The demonstrations and speakers listed below are from the 2020 Carolina FiberFest Schedule. Many of these will be offered again in 2021.
We will update the schedule and registration information as we get closer to the 2021 event!
The following Guilds and groups will have ongoing demonstrations.
Stop by and enjoy the heritage and diversity of fiber arts in eastern 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.
You’ve bought the fiber and now you are wondering how you are going to process it without buying all sorts of fiber prep equipment? Don’t let not owning the latest and greatest in fiber tools keep you from exploring the wonderful world of fiber because you already have most of what you need to get started without buying a thing! We will talk about using everyday items for processing and preparing your fiber.
Deborah (Deb) Nutter bio:Deb is primarily a self-taught fiber enthusiast who started sewing at the age of 6. She was taught by her grandmother how to make the best use of tools and materials at hand and to appreciate all things fiber related. Deb likes to sew, quilt, spin and knit and is currently learning to weave.
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.
11:00 am- Noon Friday
Join the Unraveling Podcasters Pam Maher and Greg Cahoon 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.
Pam Maher and Greg Cahoon’s bios:Pam is based in Raleigh and is a CFF board member and was the originator and force behind the Fibercrafty.com website – an online marketplace where indie fiber shops and crafters could connect. She is an avid knitter and active in the old North State Knitting Guild
Greg Cahoon, 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.
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.
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. Come learn about this exciting program and how you can participate as fiber provider or fiber artist.
The Livestock Breeds and Cindra Kerscher bio:A nonprofit founded in 1977, The Livestock Conservancy is the leading organization in the United States working to protect over 150 breeds of livestock and poultry from extinction. The Livestock Conservancy works with farmers and ranchers, chefs, historians, consumers, and others across the nation to protect genetic diversity in agriculture and for the security of our agricultural system. Cindra Kerscher is the “gate keeper” for the Shave ‘Em to Save “Em program passports, stickers and prizes at the Livestock Conservancy, an emerging fiber artist, and the accidental shepherdess of a small farm in Chatham County.
Various animal fibers are distinctly different and uniquely suited for different purposes, as are the various plant fibers. Come join us to learn some basics about the characteristics that make particular plant and animal fibers unique and how their characteristics impact their usefulness for different projects and purposes. After a brief presentation, we’ll play the fiber identification game. This is a fun activity that is suited for adults and children. Participants are welcome to bring fibers for evaluation and questions are encouraged. For a more in-depth, hands-on experience, covering all types of animal fibers, sign up for Elaina’s class, “So Many Fibers So Little Time”.
Elaina Kenyon bio :Elaina is shepherd-in-charge at Avillion Farm in Efland, NC a diversified fiber farming enterprise. The farm is home to Shetland and Jacob Sheep, Angora goats, Angora Rabbits, and Suri alpacas. Elaina enjoys experiencing and sharing with others the whole process – from raising livestock to processing the fleece into clothing and home furnishings.
Back by popular request! Is carpal tunnel interfering with your knitting or crocheting? Is neck pain or back pain getting to you, preventing you from weaving and spinning? Come learn how changing our posture helps decrease the symptoms of overuse syndrome. You will have the chance to try some techniques to help you enjoy fibering without any annoying side effects.
Sue Knight bio:Sue is a licensed physical therapist who has 40+ years of experience. She has been knitting and crocheting since she was six and learned how to spin 6 years ago when she joined the Twisted Thread Fiber Arts Guild. Sue is a member of Cary Blanketeers who make blankets for the Linus Project. She enjoys teaching and blending her vocation with her avocation.
Curious about your dyeing options now that you have some experience in submersion dyes? Learn what else you can do with acid and fiber reactive dyes. This talk will cover creative dyeing techniques that push beyond the basic dye bath. While dyeing yarn is great fun, we will discuss dyeing cloth with multiple materials. Quick and easy options for maximizing dyeing potential and how materials react will also be discussed. Samples will show differences in fiber acceptance, resistance to dyes, and will get your creative juices flowing!
Jean Vollrath bio:Jean got her first loom forty years ago and has been playing with fiber ever since. She is an award winning weaver and fiber artist and a Member of the Randolph County Arts Guild. Both an avid student and teacher, she is happy to share what she’s learned.
Courtney Lockemer, organizer of Piedmont Fibershed, will talk about this community organization dedicated to building a regional fiber system in the Piedmont of North Carolina. The Fibershed is centered around local fibers, dyes, 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. Piedmont Fibershed will have an information table you can visit throughout the Carolina FiberFest event.
Courtney Lockemer bio: Courtney is the organizer of Piedmont Fibershed and an artist who works in fashion, textiles, photography, video, and performance. She is the founder and creative lead of Sunday Shift, a line of clothing and accessories designed and handmade in Durham, North Carolina from sustainable textiles, low-impact dyes, and vintage materials. Courtney is particularly interested in using locally-available materials, both reclaimed and locally grown/produced. She is in the process of creating a natural dye garden at her home in Durham.