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Fiberfest returns, but at new location

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April Rongero, right, and Joanna Ng, of Arlington, Virginia, browse through the skeins of yarn Saturday during Fiber Fest, held at the Frederick Fairgrounds.

By CJ Fairfield

For the first time at the Frederick Fairgrounds, Fiber Fest returned with hand-dyed yarns, handbags, scarves and more.

The Frederick News-Post sponsored event brought out nearly 60 vendors and almost 1,000 people, according to Dawn Dayhoff, classified sales representative for the News-Post.

In previous years, the event was held at the paper’s building, but Dayhoff said as the event grew, it needed a larger space.

The idea behind the event came when the paper was looking for unique event ideas, and Dayhoff being a knitter, suggested a festival to bring other knitters and crocheters together.

The festival was largely pushed through social media with the help of the festival’s mascot, Al the alpaca, a life-sized cardboard cutout of an alpaca that was donning a knitted scarf at the fest.

Dayhoff said she enjoys seeing people come together for the event explaining that knitting and crocheting can bring people together. She added that she also likes seeing the different yarns and finding different patterns.

First-time vendor, Cortni O’Hara from Dillsberg, PA, was selling hand-dyed yarn from her company Rita Mae Yarns.

“We’ve done about seven festivals this year in the area,” she said. “We’ve sold a decent amount of stuff [here] and there’s been a lot of traffic today.”

Also attending the festival for the first time was West Virginia resident, Claudia Tidwell. She said she has been knitting and crocheting since her grandmother taught her as a little girl.

“I think it’s a nice show,” she said. “Small and manageable.”

The festival also brought out cotton vendors, like Hagerstown resident Catherine Snesrud. The owner of She’s “Cuter in a Skirt” uses 100 percent cotton to make skirts for babies and little girls.

Snesrud said she was impressed with all of the different variety of colors and types of yarn that the festival had to offer.

“It’s fascinating to just see the yarns because there’s such a range of colors, it’s almost impossible to take it all in,” she said. “I don’t knit but i’ve learned a lot from talking to some of them about what they do.”

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