The Jorstad Creek booth was swamped with visitors and friends stopping by to look at the locally produced yarn, fiber, and hand dyed yarns displayed with our samples. The Madrona Fiber Arts Festival is a four day retreat that took place on February 14 – 17. We were asked to join other vendors in the market place, a large event room filled with amazing yarns and supplies. Our booth was situated against one wall flanked by other wonderful vendors who were generous with their advice and genuinely interested in what we were offering customers.
Knitters and spinners both stopped in to talk to us about locally sourced yarn and wanted to know where we obtained our fibers. By Sunday I found myself losing my voice, I talked so much. I was gratified to see so many people interested and appreciative of our efforts.
Locally sourced yarns we offer include the icelandic I have been blogging about, as well as Finn Sheep yarn from the east side of the state, and a new addition, Gotland yarn from nearby Auburn, Washington. The Finn was so popular all the natural grey was sold out by the second day. Some of the icelandic yarns also sold to the point I only had a couple of skeins left on the shelf by the time I packed up on Sunday. All of the proccessed Gotland fiber in the dark grey sold to spinners faster than I could package up the 4 ounce bags.
The Gotland yarn fairly flew off the shelves. This yarn and the fiber it is made from has a sheen rivaling silk. It is shaded in a pearly grey that Gotlland sheep are known for. I was as anxious to try it out as some of the knitters who bought it from me. The remaining inventory of this beautiful, subtle yarn will be up on the website shop very soon.
Just in time for Madrona the BK Collective launched on ravelry.com with six patterns. The first on-line pattern was sold within 30 minutes of the launch! To help out and show off the new patterns I was joined in my booth by designers Kaia Petersen and Jann Hoppler from the collective. Together we were able to show samples and patterns designed for the Jorstad Creek local and hand dyed yarns and help knitters choose a yarn.
We also worked with knitters to choose yarns to work with pattterns they brought with them. I was impressed with visitors to the booth who brought their IPads, or whipped out their smart phones to check the pattern material list before making their choices. More than one person brought their hard copy of a pattern to us to consult on how they could make the project with one of our yarns. I was thankful that just prior to Madrona we put together a reference table listing the yarns, yarn classification, and wraps per inch (wpi). This table will be added to the website shop to help on-line buyers pick the correct yarn weight.
Toward the end of Madrona the booth was visited by a couple of knitting celebrities in the world of yarnies, and frankly I am still basking in the afterglow. I will not name them to protect their privacy, but I am encouraged by all of the kind words and sincere interest in Jorstad Creek and the BK Collective.
We are not resting on our laurels. Up next is the Vogue Live! event in Bellevue, Washington. I have more icelandic yarn just in from the mill to bring to this event that starts on April 5. I have named this yarn “Hetta” for one of the Icelandic ewes that produces this grey-hued two-ply. We are knitting samples, dyeing more colors, and getting ready to meet more knitting friends! I sure hope you will stop by and say hello.