Fiber Arts Day at Manor Mill

We went to Fiber Arts Day at Manor Mill today. It’s sort of a gallery/arts center where they have classes. It’s where I took a basket making class recently and they’ve been expanding their offerings. It’s about 45 minutes away in rural Baltimore County. We saw a lot of pretty trees and water and drove over a few one car only bridges.

It’s a pretty small place with limited parking (it’s in an old mill building right on a rural road with no shoulder) and I was glad to see they thought ahead and had you buy tickets that were timed to spread out the crowd. Very clever!

We had fun and the booths were mostly from people who have taught classes there before so if you like their stuff, you can take a class with them! I did hope there would be more demos.

One woman selling yarn and fiber was spinning and the poorly named Greater Baltimore Weaving Guild had some people weaving but I wouldn’t call them real demos and they weren’t planned or scheduled. It was just like what you see any other festival, the people at their booths working during downtime or to help sell their wares. Which is fine but for $10 admission, I expected a little more than just a shopping experience. That’s a little steep! I think $5 would have been a little more in-line with the experience if they wanted to charge at all.

They had a woman there selling dye plants from a farm called Spore and Seed. We got some amaranth and marigolds to plant. Looking forward to that!

I bought a daffodil punch needle pattern and yarn from a shop I had actually already bookmarked on Etsy. I’m not loving my cyantype weaving and thought it might work as my seasonal project due at the guild meeting.

The booth was a little odd, she was selling patterns she drew herself and yarn she hand dyed that coordinated but she didn’t know how much yarn each pattern needed. I picked out the pattern and some yarn but she wasn’t sure if it was enough.

I walked away but when we were leaving she called me over and said she called her husband and got him to look in her notes about the yarn. Which worked for me but how odd to sell a pattern and dye your own yarn to go with them but not know how much the pattern uses? That’s a pretty crucial piece of info! If I didn’t get enough yarn, I wouldn’t be able to finish the project because it was all hand-dyed and I wouldn’t be able to match it with commercial yarn.

She seemed sort of surprised that not know if I had enough would be an issue for me. I think she was trying to imply I could come to her and buy more if I needed it but she doesn’t have a store front and I live about an hour away from where she said she was based. Aren’t people buying the patterns to make them? There is always one perplexing booth at these events!

She said sometimes she sells this pattern with the yarn included but had sold the last ones earlier in spring. She did have some other kits but the only other one I really liked included the punch needle and I already have a full set of Oxford needles I got on mega clearance a while back.

She did have fun stuff and was helpful in figuring how to bundle the yarn so I could get it like 3 balls for $10 vs buying just 2 for $8. It was just a little strange to not be sure what yarn the project needed or not have it included in the pattern.

I do think it worked out cheaper to buy yarn from her than tracking it down at another store because I only needed a tiny amount of some of the colors and could buy exactly that. That’s what has sort of stopped me from doing more punch needle in general, I don’t have a huge stash of wool I could pull from and buying a $12 or more skein when I only need an ounce or less isn’t super appealing.

Would totally go again! It was indoors which was great because it started to pour as soon as we pulled in the lot. I’ve never seen another place that had a booth selling a variety of dye plants before so that was worth it alone. We talked to a lot of the other booth owners and they were all super nice and enthusiastic. I loved the Loranimals booth, she does custom felted animals to look like your pet and a lot of other cute felted items.

It was a nicely curated group of booths which really made it worth the drive. Not a lot of duplicate items and everyone had a really fun niche.


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