Jamie Graham worked on a ‘bobbin lace’ project at the Prairie Fibre Festival last year at the LMC. This year’s event runs on Sept. 16. Mark Weber/Lacombe Express

Jamie Graham worked on a ‘bobbin lace’ project at the Prairie Fibre Festival last year at the LMC. This year’s event runs on Sept. 16. Mark Weber/Lacombe Express

Prairie Fibre Festival coming up at the Lacombe Memorial Centre

Featuring booths and tables filled with fibre, yarn, bags, fibre art and products plus plenty of supplies and equipment, the Prairie Fibre Festival runs Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lacombe Memorial Centre.

There will be a ‘sit and stitch’ area, classes and a variety of demonstrations.

For information about the available classes, which participants have to register for, head to www.prairiefibrefestival.ca.

“This is our seventh year,” said the organization’s owner/operator Lori Desrosiers. “This time, we are working with the Lacombe Museum and the local library, and we are having kids’ classes — they will be weaving a bookmark.

“One of our vendors donated the bookmark looms, so there will be two classes for the kids — one in the morning and the one in the afternoon,” she said, adding that those sessions will be taking place in the Kinsmen Room upstairs.

“This is new for us, as we have never had kids’ classes before. But we always have kids come to the event, and they are always interested.”

Another change this year is holding the ‘Sit and Stitch’ event upstairs in the Servus Credit Union Room instead of downstairs in the cafe.

“It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. so that means before the vendor hall opens, you can come in and sit and stitch with your friends.

“It’s much more spacious — we can fit 80 people in there,” she said. “We also get a lot of people from Edmonton and Calgary. They are meeting their friends from either of those cities or from the rural areas. So it’s a way to spend more time at the Festival — you can sit and stitch for a bit, shop for a bit, then go and sit and stitch again,” she added with a laugh.

“Also, our classes are going on until 5:30 p.m. so if you are waiting for someone to be done with their class, you can wait in there.”

With fibre art continuing to grow in popularity, interest in the Festival is certainly growing.

“I love that it also helps to support small businesses — especially the independent ones who dye their own yarn. A lot of those people run their own businesses, and they don’t have storefronts and some of them don’t even have an online presence.

“This is a good opportunity to get stuff from them. I’ve had many vendors who have started out with just a very small table, and some yarn, and now they are some of the main attractions at the Festival,” she explained. “They’ve expanded their businesses, and that makes me feel good because I know that their businesses are supporting their families,” she said.

“Also, I just love this. I get to create the festival that I would want to go to. I stay true to that.

“A lot of the festivals are getting really big now, but I like the small town, smaller festival scene. I get to meet people from all walks of life and visit with my fibre friends,” she said.

Fibre art runs the gamut from knitting, crocheting and spinning fibre to weaving, cross-stitch and embroidery.

Ultimately, it all makes for a very fulfilling venture for Desrosiers, and she is continually encouraged by the positive feedback she receives after each event.

“We all know each other, and we welcome new people. That’s what I want to keep.

“I also like to see the attendance grow because it means more people are getting into fibre craft or they are interested in what I am offering them which encourages me to keep going, to keep growing and to keep bringing more vendors in.”

Visit www.prairiefibrefestival.ca or find them on Facebook and Instagram.