Interest in fiber arts has taken off in the art/craft world with fiber fairs being held throughout the USA and also internationally. Indiana has several fairs taking place throughout the year. INCrowd members should be aware of these as they offer opportunities for both selling and learning. All have free admission and free parking. Some allow you to camp although there is a charge. Come visit one or all of these fairs to see what's there!
The biggest one is held in Greencastle (Putnam county) and took place last weekend. Weather was not the best, (windy, rainy, cold -- Indiana in the spring!) but it's a great show. Three buildings full of yarn, roving, equipment (spinning wheels, looms, spindles, dyeing solutions, etc.) as well as many patterns, books and finished items. The community building is the one with climate control; the Fiber Arts barn is a good area and there is also the Sheep Barn which is open to the weather and has a packed dirt floor. Web site: www.thefiberevent.com. Two of the buildings are already sold out for next year. The fair offers workshops which are also filling rapidly. One of these is basket making (weaving). I set up across from an Indianapolis north side knitting group selling felted purses and they had one of the busiest booths in the building. Had a chance to see a couple of llamas up close as they were penned across the aisle from me. Angora rabbits were somewhere but I didn't find them.
Some vendor space is still available at the Hoosier Hills Fiber Fair held in Franklin at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Dates are June 6-7. Scott Hall is air-conditioned and is already full but there is space in the other building or outside if you have your own tent. They are offering classes on felted flowers, fiber identification, and an easy knitted shoulder wrap. The Society for Creative Anachronism will be offering information and demos on fiber art in the middle ages as well as a combat demo. Come watch the guys bash each other! For the first time the show is offering a skein competition for the spinners in both beginning and experienced levels. They are also promoting the Bags2Riches 2008 competition. For information on that competition, go to www.bags2richesindy.org. (Hey, purse people: big prizes if you win!) Admission and parking are free. Web site is www.hhfiberfest.com. If you are interested in being a vendor, they will admit "old timey" crafts; check with the web site. This is a show that has a lot of alpaca but they also have silk, angora and other fibers which are nice to see and touch even if you don't buy. Vendors are friendly and generous with information and they come from all over the country -- we've got one coming from S. Carolina with hand painted yarn to die for!!! I always make a bee line to the book booth of the lady from Michigan. Stuff that you would ordinarily have to order from Amazon is here (without the expense of postage!) and you can look through the book and see what's in it and if you want it.
There is a smaller fiber fair in the Ft. Wayne area May 9-10 at Salomon Farms. I do not have much information about this one; you might try contacting the Ft. Wayne Parks Department or try Googling Salomon Park, Ft. Wayne. Fair is held in two buildings in the park area.
The Southern Indiana Fiber Arts Festival is held October 18 at the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Corydon. They will have workshops, live music (outside; not inside!), fiber animals (I saw my first real live alpaca there!) and lots of vendors selling a variety of items. This show admits a very few arts that are not directly fiber related -- photography, polymerclay beads, china painting (shameless self-promotion!). They have two buildings (one of which is somewhat open to the weather) or you can set up a tent outside. A calendar of fiber events all over the world is listed on their web site, www.southernindianafiberarts.com.
For those of you in the northern part of the state, there is a big fiber fair NW of Chicago at Crystal Lake, IL at McHenry County College on July 18-20. The fiber people are quite excited about this and it features a fiber art show. All vendor spaces are filled this year and they are already signing up for 2009. Those of you on Indiana's eastern border can cross over into Ohio. There is one May 10 at Troy, near Dayton at the Miami County Fairgrounds (Upper Valley Fiber Fest) and a well-established one just north of Yellow Springs on September 20-21 (held at dairy farm noted for its ice cream!!!) which also features a herding dog demo. Web site: www.awoolgathering.com.
These are specialized fairs but could well provide an opportunity for some of us to show our work. If your craft has anything to do with fiber you might want to look into these. It's also great to see what other people are making and what they do with fiber. They're fun to attend even if you are not showing! You can learn a lot there!