Sunday, August 4, 2013

Midsummer Spin-In and Fiber Fair -- Can we call it a Wren Faire?

Lois Olund of Bellwether Wool Company waved her magic nostepinne and voila! A new fiber faire happened!

Well, maybe it wasn't quite that easy, but it was nearly that magical. Lois has been busy all over Ravelry, posting notice of her new brainstorm, a spin-in that grew into "maybe a couple of vendors of we're lucky, we'll see, hope someone comes..." and blossomed into a full-fledged brand new fiber fair in the tiny community of Wren, Oregon, catered by New Morning Bakery from Corvallis.

No one is calling it a "Wren Faire" yet, but give 'em time...

To help make this new fair a success, two friends and I carpooled in, two of us from Salem, one from Rickreal, and we drove down Highway 99 to Monmouth, went through that town to get to King's Valley Highway... and drove... and drove... and drove... and said, "How far is it to Wren? Let's see, Peedee comes first, then is it Wren or King's Valley? How much farther, do you think? We haven't passed it yet, have we?"

But no problem, we were driving through some of the most beautiful country on Earth. On the way we discovered a covered bridge, decommissioned now and moved off of the highway. It was going to be torn down, but the schoolkids of Peedee said, "No, not our bridge!" and with the community, raised enough money to preserve the Ritner Creek Bridge. We stopped to see the bridge, and found the foundations of an older bridge and the remains of an old road, probably originally a wagon road, near the bridge itself. A few clues about the history of the area.

Pretty soon after the bridge, there it was, right alongside the road!

The Wren Community Hall was all decked out, with vendors inside and out, and parking in a mowed field across the road.

That "couple of vendors, maybe, don't call it a fiber fair yet," had grown into 25 vendors, many of them well-known among local fiber show aficionados, like Stitch Jones, SpindleWood, Creekside Fiber Mill, and more.

Even the little shavers found something to be interested in. Wheels always fascinate them.

As did the animals: some cashmere goats, some sheep, and some llamas for petting.

Inside, more vendors, and of course the spinning circle for the spin-in as this event was originally envisioned:

Our own Stephania of Three Fates Yarn came with her gorgeous fiber and yarn:

The youngest attendee was but seven weeks old, but having a good time. She's a little Welsh Corgi puppy. I never knew they came in "blue," with blue eyes!

LaVelle and Helen, with whom I carpooled, enjoy the spin-in:

As for the buying part, I made out like a bandit! I didn't buy a lot, but boy, I got some bargains. I picked up nearly 20 oz of washed natural black Wensleydale locks out of a "sale" bin for a mere $4.75 -- for the whole bag! I grabbed up seven full spools of cotton warp yarn for future weaving projects. Why not when they're only $1 each? And the book, The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook, was a door prize! The most expensive thing I bought was lunch, which was $10 and well worth it.

This is definitely going on my calendar for next year!

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