10
Jul

Second Annual Oakland Yarn and Fiber Festival

Second Annual Oakland Fiber & Textile Festival

July 10, 2011, at Splash Pad Park

The Oakland Fiber & Textile Festival, a free, family-friendly public event, returns to Splash Pad Park Sunday, July 10. Local artisans and craftspeople representing all the fiber arts will offer their wares; fiber enthusiasts will demonstrate crafts such as knitting, spinning, and weaving; and visitors can learn everything from handling and sorting raw fiber to making finished textile products.

Last year’s inaugural festival was a hit, with attendance exceeding expectations despite blistering heat. Hundreds of visitors of all ages browsed the fiber offerings and watched demonstrations. Newbies who took needles in hand for the first time with $1 knitting instruction went home
with needles and yarn, as well as a brand-new skill.

This year there will be added focus on the make-and-take tables, where the fiber curious can try their hands (kids’ hands welcome!) at crochet, needlepoint, felting, and more for a nominal fee. Here the skills handed down through the generations, the ability to create something with your hands, will be passed on to visitors.

“With the Fiber Fest we are trying to bridge the gap between fiber farms in the rural areas and the end users in the cities, between the raw products and the finished garments, and most of all between those who have skills and experience to share with those interested in learning,” says festival co-founder Bente Petersen.

The festival is the brainchild of Petersen of Piedmont Yarn & Apparel and Lou Grantham of San Francisco Fiber, Oakland merchants committed to building community through public/private synergy. Working with other local merchants, the Oakland City Council, and the community at
large, Grantham helped transform Splash Pad Park from an abandoned, ivy-covered eyesore to a community gathering spot.

Visitors have the opportunity to directly support local artisans and merchants, and any profit made by Petersen and Grantham on the festival itself will be donated to the Friends of the Park.

Vendors will offer raw materials such as freshly shorn alpaca, sheep and goat fleeces, and brightly colored artisan-dyed roving and yarn; finished products such as hats, shawls, and sweaters; notions like handmade buttons; and accessories such as shawl pins for a great finishing touch. More than 30 vendors, guilds, and nonprofits will be participating—almost twice as many as last year.

An exciting addition this year will be the fabric-swapping booth. Still have that piece of Superman print for pajamas for your 4-year-old, who is now 17? Come trade it for something for yourself. “Where else can you try knitting, crochet, needlepoint, felting, weaving, spinning, or
quilting in one day? It’s a win-win-win agreement,” muses Petersen. “Vendors get exposure, the city gets some revenue, and the public is inspired to create, which benefits everyone.”

For more information please visit www.oaklandfiberfest.com

Posted by Urban Fauna Studio Intern:: Tina Li

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