This is my longest blog post yet, but that is just because SAFF is that awesome! SAFF stands for Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair. It is the largest fiber fair in the southeast. They have animal contests, fiber arts contests, tons of classes, a giant vendor hall, and more. It was so amazing and I thought I could share some of the best parts with you.
Before SAFF even started we had some fall fun and I got to check something off my bucket list. SAFF is in Asheville. That is in the mountains of North Carolina and about 4 hours from our house. We decided to go out a day early and enjoy the fall foliage on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is only my third fall since I was born in the tropics. The colors are just amazing! Check out this picture my brother – Bobverse Photography – took.
Then we went to the Biltmore Estate. I have wanted to go there for a while. I love the Serafina book series and they take place there. The Biltmore Estate was built by George Vanderbilt and is the largest private residence in America.
The Vanderbilts must have loved fiber as much as I do because it was everywhere. Amazing 500 year old wall tapestries that took 10 years to complete, velvet and silk walls, drapes and bed linens that were so detailed and made of the finest materials. It was a dream come true to visit.
The next day SAFF kicked off, so we were up and out early. I registered to take a Van Gogh-themed wool painting class (I will share more about that in my next post.) and I needed to drop off my competition pieces.
I entered a skein of yarn that I made on #Petuniathespinningwheel and an amigurumi scene that tells you the way to my heart! (Hint – the way to my heart always involves parmesan cheese!) I am so excited to share that both of my entries won first place in their categories. The skein of yarn is 100% alpaca. I got it from Alpaca Dreams in Louisburg, NC. The alpacas who donated this beautiful fiber are named Esme and Accelerator.
These entries from adult fiber artists also won big prizes. They are just unbelievable. They are both examples of needle felting – which is what I learned to do in my class at SAFF. I hope to be as awesome at it as these artists are. Check these out!
I also got to see my first spinning teacher – Miss Julie! Any day that I can see her and give her a hug is a great day. There are some people who don’t take me seriously because I am 10. Miss Julie never skipped a beat when she heard I was 10 and has given me so much. She always says spinning changes people’s lives. It sure changed mine!
In the afternoon we headed to the vendor hall. There were two huge areas with vendors and we visited every single one at least once. I have a shopping process. I like to visit everything one time. I touch. I feel. I ask questions. Then I circle back again once I know what all of my options are. I made some amazing purchases and I will show them to you in the video below.
I stopped at The Spotted Circus a couple of times. The booth caught my attention because #1 the fiber was lovely and #2 there were SpinOlution wheels. Petunia is a SpinOlution. Elizabeth from Spotted Circus had the SpinOlution FireFly. It is an electric wheel and I was curious to learn more. It is always fun to talk to people who love fiber a ton like me!
Then I found Hippie Chix Fiber Arts. Holy cow! Or maybe I should say holy sheep? They had so much fiber and the prices were very reasonable. I bought 4 oz. of cashmere from them. That will be such a treat because I have never blended or spun cashmere before. They had row after row of baskets overflowing with beautiful fiber. Lucky for you they have an Etsy shop! So even if you did not go to SAFF you can still explore what they have.
And I saved the highlight of my day for last! I stopped by Susan’s Fiber Shop. They came all the way from Wisconsin for the fair. I bought this beautiful braid of fiber there.
The colorway is called Grapevine and it is such a soft blend of merino, silk, and cashmere. I can’t wait to create something amazing with it!
Susan is an Ashford dealer and was sharing space with Richard and Elizabeth Ashford. They came all the way from New Zealand for the fair.
The Ashford family has been making wheels and looms for over 80 years. I got to try one of their electric wheels and I fell in love. I was not sure I would like spinning without treadling, but I did! And it is so small and portable. It will be a long time before I can splurge on one, but I added it to my vision board today. Because life is better when you dream big…..
Here is a video tour of the vendor hall and a little bit about my big purchases!! I hope you enjoy it.
The next big fair I am going to is Dallas Fort-Worth Fiber Fest in April. I have a scholarship and can’t wait to go to some amazing classes!