The first annual PEI Fibre Festival in Prince Edward Island was loaded with workshops and a yarn-happy marketplace to enjoy.
I was a guest teacher and definitely a shopper at the yarn marketplace to score incredible independent yarns, and also some finished creative pieces.
The main team, Linda, Kim and Bob, who were in communications with me well before the event to ensure I had all my ducks in a row were spectacular in organizing, structuring and communications with me. At the festival, their follow-up and communications throughout the event were incredible. I was in good hands from start to finish.
I arrived a day before the event to ensure I was well rested to kick off for a Thursday Afternoon class. The event location including the hotel room was clean and inviting. Well, lit for us who like to stitch in public spaces. The Delta by Marriot was the right venue.
Located directly down town in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The location is perfect for tourism and the number of eateries throughout the few blocks are great.
The hotel, located directly on the waterfront, is a perfect location to relax in the mornings before the activities all start up. Of course, what's a Canadian event without enjoying Tim Hortons.
Throughout the event, I was wearing my signature necklace which ended up being talked about. My stitch marker necklace is made of stitch markers women have given me over the years. It's my collection, and most of them represent a woman I have met along my journey. It's truly my personal treasure. Yes, it's heavy as hell, but I love it all the same.
I kicked off by learning to crochet from scratch. Some of these people have never crocheted before, and others just needed a refresher. One of the mistakes I made was not to have 'take-aways' for that workshop. It never occurred to me to do that. It's a lesson I had to learn, and I unfortunately disappointed one of the guests tremendously by lacking this detail. I will have to spend a few hours and make a take-away for this type of workshop, and it was the only class I didn't do a take-away for. Always learning... right!?
On the first day before the festival started, a group of three women started yapping at my at one of the diners that was going to the festival. By the end of the conversation, I felt we needed to a cheesecake to secure the friendship.
Throughout the festival, this group of three women multiplied into a group of 8. I will cherish the moments I had with this group. Most were strangers to each other but I felt we left with new friendships and I look forward to seeing them again in the future. A lot!
Thank you ladies for making my journey so incredibly meaningful.
I met many others that I kept running into throughout the festival and in my workshops. A smile, a laugh and a bit of sarcasm.
I met many inspirational people including Josie, owner of Jojo Juju Addi Express Knitting Patterns on YouTube.
She took my Influencer Workshop. She drove five hours early in the morning to take my 9 am workshop and then went home right after. To have someone in the workshop that has real content and looking for improvement or suggestions was truly awesome for me.
Along with two other women who were researching the idea of being an influencer, I felt it was the best workshop of the four I did. To look at a real channel and provide insight, into YouTube settings, highlights and the future. I stopped half way through and felt I was making a difference.
A New Business Friendship
This is Julie Ann of Twin Stitch Designs. I was obsessed with her energy and openness to learn. She was another teaching host and I ran into her on the opening day. You know how you run into someone new and you realize this person is going to be easy and connective to chat with.
One of my best moments professionally was running into Julie Ann while we were at the Sip and Stitch Lounge. She asked me to look at her website on her phone, and I was silent for way too long. She was hanging onto the end of her seat, asking for a blunt perspective.
I told her, I have my work laptop with me with tools to evaluate her site. If she grabs her computer, I will grab mine. We met back in the lobby and sat on the floor together and completely geeked out on really doing a hardcore dive onto her platform.
Honestly, I was in my element sitting with her one-on-one, and she was like a sponge. She was hearing really blunt and eye-opening things to watch for. She was changing her site in real-time.
Metrics and I are in the same sentence, but also website and marketing strategies. I see Julie Ann making some adjustments and watching her grow. She's on the right track already, but the few changes I suggested, I think you'll see her more in the future.
I think there may be an opportunity for workshops like this in the future as I have done this before with CHA of sitting with people who have established online businesses and giving them perspective and ways to improve—something to think about.
Let's talk shopping! The vendors I spoke to were so engaging and passionate about their products. A reason for colours, strategies for dyes and more. I got to meet one of the owners of Briggs & Little, a well-established brand here in the Maritimes. So sweet. You know, when you run into people who are doing the right job, vendors have that enthusiasm.
Briggs & Little doesn't sell to the public but you will see their yarns in many yarn shops, including the Great Canadian Dollar Store.
Running into friends vending, such as Lisa from Wanderlust. Lisa and I formed a connection years ago. She knew someone from my past, which was the second gateway to my love for the yarn artst, other than my mom. She put me in touch with that person and filled my cup with emotional joy.
I bought yarn from two other independent yarn dyers. Sweet Skein O'mine was really colourful and playful. the owners. Check out the link. You'll see colours and textured yarn that is really incredible.
I picked up a colour bundle from Gobsmacked Yarn. Another inspirational colourful person who will have you wondering about the colour choices you should get. So many great choices.
Finally, I met Lisa from Messy Crow. She's a felting artist. The fish is felted, and the way she does her ornaments and other characters, like the frog below, left me in awe. I knew Daniel would love a few things from her, and hell, I was obsessed with myself.
Of all of the stuff I purchased, this by far was my favourite.
Heads up for Students and Teachers
The scheduling is tight, with limited food resources in between workshops. I was socially responsible by cutting my budget and bringing groceries from home for breakfast and lunch. While the hotel has a lunch service, it's not fast enough for a teacher or student to eat with a prepared meal. The classes finish at 12 noon, and the next lessons start at 1 pm. The turnaround time is really tight.
I did go to my hotel room to make myself a sandwich for lunch, and glad I did in retrospect. I did hear some people were buying Subway and splitting the sub up to have something for lunch in their rooms as well. The show did provide, for teachers only, a lunch box each day at a nominal fee and was great value.
The choices to eat downtown are amazing, so you won't go hungry otherwise.
I want to make. this a yearly event to attend. I really had an incredible time and I thought it was so well organized. I made some amazing new friends and I even woke up in the mornings laughing about situations and stories that were shared by my new friends.
I felt welcomed and felt this event was inclusive. I didn't feel the snobby nature that a show might have. It was wonderful.
Like any event, go with an open mind and push yourself out of your comfort zone to meet new people. It's what I did and I loved it. I had so much fun.
There is talk of this returning next year. Stay tuned to their website for updates. It's the PEI Fibre Festival.