Fiber Market at Old Slater Mill, Jan 20 & 21
Lively and colorful yarn and fiber bazaar returns to Old Slater Mill
(Pawtucket, RI) Each January, fiber farmers and artists converge at historic Old Slater Mill in Pawtucket RI for the annual Fiber Market, part of the mill’s Knitting Weekend mini-conference.
The Fiber Market is a bustling bazaar of natural and hand-dyed yarns and rovings, artisan-crafted accessories and tools, glass-blown buttons, natural soaps, tasty baked goods, knitting and craft books, clever gifts, and more.
And your attendance serves a dual objective: a fun shopping experience that supports small, independent businesses; and, a visit to the historic 1793 Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark, inside which this annual market is held.
“It is a special occasion, and an ideal opportunity to marry the present with the past. What better place to support micro-farmers and sellers of fiber products than inside the nation’s first successful textile mill?,” says Lori Urso, executive director of Old Slater Mill Association.
The marketplace showcases eighteen vendors from all over New England, including Dirty Water Dyeworks, Tidal Yarns, Fiber Stash Dyeworks, We Got the Buttons, Rag Hill Farm, Upton Yarns, Wee Ones, Bosworth Spindles, Ball & Skein, Subito Farm, Dancing Threads RI, Katrinkles, Purgatory Falls Alpaca, Good Karma Farm, Dursin & Sons Merino Roving, Surplus of a 70s Seamstress, and Biltmore Wool Barn. The RI Hook & Needle Guild will hold their annual bake sale, and the Slater Mill Book Shop will be chock full of books and gifts.
“We have a great model running, but still we try to improve Knitting Weekend every year,” says Erika Davis, program director for Slater Mill. “This year we’ve adding a fabric nook, offering 1970s vintage fabric swatches on a self-serve system. That’s a first.”
The market is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 20 and Sunday, January 21. Admission is free, as is an entry into the annual door prize raffle– a Berroco Gift Bag featuring the company’s newest yarns.
Visitors are also invited to view an exhibition of works in fiber and textile by Margery Winter, Suzi Ballenger, and Priscilla Carrion.
“Knitting Weekend in general is intended to inspire creativity,” says Urso. “This happens during knitting classes most obviously, but also passively by exposing visitors and participants to materials, makers, and works of art that use color and fiber in artistic expression.”
Knitting Weekend is a program of Trad Arts Studio at Slater Mill, with the sponsorship of Berroco, Inc., the Phyllis Kimball Johnstone Foundation, the City of Pawtucket, RI State Council on the Arts, the National Park Service, and the Old Slater Mill Association.