Today I wanted to share with you a fun event that I've been helping to organize this past year: North Country Fiber Fair's Craft-A-Longs!
North Country Fiber Fair is my local fiber fair and it's the event that started me going to fiber events all over the place. This will be my fourth year attending and I had the honor of joining the board for the planning of the 2017 event. My area: helping to plan the Craft-A-Longs. I'm super excited for this year's crafting options since they are so wide open thanks to this being the fair's 25th anniversary. Pretty much anything that someone wants to make can probably fit into one of the prompts so I'd love to invite you all to join in!
How To Join In (Physically or Virtually)
If you're planning on attending NCFF this September 22 - 24, we'd love to see your projects in-person so please bring them along and show them off! You could even enter them into the Fashion Show for a chance to win some extra spending money on Saturday evening.
Even if you can't make it to the event, everyone (even those who can't make it to the fair) can join in the Craft-A-Longs online by posting pictures on various social media sites:
Twitter: Tag us with @NCFiber
Oddly enough, I've got some kits that would be perfect for these -A-Longs...
(You don't need to buy a kit to participate, I just wanted to offer everyone a special discount on the kits that would qualify for the -A-Longs. ^_^)
NCFF 2017 Craft-A-Long Details
We've broken the Craft-A-Longs into 2 themes for this year: "25th Anniversary-A-Long" and, since our theme for this year is the spinning wheel, we have a "Spin-A-Long"!
For this category, we're focusing on items that aren't spinning. Make a thing and share it with us! North Country Fiber Fair is all about making things you love with materials that make you happy so let's celebrate 25 years of sharing fiber love with this great community! (I told you there was a lot of wiggle room, hehe.) We have some amazing featured instructors this year and a few other themes if you need some inspiration to get your wheels turning:
Featured Knitting Instructor, Annie Modesitt, has lots of beautiful patterns as well as a gorgeous yarn line (including my favorite: ModeFlax). Work up one of her patterns or pick any pattern that strikes your fancy & make it using a ball or 2 of ModeKnit's amazing gradients. (If you need further arm twisting... Use code: "craftalong2017" at checkout to get 15% off my Springtime Flow knitting kit featuring Annie's yarn!)
Featured Crochet Instructor, Robyn Chachula, also has lots of lovely patterns and she is the very first national crochet instructor to teach at NCFF. Many of her patterns are based on crocheted motifs and I know of at least on crafter who has already cast-on her Labyrinths Cardigan (featured on the cover of Love of Crochet, Spring 2017).
The 25th Anniversary is the Silver Anniversary so show us something that shines! This can be accomplished through use of a beautiful sparkle yarn (like the ones featured in my Glittering Garter Trio of knitting kits: Zenon Stole, Wispy Ways Shawlette, and Andromeda's Wings). Or you could add a metallic element through the inclusion of buttons, snaps, ties, accidentally knitted on stitch markers that are now fashion accessories... Anything that's silvery counts for this prompt!
It's the Year of the Spinning Wheel! Let those beautiful wheels inspire you to create a project that includes a literal spinning wheel motif or something that can be used in conjunction with a spinning wheel. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with for this prompt. The bundle of ideas on Ravelry is a little thin, but there's lots of room for creativity here!
This category is for, you guessed it, ALL THE SPINNING!! We know that you've been busy with your wheel this year (Tour de Fleece did just end) and we want to see what you've made. Here are a few ideas for those of you who want a bit more structure to your -A-Long:
Try your hand at a Breed Study this year using The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook by NCFF's featured Spinning Instructor, Deb Robson, as your guide. Then meet her in person (and take a class) this September to show off your skeins & discuss what you've learned.
Have you tried carding your own custom fiber Blends? Try your hand at a new technique prior to spinning your fiber and add a bit of sparkle or flair to it! You could also live on the wild side and just toss tufts of something like stelina into a prepared fiber as you spin. It's up to you, play with your fiber and come up with something uniquely your own!
How about attempting some Art Yarns? Core-spinning, bee-hives, boucle... first skeins. All count as art yarns and all are welcome under this fun prompt.
Give a new-to-you Spinning Technique a shot! Try your hand at long-draw, chain plying or any other technique that you've always wanted to test out. Using new toys counts for this prompt as well, so try out that e-spinner or tackle that tricky drop spindle that keeps eluding you!
Hand Dyeing can bring new life to old fiber in your stash or it can just give you another great way to play with your fiber before spinning it up. Show us pictures of your before & after fiber dyeing projects then show off the final skein of yarn. Play with colors & get creative!
If you need some further arm twisting to join in, remember...
I hope to see a bunch of you participating and posting all your beautiful creations as we lead up to the big event this September 22-24, 2017 in Watertown, SD! Feel free to comment below with what you'll be making and/or what's inspiring you to create this Summer. I'll be project stalking with the NCFF accounts & will be trying to do re-posts of everyone's projects as the Craft-A-Longs continue.
PS: I realized that I never actually explained what my plans for the "Lifestyle" posts on Fridays would entail... Basically, I would like to use them to feature different events, people and places that come up as I go about this fun adventure of being a pattern designer. There are so many things that come across my radar and I want to share them with everyone so this is the space for those items. Most will feature some sort of fibery-something but from time to time I may feature a book or game review (sometimes I don't knit, haha). If this sounds like fun, just stay tuned, I've got some great posts coming up!