Last weekend, as soon as we broke camp, Himself and I proceeded north to Salida, Colorado for the Salida Fiber Festival. (It’s pronounced “sah-LIE-dah.” The lady who named the town could speak Spanish, but the postmaster couldn’t, according to Bob in the local museum.)
It’s a pleasant little place, and lucky to still exist. It was a railroad town originally, founded in the 1880s. A lot of these towns simply disappeared when the trains stopped running, but Salida was able to rebrand itself. Thanks to its location on the Arkansas River and its proximity to Brown’s Canyon National Monument, it is now a destination for kayakers, rafters, boaters, fishermen and mountain bikers. The Main Street storefronts have been taken over by galleries, antique shops, and shops of all kinds, and we can personally vouch for the existence of several good restaurants.
The Festival was held in Riverside Park, a lovely park overlooking the Arkansas. There is a pleasant River Walk alongside the river, with benches and picnic tables, where Himself and the other Guardians of the Swag could hang out and chat while their Significant Others pillaged the forty-nine booths.
Near the park, there was a small but interesting fiber art exhibit–an idea that I hope catches on at other fiber festivals. (That’s Himself fooling around with his phone.)
And there was a bit of high-caliber yarn-bombing.
“This Chamber of Commerce stuff is all very well, Roxane, but what about the swag?” I hear you ask.
The main reason I came to this festival was to be the first in line at Brooks Farm Yarn. They no longer come to Taos, alas, so I am reduced to chasing them all over the country. They dye a lot of sport- and worsted-weight yarns in sweater quantities, and their wool blends are a good choice for our relatively warm winters. The three skeins of the dark blue/green/purple is their merino and silk Solo Silk sport weight singles yarn, which will be made into Big Damn Heroes. The brighter variegated yarn is their wool/rayon/silk Acero, which will become either Donner or some variation of Boxy. And yes, I was first in line, so mission accomplished.
The alpaca-silk roving on the far right is from Greenwood Fiberworks. I had never seen a preparation quite like this–a blue/green/purple variegated roving combed with black. I am going to have to think long and hard before I spin this one.
The little gradient cake tucked in the middle is from one of my favorite dyers, Ann Podlesak, AKA Wooly Wonka. It’s her Arianrhod Sock, and will become a cowl of some sort.
And the felted earrings are by Kay Dudek, of Colorado Felt and Fiber Arts. She had some wonderful felted vessels and artwork in her booth; she also made the black-and-white wall hanging in the art show photo.
All in all, a wonderful little outing!