It starts with a stitch and a knot, and leads to a cup of tea and a chat.
On Sunday (Aug. 21) the inaugural Fibrations festival of fibre arts will bring together social groups and solo artisans who share a love for creating anything out of fibre.
The event features a series of workshops and demonstrations to be held throughout the day in the orchard of St. Ann’s Academy.
Local social knitting groups range from formal – the Victoria Knitters’ Guild has a president – to informal: the Bitchy Bees meet at pubs.
But the fibre arts community is much more than that, says Sarah Thornton, who classifies herself as a spinner first, weaver second. There’s also felting, crocheting, sewing, quilting and more.
“There’s nothing like knowing which sheep a handmade piece of clothing comes from,” she says.
And that’s how Fibrations came about. Well, that and the fact the long-running Victoria Fibrefest was cancelled this year.
Sunday’s gathering will boast tables of local crafters selling anything and everything to do with fibre, from the functional to non-functional. Wares include sweaters, hats, scarves, wall hangings and sculptural pieces.
“It’s not just the creators, but the suppliers,” Thorton says. “They’ll range, too, from freshly shorn Island sheep and alpaca wools in need of processing to the standard, ready-to-use materials found in commercial shops across Canada.”
Local musicians will also perform, including the Singing Quilter.
“It’s a community celebration of fibre art with demonstrations, some of them hands-on, for solo and social artists as well as for first-timers and kids.
“In fact, it’s really a perfect place for newcomers to get their bearings on the logistics of how to get started and where to go.”
A loonie-toonie raffle will feature 25 pieces of handmade merchandise donated by event volunteers in hopes of recovering the day’s production costs.
Among the items is a sweater made from the wool of Mo, an alpaca from Morrison Creek in the Comox Valley.
Other items offered as raffle prizes include books, wool roving, spinning and silkscreening, as well as handmade yarns, hats, shopping bags, scarves, weaving lessons, purses, tea towels, dyes, an umbrella, an apron and a messenger bag.
The event runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Ann’s Academy, 835 Humboldt St.
For more information, visit www.fibrations.ca.