Winter Woolfest 2013

Yesterday I went to Wamego’s annual Winter Woolfest.  I’ve been having some social anxiety again lately and so I was a little nervous about going, especially because I decided to attend a demo and a class, and sometimes, learning new things is stressful for me.

Luckily, the social anxiety stayed away, and I had a really good time. I got there early because I wanted to sign up for one of the limited space demos. The vendors were already set up and several other attendees were in line waiting for class sign up.

The first demo I attended was about shuttle tatting. Truthfully, I had no idea what tatting even was prior to the demonstration.  I found out yesterday that tatting is a way of making crisp lacework by making knots with thread and a tool called a shuttle (you can also do it with needles, but the person doing the demo made a good case for using a shuttle and that’s what she was showing us how to do).

Tatting looks fun, and though this wasn’t a class, I did sign up to take a class if they offer one in the future. It looks intricate but not complicated, and like knitting, it looks like once I get the hang of it I’ll find it nice and relaxing.

At the demo, I met up with my friend V and we did a little more browsing before going to the Mexican restaurant down the street.


This was my first time eating at Toto’s Tacos, but it was tasty and the inside is cute. It’s only open for lunch most days, so we got there early to beat the crowd and spend some time relaxing. While there, we met another knitter/spinner. The three of us exchanged numbers and planned to meet up for the local knit night in a couple weeks.

After lunch, it was back to the Woolfest where we did some more browsing. Every time I go to one of these things, J. Felbs tells me to bring him home a miniature alpaca, one the size of a Corgi. I’m sure he knows they don’t exist, but a man can dream, I guess.

V and the Little Alpaca
V and the Little Alpaca

I didn’t actually bring this one home, but it was adorable.  Among the other vendor booths were yarn and roving and tools, and it was painful to walk by without buying anything. I was saving my spending money for after the last demo. Plus, I’m trying to pare down my yarn stash before acquiring anymore, but saying “no” to new yarn is not easy.

Before our second class, we hung out with Stephanie (our new knitter friend from Toto’s) at the spinning wheels for a little bit, and I finished knitting my own project. Not long after, the drop spindle class V and I wanted to go to started.

The spinning wheels looked fun…this may be a thing in my own fiber arts future…

I’ve avoided spinning for a long time. The idea never really interested me until recently, and then, even though I started having a passing thought to try it, I didn’t think I really needed another hobby. But when V suggested we try it, I decided to see how it worked. Besides watching other people spin, seeing all the beautiful colors of roving at the fest also sparked my curiosity.

I borrowed a drop spindle and roving from the instructor and gave it a try. At first, I couldn’t seem to get what everyone was doing. Spatial tasks don’t always sink in right away for me, so I needed a little extra help from V. Eventually, though, I figured it out. The techniques the instructor taught weren’t easy for me to follow, so I sort of modified things a bit. Apparently, like knitting or crocheting, there’s really no wrong or right way to do it. It’s all about getting a finished project.

Though I enjoyed it, I decided to hold off on buying a spindle and roving. V’s going to let me try it a few more times on her tools. When it comes to hobbies, I tend to go all in, spend a lot of money, do it a few times, and then let everything it on the shelf and collect dust. I figure a few more times trying it should give me a better idea as to whether it’ll be something I pick up on a regular basis. If I continue to like it, then spinning will be in my future.

It was a good time at the Woolfest and I’m glad I went. Besides just being a good morning, it also sparked my enthusiasm for knitting and learning new things. I’m definitely going to try to make it back next year.