In little over a month, as you approach Redborne Community College in Ampthill, you are likely to be hit by the heady aroma of yarn fumes, which may lead to much fondling and squishing of yarn and fibre, purchasing of said yarn and fibre, admiring the talents of the guild members as they demonstrate their skills, buying equipment to learn a new fibre art, chatting with friends and making new ones! Yes folks, Fibre-East 2016 is getting ever closer! It’s the weekend of July 30th/31st and you can buy advanced tickets now to save having to queue on the day! Simply go to the website here  – it’s easy! Let’s take a last look around this year’s marketplace and meet some more of our fabulous vendors.

If you’ve been to Fibre-East before, you’re bound to have been enchanted by the spectrum of colours on the Debonnaire Yarns stand. Erica hand dyes a large variety of luxury yarns in vivid colourways and designs simple but elegant patterns to highlight these yarns. She will also be bringing her silk yarns which are available straight or embellished with beads and sequins. These silk yarns have been hand dyed for Debonnaire specifications by a small ethical business in India for several years and Erica has designed many patterns for these yarns as well. To round out the collection, Erica stocks several select commercial yarns – some sourced directly from producers in Italy – including Mille Colori yarns. You’ll also be able to stock up on Addi and Hiya Hiya needles and Clover accessories if you can’t wait to cast on on your next project before you get back home! If you’re looking for colourful yarns, make sure you visit Debonnaire Yarns.

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Fox Tapestry Design produce unique tapestry kits inspired by landscapes and memories from around the world. Each kit uses wool produced by a small mill in Cornwall, and hand dyed with a variety of natural dyes, creating a rainbow of glorious colours. As they use only natural dyes, every batch of wool that they produce is unique. There are often slight variations in colour within the yarn which gives it that special character that can never be obtained using synthetic dyes. All of the kits include wool, canvas, needle and a coloured chart with full instructions. So whether you are an experienced needle-worker, or just starting out, Fox Tapestry Design has the perfect kit for you.

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Black Bat are passionate about British Rare Breed Wool. They source British Breeds from farmers and smallholders and have them spun here in Yorkshire by Halifax Mill.  Their aim is to supply wool which is 100% Brtitish and make people aware of just how many different types of wool we have in this country. (Around 65 at the last count if you’re interested!) They have the wool spun just the way it comes off the sheep and apart from occasionally adding a bit of alpaca to add a new colour or make a limited edition softer yarn, they try to simply show the wide variety of textures and colours that are available. At the moment they have about 30 different breeds including limited supplies from some of our most endangered breeds like Soay & Boreray in everything from 1 ply lace to super chunky and hopefully by July will have even more. So if you’d like to find out more about some of the rarer breeds of British sheep, Black Bat is the place for you. They are very happy to tell you much more about what they do and you can browse their range of patterns too.

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Spinspired will be making their third visit to Fibre-East this summer. A husband and wife team, Spinspired produce a diverse range of materials and equipment for various textile and fibre crafts including knitting, tapestry weaving and spinning, as well as unique hand crafted items of clothing and accessories. This year their range of tapestry  frames, blending boards, drop spindles and peg looms has been extended to offer a wider range of frames and peg looms, with new colours, sizes and timbers available. They also have hand washed and carded fleece from various breeds, a lovely selection of hand spun and hand dyed luxury yarns, and hand knitted shawls, scarves and socks. A small selection of unique knitting patterns and kits will be available too, so there’s plenty here for you, whatever your yarny-persuasion!

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Jane Crowfoot will be bringing her beautiful crocheted blankets along to Fibre-East this summer as well as yarn and all kinds of knitting and crochet notions – everything you could possibly need if you want to get started on a blanket of your own! Jane has always had a love for yarn and all things crafty and attributes her ‘crochet gene’ to her Great Grandmother, Alice, who was seldom seen without a crochet hook in her hand and a few granny squares upon her lap. Jane has worked as a freelance designer and design consultant for the past 20 years and has worked closely with both Debbie Bliss, Rowan Yarns, Jamieson’s Of Shetland and Stylecraft. Jane says: ‘I think crochet is far more organic than knitting and requires less planning when designing. I often start a project without any clear idea of what the finished product will be. Crochet pieces can start small, perhaps with just a flower motif which will fit the palm of your hand, yet they can end up being large enough to act as a cushion cover or a throw’. So if you’d like to find out more about what inspires Jane, and perhaps be inspired to start your own project, come along and have a chat with her.

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Doodlestop create some of the most innovative and fun tools and accessories for fibre artists in the UK. Whether you are a knitter, crocheter, felter, spinner, weaver or dyer, they have something there for you, and if you’re just starting out, then they have starter kits to help you catch the bug!  They have also created the popular wip-o-pedia project journal, and similar books for dyers and spinners which are a fantastic way of logging information and memories of projects. Doodlestop are a family business, and work together from their home in the Cambridgeshire countryside. If you’d like to learn a new craft and want everything in a ‘ready-to-go’ kit, check out what’s on offer on the Doodlestop stand. What a perfect way to get introduced to a new skill!

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Yarns from the Plain sells British yarns and fibres, including some custom spun blends, all hand-dyed with love in the heart of the Cheshire Plain. Dyer Nic takes inspiration from nature, art, music and stories plus of course her love for British wool in all its forms. She looks forward to returning to Fibre-East this summer and is delighted to be able to showcase her new crochet kits, a collaboration with Agrarian Artisan Designs. Each kit contains a pattern and all the yarn needed to make it. If you’re interested in kits using British wool, then add Yarns from the Plain to your shopping list when you visit in July.

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Kettle Yarn Co. will have a stand again at Fibre-East. They carry the most scrumptiously luxurious and hard-wearing yarns sourced from ethical mills. Not only are these yarns amazingly soft on your skin, all blends are carefully chosen to reduce negative impacts on the environment. Linda will be bringing skeins of her new British blend Baskerville which is hand dyed with natural indigo. This yarn was recently reviewed by yarn guru Clara Parkes so read about it before getting your hands on it! She will also have her other popular blends at the show like Islington British BFL/ silk, Beyul yak/ silk / merino and Westminster baby Camel / silk. Linda will also have amazing new designs and samples to showcase by several well known designers like Renée Callahan. So if you’d like to sample something that’s both luxurious and ethical, go and take a look at the Kettle Yarn Co. stand.

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Last but by no means least in our look around this year’s marketplace is Watercolours and Lace. They will be bringing their luxury natural fibre hand-painted yarns, patterns and accessories.  They’ve recently introduced new merino yarns from the Falkland Islands and their range of 20g mini-skeins has been extended to include British Alpaca Silk 4-ply as well as BFL 4-ply – these will all be available at Fibre-East. Watercolours and Lace hand-paint yarn in a variety of lace weights, from cobweb upwards, and a range of 4-ply thicknesses. All are dyed in small batches, using a technique which results in subtle colour variations and gradations, without harsh stripes or pooling. So if you’d like some beautifully dyed yarn, make sure you go and say hello to Julie on the Watercolours and Lace stand.

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So that brings to a close our tour around this year’s marketplace. I hope you’ll agree that we’ve got a wonderful range of vendors for you to discover when you come to Fibre-East next month. I cannot wait to see them all arrive and start unpacking their wares. I’ll be there on Saturday, shopping along with you! My list gets longer by the day!

Thank you to everyone who left a comment about classes at Fibre-East. All the names were put into my yarn bowl and the winner of a rather lovely skein  of yarn is Mutley. I’ll be in touch with you soon.

Next time, we’ll be looking at what else (yes, there’s more than just shopping!) will be at Fibre-East this year. Also, if you’re not yet signed up to our newsletter, you might like to do so as there will be some discount vouchers from some of our vendors included in the newsletter which will be emailed in the week before the show. The sign up box is at the bottom right of the page. Don’t miss out!!