The following Guilds and groups will have ongoing demonstrations and educational videos.
Stop by and enjoy the heritage and diversity of fiber arts in NC.
If you belong to a Fiber Arts Guild or group and would like to participate in the festival, please contact us at info@CarolinaFiberFest.org.
Our vendors have some incredible demos lined up for you!
For all of our vendor demos and more details, check out the Schedule tab in our virtual event and choose the Booth Demos track!
FRIDAY 10:30-11:15 am
After the 1993 implementation of NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), TS Designs watched as customers transitioned their accounts to Mexico in order to take advantage of lower costs. But TS Designs has been successful in adapting their business model to a triple-bottom-line with a focus on People, the Planet, and Profits. Eric Henry originated the Carolina Cotton program and he created Solid State Clothing's 10,000 Pounds of Cotton Project - with the goal of transferring power back to US cotton farmers and the environmentally conscious consumer.
Eric maintains “Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. I’ll be on that journey for the rest of my life, both personally and professionally. Not one person has the answer; the answers lie within your community.” TS Designs sells largely to local, environmentally and socially-conscious businesses, organizations and consumers that support The Green Movement.
Friday 1:00 -1:45 pm
Have you ever wanted to learn to spin but can't see dishing out $400 or more for a wheel? And that's for a person-powered wheel. Electric spinning wheels or e-spinners can cost twice that - and up. This talk will be about the pros and cons of inexpensive e-spinners. We'll focus on the Electric Eel Wheel Nano from Dreaming Robots. The Nano is great for both new and experienced spinners. Karen will also discuss the common modifications, where to go for additional resources and the robust online community.
Karen Birbeck Bio: Karen started crafting and sewing at about age 7 and hasn’t stopped! She loves making, seeing, sharing and teaching crafts. Karen is originally from the San Francisco area & has a degree in Chemistry from San Jose State University. She was a project manager at GlaxoSmithKline and is now President of the Twisted Threads Fiber Arts Guild; she is a frequent Spinning Demonstrator at area events, libraries etc. Karen has many interests including gardening, genealogy and visiting the grandkids.
Friday 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Jennifer’s class will focus on two common knitting situations: math for making yarn substitutions and the ever tricky matter of how to evenly distribute increases and decreases. Attendees will use a fill-in-the-blank .pdf worksheet using a formula that they can use as a future resource.
Jennifer Vekert bio:Jennifer is a PhD candidate at NCSU Wilson College of Textiles Department of Textile Technology Management. Her research focus is Knit Fabric Geometry. She additionally has a BA in Handweaving from Earlham College. Jennifer has been a Graduate Teaching Assistant at State since 2016, where she teaches knit design software. She is an accomplished handknitter, a decent dyer, and a terrible tatter.
Friday 2:00 -3:00 pm
Cindy will present an overview of what it takes to grow cotton and flax and take those fibers all the way to clothes to wear. Learn when to plant and harvest and what equipment is needed for the next steps, such as spinning, scouring, and weaving. Additionally, flax involves retting, breaking, scutching, and hackling before spinning. Once it is spun, flax is called linen. Cindy will show the clothes she has made with her homegrown, handspun fibers and explain how she developed the patterns.
Cindy Conner bio:Cindy helped establish the sustainable agriculture program at Reynolds Community College. She grows flax and naturally colored cotton in her garden, along with cover crops and vegetables for a sustainable diet. Cindy wants to share her experiences about the entire process from planting seed to ending up with something wearable. She is the author of Grow a Sustainable Diet and Seed Libraries and has produced DVDs about cover crops and garden planning. www.HomeplaceEarth.com
Saturday 9:30 -10:15 am
In their ongoing commitment to making it more profitable to raise heritage breeds, the Livestock Conservancy created the Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em Initiative. It’s a program that recognizes fiber artists for using wool from breeds on their Conservation Priority List while connecting shepherds and woolen mills working with heritage breeds with customers. The Conservancy has long said that the way to save endangered breeds of livestock is to give them a job. In the case of wool sheep, we need to start using their wool again. Because of marketing challenges, some shepherds discard or compost the wool after their annual shearing rather than cleaning it and selling it. In addition to encouraging fiber artists to try using rare wools, the program also educates shepherds about how to prepare their wool for sale and how to reach customers and fiber artists, thereby making it more profitable to raise heritage breeds. Zoom-in and learn about this exciting program and how you can participate!
Cindra Kerscher bio: Cindra Kerscher is the Program Coordinator for the Shave ‘Em to Save “Em program at the Livestock Conservancy, an emerging fiber artist, and the accidental shepherdess of a small farm in Chatham County. Cindra’s interests include regenerative farming, backpacking & kayaking. www.livestockconservancy.org
Saturday 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Knitted Knockers is a charity knitting project that makes soft, comfortable, knitted prosthetics for breast cancer survivors. Knit and crochet patterns are available on the knitted knocker website, Knittedknockers.org - the most commonly used is the Bottoms-Up pattern. The demonstration will be focused on the double-point pattern but crochet and magic loop questions can be answered. The website also lists approved yarns to be used. Lacey’s presentation will tell you all you need to know about the program and get you started knitting knockers. Zoom-In and work along with Lacey!
Lacey McWatters Bio: Lacey is a local elementary music educator and has been teaching for 10 year, 7 in North Carolina. She has lived in Ohio and West Virginia but has set up roots in North Carolina with her husband. Besides teaching and knitting she plays piano, is a novice woodworker and plays video games. While crafts has always been a part of her life, she’s only been knitting and crocheting for the last decade as time permits. Knitted Knockers has her knitting more regularly than ever before. www.knittedknockers.org
Saturday 10:30 -11:15 am
New to the fiber world? Don’t know where to start? Zoom-In with Kim’s Interactive Session when she will answer your Fiber questions! There are endless possibilities and paths to take to use that beautiful fiber you just couldn’t live without, whether it is fleece roving yarn or whatever. Kim will share with you how she got started, tools she has used and where her fiber journey has taken her.
Kim Underhill bio: Kim learned how to knit in her early 20’s and took quite an interest in both knitting and crocheting. She was only familiar with acrylic yarn until she went to an event where she came upon a vendor selling yarn spun from sheep, goats and angora rabbits that were raised on her farm. Kim asked the vendor what’s so special about her yarn and how was it different to acrylic? The vendor said, just feel it - and from that moment on Kim was hooked! No more acrylic yarn for her and so began Kim’s love affair with fiber and the flood gates opened. She wanted to experience everything there was to experience with fiber! Along the way Kim has met many lovely fiber artists that have encouraged, mentored and inspired her and Kim hopes she can do the same for you.
Saturday 1:00 - 2:00
Join the Unraveling Podcasters Pam Maher and Greg Cohoon as they talk about their experiences working their way through the “Godmother of American knitting’s” fascinating publication. They will feature some of her many gifts to the knitting world such as her percentage system, knitting in the round, the baby surprise jacket and many more examples. Along with a retrospective of her life as featured in her New York Times Obituary.
The Unraveling Podcaster Bios Pam Maher is based in Raleigh and is a Carolina FiberFest Board member She is very active on fiber related social media and an avid knitter, being a long-standing Member of the Ol’ North State Knitting Guild.
Greg Cohoon, aka Knitting Daddy, is based in Greensboro and is a podcaster who found himself drawn into the knitting world when his premature daughter was born and he was gifted with some preemie hats. As an engineer he was intrigued to see how they were made - little did he know what he was getting himself into!
Together, Pam and Greg host The Unraveling Podcast. www.unravelingpodcast.com
Saturday 2:30-3:15 pm
Courtney Lockemer, organizer of Piedmont Fibershed, will talk about this community organization dedicated to building a regional fiber system in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. The Fibershed is centered around local fibers, dyers, and labor and seeks to support and develop a regional fiber economy that benefits the environment, workers, and the local economy. Courtney will discuss the organization’s work around North Carolina grown hemp fiber and other efforts to build community and connections among local farmers, dyers, artisans, and small businesses. She’ll also talk about how local fiber businesses and fans can get involved and get support from Piedmont Fibershed.
Courtney Lockemer bio: Courtney is Brand Manager at Solid State Clothing and is also an organizer of Piedmont Fibershed. She is an artist who works in fashion, textiles, photography, video, and performance. Courtney is particularly interested in using locally-available materials, both reclaimed and locally grown/produced. She has created a natural dye garden at her home in Durham.