(March 8, 2019) Yarns, fabrics and other materials pursued by the region’s growing legion of crocheters and knitters will be on display at the sixth annual Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo starting today at the Ocean City convention center.
From Friday through Sunday, more than 60 vendors will be selling wool, fabric, wood, reed, yarn and finished products in addition to spinning wheels and looms, rock painting kits, quilt fabric, weaving and spinning supplies and sewing machines during event.
“There’s always new vendors … there’s always new stuff to see,” organizer Susan Childs said. “We’ve been doing the expo for six years and it’s really grown and we are just really pleased with the growth of it.”
Processing, spinning, hooking and weaving equipment can be purchased during the event, as canknitting needles, carders, crochet hooks, ceramic buttons and bowls.
Twenty-two classes are scheduled for Friday and Saturday for an additional fee. Class sizes are limited and buying a ticket in advance is suggested.
Workshops include learning how to knit or crochet, learning how to use a drop spindle, making felted soap, hand painting yarn, Viking knitting, quilting and a new technique called macroweaving.
“They’re using roving, which is the big thick yarn balls that you get to spin with, but they’re using roving to do macramé with,” Childs said.
An additional knit in will be available offsite for both Friday and Saturday at a craft house located in Ocean Pines. The three-hour knit-in will allow knitters and crocheters to practice their craft. This is not a class.
Merchants from Delaware and Maryland will be offer their wares, as will vendors from Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, Florida and Michigan.
More than 2,000 people came to last year’s expo, Childs said.
“If you’re a yarn person, there is no better place to find quality products,” Childs said.
New this year will be a “De-stash” bin, which allows participants to drop off unfinished or leftover yarn or supplies in order to purchase new materials.
“If I see something that’s useful, it’s really hard for me to get rid of it,” Childs said. “So what happens with people that like yarn, is we tend to have a problem of over-buying and it’s really hard for us to get rid of it and then you go to a show like this — you can’t you just can’t in your mind justify buying anything else because you know at home you’ve got all this [yarn].
“De-stashing is where you go in and you clean out your yarn or craft supplies,” she continued. “Visitors can bring yarn that they no longer want or projects that they no longer want. The Forage Club of Worcester County is going to be manning that booth and that’s who’s going to be the recipient of all this product.”
The Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo debuted in 2014 as Fiber Fest after Childs had been thinking for a couple years about creating an event for knitters.
She was always knitting in public places such as the doctor office, the beach or while camping and people would tell her they wished a class was available.
After some research, Childs realized all knitting classes in Berlin, Ocean City and Bethany Beach were offered during the week. In addition, Childs raised sheep for a while and found small farmers have a hard time selling and distributing their product.
“The thing about this show that makes it so wonderful is it’s very colorful and it’s warm because of the type of exhibit which is wool,” Childs said.
Finally, guests can sign up for the expo’s first knitting cruise. The cruise will take place from March 27-April 4, 2020, traveling from Baltimore to Nassau, Bahamas.
A one-day pass for the Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo costs $3, or pay $5 for the entire weekend. Tickets can be purchased at the door. The festival will run Friday, Feb. 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will continue Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information and a full list of vendors, visit www.woolandfiber.com or contact Childs at 443-235-2926. Also, check out Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo on Facebook.