This time next week, Fibre-East will be in full flow. All the months and months of planning will be over and we hope to see many of you enjoying yourselves at this celebration of all that’s great about British wool! Whether you are a Fibre-East veteran, or perhaps this will be your first visit, we thought it might be useful to share a few handy hints and tips to give you the best day possible. Read on!

Getting there

Fibre-East is held at Redborne Community College, Flitwick Road, Ampthill, Bedford. The postcode for sat navs is MK45 2NU. There is loads of parking, and members of The Rotary Club will be on site to guide you to a suitable parking spot. Blue badge holders have a specific area and will be directed to it as required. If you are travelling by public transport, the nearest station is Flitwick. A bus service runs from the station to the school on Saturday only, or you can take a taxi.

What to wear

Who knows what weather our good old British summer will bring next weekend! So keep an eye on the forecast and bring suitable clothing for sun/cold/wind/rain!!! (I’m not going to tempt the weather gods with anything else!) The vendors are all inside, either in school buildings or marquees, but you will have to go outside to move from one area to another. Layers are always good so you can cool down or warm up quickly and easily. Also, wear comfortable shoes as you will be spending lots of your day on your feet, walking around. Nothing worse than sore feet!

Do some planning in advance

Hopefully you have been visiting the blog over the last few months and will have been inspired and excited by the marketplace previews. Take a look at the complete list of vendors here and click through to their websites, jotting down any you are particularly interested in. Then you can make sure that you pay them a visit when you’re at the show. Take details of any patterns you are interested in making, such as yarn weight and yardage, so you can buy yarn with a particular project in mind. Take swatches of fabric or yarn for button matching too!

The Marketplace

The marketplace is spread out over a number of marquees and halls within the school. The vendors will be listed in the show brochure you will be given when you arrive, so you can check out where to head to first. You can mark any favourites in your brochure to revisit later in the day, and don’t forget to pick up any cards or leaflets from vendors you’re interested in.

Money

Set yourself a budget and try to stick to it. It’s very easy to get carried away with all the wonderful things on sale and before you know it, you’ve blown your entire yarn budget for the next couple of years! Take cash with you (vendors will love you if you have change too!) as there’s no cashpoint on the school site. You may be able to use a card with some vendors if they have machines and the wifi is working, but to avoid disappointment, cash is the best option.

Refreshments

We have a dedicated catering team on site with a seating area; you will be able to buy drinks, sandwiches, light snacks and cakes as well as more substantial meals.  You may prefer to bring your own packed lunch with you and you will be able to sit on the grass or at one of the picnic tables on the paved patio area. It’s probably a good idea to have a bottle of water in your bag as well as an ’emergency’ snack if your energy levels need a boost!

Meeting people

If you are hoping to meet up with friends, why not join the chat in the Fibre-East group over on Ravelry to find out who’s coming? Wear your Ravelry badge if you want people to know who you are!

Toilets

Being a school, there are quite a lot of toilets available, but be prepared to queue. There are also disabled toilets which use Radar keys. We will have keys at Fibre-East, but if you have your own, you might like to bring it with you.

Accessibility

There is ramped access to all areas.

Bags

Bring plenty of bags for carrying home all your lovely purchases! There will be a bag creche in the Farm Animal Sanctuary tent, located in a small marquee on the field. They will happily look after your bags for a small donation.

Enjoy yourself

As with any event of this kind, it can get busy and crowded at times. If it’s all getting a bit much for you, take a break and go and sit somewhere for 5 minutes. We want you to have a good time at Fibre-East! If you need any assistance during the day, please speak to one of our volunteers. You’ll be able to spot them as they will be wearing hi-vis jackets. They will be more than happy to help you.

We have a couple of last minute additions to our list of vendors – they will not be listed in the show brochure, so please make sure you check them out. The Wool Room are Fibre-East regulars and they will be with us again this year in their own marquee, close to the catering marquee. Old Hall Confectionery will also be joining us selling sweets such as fudge and toffee.

Although there is no ‘have a go’ marquee this year, there are a number of guilds who will be demonstrating their skills over the weekend including the Bedfordshire Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers,  the Guild of Machine Knitters, the North Herts Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, the Knitting and Crochet Guild and the Guild of Long Draw Spinners.  P-Hop, Griffiths Mill and The Farm Animal Sanctuary will also be in attendance.

Advance tickets sales closes on Sunday 24th July. After that time, you will still be able to buy your ticket on the door. Tickets cost £8 for adults and £3 for children. Check out full ticket information on our website. If you have purchased your tickets in advance, there is a separate door for you to come through which will be clearly marked. Please bring your Paypal receipt with you and have it ready to show, so you can be waved through like royalty! The event runs from 10am to 5pm on Saturday (July 30th) and 10am to 4:30pm on Sunday (July 31st.) If you have any questions at all about this year’s show, please leave a comment and we will do our best to help. Don’t forget to print out the great discount vouchers that will be in the final newsletter, coming to your inbox in the next day or so!

Have a wonderful time and enjoy yourself!