10 July 2013

Fibre Week

I got home from Ontario with a nasty cold, and spent one full day in bed drugged to sleep with Advil Cold and Sinus so that by the time I got to Olds for Fibre Week I might have a chance of surviving. The sleep did seem to help, and I got the motorhome all packed up, all the gear loaded, and managed not to forget anything important.

I arrived to a rainy afternoon and some people standing about in bright yellow rain gear. Apparently southern Alberta was in the midst of major flooding (I don’t listen to the radio, usually, so I had no idea this was going on) and many conference attendees were unable to get through as the roads were washed out in places. This, unfortunately, included my business partner, who was stuck on the other side of the mountains with all the roads between us closed due to flooding and mudslides!

That meant I was on my own for setup, but I just made lots of extra trips and took my time getting things organized. The booth finally got put together and by Friday noon, we were ready to roll.

The Batt Bar was an amazing success. It was set up like a salad bar: pick your ingredients (as many colours as you want, then the ‘toppings’, like silk or sparkle or carbonized bamboo) and I’d blend it all together for you. On Saturday there was a steady backlog all day, folks would choose their ingredients and come back in an hour or two to pick up their batt, once I got through the pile of waiting fibre!

I was super busy at the vendor mall during the four days I was there (my partner did arrive on Saturday, so I had some help with hauling things and having meals delivered and such!) and I took it easy and skipped most of the evening events and such as I wanted to be sure I had enough energy to make it through the week, but it was awesome to be at Fibre Week, as it always is. By Monday afternoon I was running on adrenaline alone, but I did make it through and I enjoyed it all.

The event was such a success, we were able to order a new, wider drum carder that means we can make batts at about 4 times the speed, which is wonderful! There’s now an online batt bar at our shop, too, so people can have this much fun even when we aren’t there in person doing our street entertainment gig. (Several people commented that watching me was like watching a busker or a street entertainer at work – not only did you get a cool batt, you got a show!)

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