Michigan Fiber Festival | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Michigan Fiber Festival

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The Michigan Fiber Festival ain't about Metamucil. Instead, think sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, rabbits, and a bit of silk, cotton, and flax. More than 100 vendors, most based on small farms in Michigan, will be selling fibers in all forms, from raw fleece to finished yarn. (A common sight at the fair is women walking back to their minivans carrying garbage bags full of roving--washed and carded wool ready to be spun.) The aforementioned animals are on display in barns, and in addition, this year the Icelandic Sheep Breeders of North America will hold their annual convention at the same time and place; the rare sheep, raised in isolation for more than a millennium, carry a double-coated fleece that can grow 16 inches in a year. There'll be free demonstrations all weekend of shepherding and sheep and goat shearing and workshops in carding, dyeing, locker hooking, knitting, crocheting, tatting, spinning, felting, and weaving; three-hour workshops start at $40. Drop-in miniworkshops are free. On Saturday night a buffet dinner will be followed by a fashion show; camping is available on-site for $18 a night, which includes two passes. Wed-Sun 8/16-8/20, Allegan County Fairgrounds, 150 Allegan County Fair Drive, Allegan, Michigan, 269-948-2497 or michiganfiberfestival.org; $4 (children under 8 free), weekend pass $6.

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