Twist Fibre Festival

By Megan Goodacre

Twist Fibre Festival

Good Monday everyone!

So much to talk about.

One more week until back to school. I love this time of year A) because I'm a big nerd and I really love school and buying new paper and school supplies; B) because the kids are getting underfoot and It's Time; and C) because it means Fall is coming, and that's the best time for knitting.

Three big projects are in the works. First, I have 82 (oops, nope, 81) skeins of Sweatermaker yarns to add to the shop for knitting kits. Second, I have been working on a new collection of designs in Americo Original yarns, perfect for Fall layering, and I'm hoping to release them soon. Thirdly, I just finished teaching two big workshops at Twist Festival, and will be teaching 3 more at a retreat in early October. More on the October classes soon!

Twist Fibre Festival

Wow, what an event! 100+ vendors, 30+ workshops, and thousands of happy fibre lovers. It takes place in the sweet little town, St-André Avelin, an easy 1 hour drive from Ottawa. (I am told the poutine at Dame de Coeur (queen of hearts) is excellent because of the bonus layer of cheese, but I did not partake.)

I taught two classes.

Surviving in Fibre Land: How to Craft Your Brand. This was a full day, intensive crash course on how to grow your audience, grow your business, and develop your brand. I developed the course especially for Twist, making it a survival kit for small creative businesses. We discussed how to develop a branding system, how to reach an audience, and demystified a lot of the jargon you hear about "branding".

The other class was Proposal to Print: How to Get Published. We looked at all the places to get published, how to tailor your submissions, and how to make an effective proposal. We talked about writing, photography, seasonal themes, marketing niches and more.

It was great to see lightbulbs going off and the wheels turning. Thank goodness I had a translator, the lovely Gabrielle, a recent (bilingual) communications and marketing graduate.

Being in the workshops meant I put most of my energy into teaching, rather than shopping. My wallet thanks me because there was a lot of beautiful yarn to buy. I did meet the product developer from Swans Island; as I was packing up from my last class, Jackie was coming in to set up for one of her four dyeing classes. I had the opportunity to briefly fondle the very fabulous Swans Island samples. Deliciously soft Maine-grown merino and more. And, if I understood correctly, most of the colours are hand dyed with naturally derived dyes. (Most because there are a few exceptions in the EcoWash product line).

I spoke a little French. I learned some new words. I knew the word "mijoter" from French cookbooks (from when we lived in Vaison) but did not know that it could be used metaphorically as well. Literally, it means to simmer. Metaphorically, it means you've got an idea developing. I love idioms, and particularly like this one because je mijote tout le temps. My hamster wheels are always turning. I wonder how that one translates?

More thoughts and updates as the week progresses.