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Sandra Barrett :: Review of Olds College Fibre Week (2016)

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

Fibre Week at Olds College

June 17-23, 2016

Olds, Alberta

Fibre Week at Olds College is an annual event, usually held in the third week of June.

felt :: feutre member, Sandra Barrett, attended the event and wrote this reflection on her experience.

Laurie Steffler demonstrates how to make an exotic felted hat

Potential buyers intent on the silent auction of raw fleece in the Merchant Mall

I’ve felted a hat, made and painted a nuno scarf with dyes and had fun at Olds College Fibre Week in Alberta – working in Laurie Steffler‘s felting class for three days.

I also attended Caroline Sommerfeld‘s excellent workshop on starting your own fibre business, which should be compulsory for all fibre artists!

One of Laurie Steffler

One of Laurie Steffler’s fabulous felted creations modelled at the fashion show by a lady with matching blue hair.

My still damp “Winter Warmer” felt hat includes some of Basil the Alpaca’s fibre, Merino, Corriedale and Tussah silk

I didn’t have the chance to see much of the spinners and weavers,  but there was a fashion show, and  some of their beautiful work (and mine) was strutted down the runway!

At the sheep fleece judging and fibre sales in the Merchant Mall I found a woollen mill which will convert fibre from my own alpacas into socks!

On the way to Olds I stopped in at Shuttleworks, where everything is 30% off as the owners are retiring. I bought a double width carding machine, perfect for making my alpaca fibre into batts.  I called in to Custom Woolen Mills on the way home and was given a personal tour of the whole operation.

I’m delighted with how the whole trip has given me new information to absorb and share.  Thanks to the Canadian Federal Government, who paid my tuition fees as part of a targeted initiative for older workers.

Sandra Barrett

Eye of the Needle Studio, Fernie BC

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