There are bits of fiber paradise all around the world at our favorite local shops, but when they come together at an event like Interweave Yarn Fest, it’s an experience like no other.
The marketplace is like having 50 fiber shops all in one place. It’s a bazaar that will wow your yarn senses and elevate your fiber love. It’s also a room with 50 shops in it, which means there’s a lot to take in.
We asked some of our Yarn Fest veterans for their tips to help your marketplace visit be the very best, and here are their top 5 recommendations.
1. Three times the fun.
Plan to make at least 3 passes through the marketplace. On the first pass, scope out the booths you’ll want to come back to (and snap up anything one-of-a-kind that may not be there on pass #2, such as a fleece from ANIROONZ Sheep Company or your dream spindle from KCL Woods). On the second pass, home in on the items that caught your eye earlier, whether it’s equipment from Eugene Textile Center or Susan’s Fiber Shop or some irresistible fiber. Then take a break—sit and admire your purchases, and more importantly, see what goodies your friends found. Look at the vendor list and see if you missed any booths you really wanted to look at. Is anything you saw still calling your name? On the third pass, ask if there’s anything you’ll later regret passing by. You don’t have to make all 3 passes in quick succession; in fact, I may make one pass each day the marketplace is open.
~ Anne Merrow, Interweave Editorial Director, Yarn & Fiber
2. Be prepared.
The marketplace is my favorite thing about Yarn Fest! The classes are absolutely wonderful, of course, but the yarn, fiber, and other goodies call to me every year, and I have a hard time resisting their siren song. At my first Yarn Fest, I was unprepared for the sight of so many tempting products and ended up spending waaaaay more than I had planned. If you have a tendency to do the same thing, here’s a little tip: determine what you want to spend ahead of time and only bring cash to the marketplace. That way, you’ll come away with something you love without blowing your budget!
~Rachel Koon, Managing Editor, Interweave
3. Sometimes say yes to temptations.
The marketplace holds many temptations. I enjoy perusing the essentials but try to bring home something extra special. All Interweave crafts are represented from weaving to tatting. Several of the vendors offer handmade tools, one-of-a-kind hand-dyed yarns, and specialty items that are hard to find. You won’t want to miss out on getting these special items, so be sure you include them in your budget.
~ Elizabeth Prose, Assistant Editor, Spin Off and PieceWork
4. Take note.
The marketplace is impressive and can be a bit awe-inspiring when you first enter. So first, take the time to look at everything before you buy. It might even be worth going into the marketplace as soon as you are able so you can see what the vendors have to offer when they are fully-stocked. Take pictures (if you’re allowed) or make a list, then return to buy your favorite things at the end of the day or the next day. Don’t delay too long though, sometimes the thing you love the most might sell out. It’s also helpful to try to keep a budget in mind, or you might find yourself spending all your food money on yarn. If you need a good excuse to expand your budget a little, I’ve used this opportunity to buy really special yarn for Mother’s Day and birthday gifts. Gifts made from these sort of purchases can be extra special. Also, take this opportunity to chat with all the vendors. They love yarn as much as you do, and you’ll find yourself fast friends.
~Sara Dudek, Editor, Interweave Crochet
5. Enjoy being in person.
Like so many of us, weavers like to see colors up close and personal rather than trying to match colors on a monitor or laptop or using a tiny swatch on a color card. While at the event take advantage of visiting vendors to see fiber up close. One of my favorites is Red Fish Dye Works. Red Fish dyes the finest of silks and other fibers in a range of colors that will stun you. Check out their booth at Yarn Fest. You can pet the silk and plan your next project knowing that the colors work well together and that they will make the perfect scarf. If you are a spinner, you might like to know that they also dye fiber, luscious fiber, in colors and colorways that will amaze you.
~Susan Horton, Editor, Handwoven
Above all, have fun!
Slip on a pair of your comfiest shoes, grab your shopping bag and a friend, and join us at Interweave Yarn Fest. Our annual multicraft fiber festival will be held at the Embassy Suites Loveland Hotel Conference Center & Spa in Loveland, Colorado, just an hour north of Denver, April 12–15, 2018. You can visit our site to get more marketplace information, see all the vendors coming to this year’s event, or pre-purchase your pass so you can walk right in!