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A Year in Review: The Fibre Forge 2020

With our new website, we figured we should post a quick intro about the Fibre Forge.

The Fibre Forge is based in Hamilton Ontario Canada and was established in 2019.
It effectively created itself when three fibre-obssessed Hamiltonians just happened to cross paths at the Ontario Alpaca Spring Show in the spring of 2019.

They discussed the Hamilton fibrescape and agreed that, although Hamilton had many fibreartists and many indie dyers, there weren’t many outlets for community gatherings and vending opportunities. Being three individuals who love to organize and who love fibre, Lorraine, Mel and Amanda jumped in head-first to fill this gap!

March 2020
The first Hamilton Fibre Market was planned for March 2020. Fifty vendors were confirmed, with a strong focus on local farms, small batch indie dyers and local artisans. Unfortunately, the COVID situation caused the cancellation of the market one week out and we had to quickly adapt to a new world!

Even though the main event didn’t take place and isn’t going to take place in 2021 as per the original planned postponement, 2020 has been an amazing year and we have fantastic plans for the upcoming months!

Spring 2020
We remained active on social media, promoting and reposting our vendors on Instagram and Facebook as best we could.

August 29, 2020
Once restrictions began to loosen in Ontario, we held a small pop up market at Beneath the Sun Alpacas with six vendors set up outside on a lovely alpaca farm. It was busy! Folks came from as far as Peterborough, Markham and Niagara Falls to come and do a bit of masked shopping.

September 12, 2020
Yet another pop up market that was a *fabulous* day! The weather was perfect!
We set up 4 to 5 vendors in three different locations in West Hamilton: Angora Springs, On the Lamb Designs and Rampart Farm and Fibre Mill. Each location was small and folks travelled from one to the other keeping our vendors busy all day. Some commented that it was their best one day vending experience *ever*!
We even had one site of “trunk” shows where fibre artists sold out of their cars!

The back of a van opened up and full of an overflowing yarn display, along with a sign for Frayed Knot Fibre
Frayed Knot with an incredible trunk set up!
A VW station wagon with its trunk open and yarn displayed nicely within along with a table covered in skeins of yarn with a large sign that says Many Hues
Many Hues getting good use out of her trunk!

October 17, 2020
We had planned a second pop up market to take place in three locations, this time in East Hamilton but as before, the COVID situation worsened and we had to pivot. Instead, we held an online virtual event that whole weekend that saw a number of our vendors taking over our social media channels!

November & December 2020
We continued promoting our vendors, reposting their sales and special events!
And THAT brings us to the present…the Fibre Forge Academy!

January to April 2021
As of December 26, 2020 the province of Ontario went into a month long lockdown and we began to think about the cold winter months and being stuck in our homes. We wanted to see our community and to interact with fellow fibre artists, to learn new skills and start new projects….while also NOT necessarily spending hours staring at a screen.

The Academy was born!

We decided to offer weekly online classes, taught by local well known instructors, farmers, and business owners in our community and covering all sorts of topics: knitting, felting, spinning, crochet, etc.
The classes would be short, only 30 minutes, and be strongly focused on one specific skill that require some prior knowledge. A chance for folks to build on what they already know and challenge themselves, while also spending a bit of time with other fibre artists!

Next week, Jan 13 will be our first class taught by Robbie Laughlin “How to Make Variegated Yarns Shine!” and we are so excited to get this idea off the ground!!

We hope you will consider joining us!