Vankleek Hill’s second annual Fibre Frolic may have actually benefited from a soggy weekend, as a steady stream of visitors came through the Creating Centre on both days of the indoor event on October 2 and 3.

“The rain didn’t seem to slow anyone down from coming!” said Indigo Hill Dye Studio owner Andrea Belcham, who helped to organize the event. “Our vendors unanimously declared it a success – they were so happy to have this opportunity to connect with old and new customers after so many months of conducting only online sales.”

“It makes such a difference in sales and in spirits as a vendor to be able to have face-to-face conversations with customers.”

Visitors to the Fibre Frolic, which ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, came from Montreal, Gatineau and Ottawa, as well as from the Vankleek Hill area. Belcham said the knitters, spinners, crocheters and sewists who attended the event were happy to have the products right in front of them.

“Textiles are so tactile in nature – it’s difficult to convey texture and even real-life colours as an online vendor,” she explained.

Organizers of the event were helped out by multiple volunteers, including several from Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute, and local door-prize donors. Belcham said organizers are already looking towards a third edition of the VKH Fibre Frolic in 2022, with even more vendors and – if conditions allow – textile-related activities for the public.

Belcham and other area businesses held the first festival in Vankleek Hill in 2020, after many of the annual fibre festivals that she and other producers would normally attend were either canceled or moved online. With no place to display their products, she and other fibre businesses in the area opted to organize a local festival.

Having the products right in front of them allowed shoppers to feel the texture and see the real-life colours of the wools and yarns on display. Photo Reid Masson