Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair

Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair Classe

When I sit down to write in the winter months it is enjoyable to look back and reflect  on all of the guests that we have had at the barn.  Now with us still being in the middle of a very busy tourist season, it is hard to be introspective.  Here it is the middle of August, and rather than take time to reflect, my mind leaps ahead to all of the flurry of events yet to come to this summer.

Right now the focus of all of the excitement is the Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair Classes. What a treat is in store for the people in our valley and many visitors from hundreds of miles away, who will visit the fair.  The fiber fair has invited and will be hosting nationally known artist, author, teachers of the fiber world.  These individuals will bring with them talent, creativity, passion, and knowledge to share with those who choose to participate in the Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair and Classes.

This will be a great chance to take on a new challenge and adventure.  Just reading the list of classes makes me wish that there were more than 24 hours in a day!

Spinning anyone?  Just the beauty of an old fashioned spinning wheel with its intricately spoked wooden wheel and soft wood tones has always captured my imagination.  I would love to sit at the wheel on quiet winter’s afternoon and the feel the warm wool pass between my fingers and hear the rhythmic treadle powering the wheel as it magically turns the wool into yards of colorful yarn.  But what do know,  having never spun.  I would love to take Stephanie Sokolov’s spinning class.  As Stephanie, who lives in Boulder, Colorado, explains in her class description,” Bring your spinning wheel and prepare yourself to unspun adventures.  Are you ready to feel the power of your wheel and the places it can take you? Or spin on a spindle. “With a little patience and good humor you can become a fearless spinner.”

Of course, if you learn to spin the next step is weaving!  Libby Lundgren’s Cricket Loom Weaving will teach you the basic weaving: design, warping to create a little bag using fabulous yarns, some glitzy, some furry, some silky, embellished with beads, buttons, wool appliqué, or needle felted designs.

Weaving with 2 Heddles is a class to help you master the basics of rigid heddle weaving. Liz Gipson says,” Stretch your wings a bit and create cloth that spills off the loom.”  Author of Weaving Made Easy, and other books, Liz has also produced TV shows and DVDs on weaving and knitting. If you have already tried weaving and love it, you can take another class by Liz  and create a decorative wall hanging full of pattern, color, and textures.

Want to get your hands dirty and play a lot with colors?  Deb Waggoner from Hutchinson, Kansas will help you begin an adventure with color.  “You will need to bring an attitude of discovery and a bit of artsy fun,” says Deb. You will leave this class with your own hand dyed yarns….and then your imagination can really take off!

Izy Anderson’s passion and creativity with wool is contagious and you will leave her class with a beautifully crafted piece of rich colorful felting, which just bursts with possibilities for an artfully created fiber art piece.  Izy, who is from the mountains of Southern Wyoming, will share her passion for color and texture in her needle felting class.

Meet machine knitter Tonya Leach Trickle from Omaha and learn the skill of machine knitting.

Learn to create an entrelac hat from Marly Bird, creative director and author from Bajou Basin Ranch yarns.  Don’t know what entrelac is?  Now is the perfect time to find out.

Vicki Square, author, knitter, teacher, from Fort Collins will lead you on a journey of creating the Kaleidoscope Rug, a constantly changing sequence of color in a crocheted rug.

Traveling from Utah to share her expertise and knowledge will be Liz Moncreif, author, teacher, and weaver.  She will be teaching a soap making class and the large” gizzard-type” basket, reminiscent of the Amish egg or melon basket.  The basket uses wicker, reed, vines, dried vegetation, yarn, buttons, beads, or bones.  “ You’ll be amazed at the talent hidden in your hands and your mind,” says Liz.

If you haven’t met Phoebe Mouse yet, a trip to the fiber fair will be well worth it.  Author and knitter Joanna Johnson from Loveland has created the lovable, wooly character Phoebe Mouse, who is the celebrated character in the series of children’s stories. Joanna’s husband Eric, beautifully illustrates Phoebe’s adventures in the story book series.  In this class you will learn to knit Phoebe, herself.  At the fair you
can buy one of the books, which include patterns of Phoebe’s beautiful knit wardrobe.

Dating back to the Victorian Era, the Biscuit or Puff quilting has become a passion for Jill Dornan from Ft. Collins and she will share this art in a quilting class.

A new trend in the fiber world is going green with  creating beautiful art to wear from recycled materials.  “This class will definitely get your creative juices flowing and give free reign of self expression.  Using recycled clothing, labels, household items, notions, bling , and other tidbits you will walk away from this adventure leaving a lighter more creative carbon footprint.” says teacher Kathy Hartmeister.  From Colorado, Kathy is a custom designer, fabricator of unique canvas products, professional calligrapher, and prolific and passionate knitter.  Her original work has won recognition in national and international gallery shows.  She has studied with artists and weavers from remote Peruvian villages to the Swiss Alps.  She will also be teaching and sharing her expertise in a knitting class “Love Affair of Knitting” to get serious with technique, tips, needle knowledge and selection, gage and sage advise.

A hand knitting designer and dyer from Denver Cheryl Oberle is the author of many books and magazine articles, as well as self published designs and hand dyed yarns and kits.  Cheryl says,” Knitting is an activity of the hands and heart”.  She will be teaching the Diamond Shawl and the Faroese Shawl.  The Faroe Islands get their name from the Norwegian word for fairyland.  The Faroese shawl is a magical garment light as a feather and a wonderful canvas for lace knitting and color.

With are guest artists, we are very proud to host Scotts Bluff Valley artists.  Esther Warren will be teaching the crochet and felted scarf, which is embellished with novelty yarn and decorations, and a second class, Baby Headband and Hat- adorned with lovable decorations. Annette Haas will be teaching  the Toe Up sock with the magic loop. As a 4H Youth Development educator she has perfected this sock technique to share with avid knitters.

Donna Friebertshauser, a needle and fiber arts professor emeritus from Coastline College in California, now from Bayard, has authored several books and magazine articles. She is a co designer, judge, lecturer, and teacher, having won numerous awards.  She will be teaching the Blackwork Biscornu and Brazilian Embroidery.

Well now you have it.  This should be enough information to tweak you interest and your imagination.  The fiber arts classes will take you on a 2 day adventure that can turn into a life-long passion.  Check out the details at