Knitwear designer and author Shirley Paden [submitted]

PEI Fibre Festival

Marketplace, workshops, lectures and social events

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The first annual PEI Fibre Festival will be held in Charlottetown at the Delta from September 23–25. Created to support the Island’s wool industry and the crafts people that work with wool and fibres through knitting, crocheting, felting and rug hooking, the Festival will feature a MarketPlace, lectures, workshops, ceilidhs, Fibre Fan Lounge, Sip & Stitch Lounge and more. 

Up to 2000 participants are expected to attend the Marketplace which will feature over 30 vendors with wools from various animals, many hand dyed with natural products, tools of the trade and more. The Marketplace is open to the public and tickets are on sale now.

Thirty workshops by local and international instructors will be held throughout the Festival. 

Shirley Paden, an internationally recognized hand knitwear designer and author, will host two workshops. Her designs and articles have appeared in the leading magazines in the hand knitting industry, as well as in 17 different books and in the collections of leading yarn companies. Her first book, Knitwear Design Workshop (2010) remains a key industry reference.

Coming from Utah, Kristin Drysdale is an independent knitwear designer, instructor and author of The Nordic Knitting Primer. Inspired by her heritage, she specializes in Scandinavian colorwork and design. Kristin teaches workshops across North America and Europe, sharing her love for Nordic knitting and colorwork tips and tricks gleaned from a lifetime of Scandinavian knitting.

Christopher Walker and Jamie Godin of Cabin Boy Knits fame will present the workshop Early Indigenous and European Natural Dye Practices in Canada.

Sylvia Olsen will present the lecture, Finding the Scottish Connections to the Cowichan sweater—the anatomy of cultural fusion. As a knitting historian, she is curious about connections and the way one knitting tradition borrows and blends with others. Her life and studies have been deeply immersed in Coast Salish knitting. She will share the links between Scottish knitting traditions such as Fairisle and the Cowichan sweater from British Columbia.

Local felting artist, Lisa Freeman will host two workshops, one of which sold out in just days. Lisa and her husband moved to PEI from Ontario in 2016. In 2017 Messy Crow Studio was hatched, a quaint seasonal studio on their Souris property.

Andrea and Madeleine Doig from Fruity Knitting will be coming from Germany to not only meet participants but to also tour PEI and showcase what PEI and the Festival has to offer their almost 80,000 YouTube subscribers.

Rounding out the Festival program are social events and a Fibre Fan Lounge where participants can meet some of the celebrities of the knitting world, get books signed, ask questions, and hang out with their favourite podcasters.