High in Fiber
The Midwest Fiber and Fiber & Folk Art Fair enjoyed another successful turnout at McHenry County College July 17 through 19. The three-day-long event – in the spirit of “Celebrating the Work of our Hands” – included a marketplace, workshops, an art show, food and beverages, and live music.
“We had 87 vendors this year,” said Carol Cassidy-Fayer, fair founder and director.
Among the highlights was an art show, DIY fashion show, garment competition, demonstrations and special guests Maggie Jackson, an Irish designer/author; and Nora Murphy, a Minnesota knitter who recently published “Knitting the Threads of Time: Casting Back to the Heart of Our Craft.” In addition, live performers included the Berrymans, Small Potatoes and Mark Dvorak. “This is really a one-of-a-kind fair,” Cassidy-Fayer explained. “There are several fiber arts trade shows and events, but none that pull all (disciplines) together – everything from felting and spinning to knitting and crocheting.”
The market for fiber arts is large and growing, she said. “There were 35 million knitters in 2000 and 53 million knitters in 2007 – it keeps climbing,” Cassidy-Fayer said. “This event is a great networking opportunity and a chance to learn about a variety of fiber arts.”
Pulling off such a large fair requires the hard work and continuous planning of Cassidy-Fayer and her team of volunteers. “We’re always talking about evolving and growing the fair,” she said. “Next year, we are planning to bring back the Vintage Handbag Exhibit.” n