild, Mavens of the FiberForest. "Spinning is my passion," she says, "and I hope to be at the spinning wheel as long as my hands can work and my feet can pedal!"

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