Wisconsin Sheep & Wool; Midwest Knits Project

I spent last weekend at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival in Jefferson, WI, helping out the comedically talented Carl at the Bijou Basin Ranch booth. In between fondling the yak/bamboo blend and taking Flat-Stanley-style pictures of Lego Spider-Man, I had a great time hanging out with current YarnCon friends and making possible new ones. It was thrilling to see our save-the-date bookmarks on vendor tables throughout the Country Store, and it was a good thing I’d brought more along to replenish their supplies!

Emily of Bricolage Studios was our next-door neighbor, which facilitated a few “Home Improvement”-style chats through the booth dividers. Thanks, Emily, for not minding the many folks I sent over to use your mirror! Rita (Yarn Hollow) and Carla (Cjkoho Designs) had me in stitches every time I headed past their combined space to the trashcan or the parking lot; there was no sneaking past those two without exchanging a joke or an idea for next year. Jeanette from Sun Valley Fibers let Spidey crawl all over her booth without calling for Security. My pal Sam tagged along for the ride up from Chicago, and more than repaid the favor by scouting new vendors for next year: at the hotel Saturday night, she handed me more than a dozen business cards from interesting vendors to research. Thanks for a great time, y’all!

Tell us: who would YOU most like to see bring their goods to next year’s YarnCon? Our mission is to spotlight regional, independent fiber- and fiber-related artists of all types, so if you’ve got an indie fave we should check out, hit us up with a name and a link in the comments below.

And speaking of regional: Midwestern Knits is a book project helmed by Allyson Dykhuizen, fiber world tour de force, together with fellow knitwear designer Carina Spencer. The book promises 12 patterns inspired by the stories and culture of the Midwest while highlighting regionally-sourced yarns. Allyson has supported YarnCon from the very first: variously as an instructor, vendor, and sponsor, always with her unflagging enthusiasm and positive energy. Please help us support this endeavor of hers in return! Allyson and Carina are taking pre-orders and raising funds for the project via Kickstarter, with only two weeks and a little less than half of their goal to go. All the details are here.

And now for some Lego Spider-Man in action:

Loss Prevention Specialist

Loss Prevention Specialist

In the Forest of Yarn Merry-Go-Rounds

In the Forest of Yarn Merry-Go-Rounds

Sales Floor Associate

Sales Floor Associate


  1. It was great to meet you and hope your son enjoyed Spider-Man’s adventures.
    Is it wrong that I hope I am a vendor nex year? 🙂 I plan to apply.
    Gnome Acres would be a fabulous addition, too. http://www.gnomeacres.com

  2. I wanna nominate myself as an indie dyer of fiber and yarn to be at YarnCon next year. http://www.essentialfiber.com and I want a booth next to Bob of ‘Bob’s Alpaca Ranch’…. you know, the guy that sells that buffalo fiber and has pics of musk ox in his booth?

  3. I’m hoping that my favorites from last year, like Yarn Hollow, Yarn Geek, Fleur de Fiber, Bare Naked Wools, and Puff Paff Fiber are back this year. I second Gnome Acres, and would also love to see Bramble Wool Farm http://sawmat.com/shetlandwool.html. They have the most amazing pin drafted roving for spinners. I saw them the last 2 years and the WI Sheep and Wool Festival.

    I took an art yarn spinning class last year, which was amazing. I’d love to see more wheel spinning classes, dying with natural dyes class, weaving classes, beginning support spindle class, and advanced drop spindle techniques.

    Loved last years Yarn Con 🙂

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