Jillian’s Spinning: Planning for a Fiber Show – the Shopping
Maryland is coming! Maryland is coming! Who’s going? I am not this year, but I am going to the Michigan Fiber Festival in August and no matter which fiber shows I go to, big or small, I plan for the shopping the same way.
Step 1: Obsess over the Vendors List. I study that thing harder than I ever studied at school. I usually print it out and highlight it within an inch of it’s life – must buy, must see, just look quickly, go look if there is time. That’s four levels of vendors, but wait there’s one more…
Step 2: Plan project buying. My first run at the Vendors List is like a five-year-old me at my birthday party, hopped up on sugar and shredding the paper off of my gifts. Think of a curly haired Tasmanian Devil. I have to get it out of my system. After I am satisfied that there is an extreme amount of amazing fiber possibilities I settle down a little. I look at idea lists and patterns and pick a few to shop for, usually three. One just won’t do and more than three is overwhelming to me. Then I match projects to highlighted vendors.
Step 3: Print out a Festival Map and mark my vendors on it – in many colors. I usually enlarge the map at home or at a copy shop, so I can fit vendor’s names on it.
Step 4: Come up with some sort of a budget that I never, ever, stick to.
Step 5: Consult with my traveling companions and adjust shopping needs because they always have great ideas I hadn’t thought of. We also plan some divide and conquer shopping like standing in line for Jenny the Potter, Miss Babs, Lisa Souza and lunch.
Step 6: Make a color coded spread sheet that matches the map. Don’t judge, it gives me joy.
Then I go to the show, lose my mind with happiness and wool fumes, do about half of my list and spend twice the money I budgeted. It never stops being fun.
Jillian is the author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts.
She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing.
Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com