A Look Behind the Scenes: Prepping for a Yarn Show Part III

Mar 31, 2022 Anne Smith

When last we spoke, we had packed up the van and were hitting the road for Carolina Fiber Fest in Raleigh NC. Thankfully, this show was fairly local to us so our drive was around 2 and half hours. We have done shows as far away as Minnesota and New York which makes for 9 to 10 hours on the road or more! Once we arrived at the venue, we had to check in and scope out the area to find out where our booth was and where would be the best place to park and unload. Of course, it started pouring rain as soon as we started to unload. Not to mention the dog show that was also happening at the same location which made parking super fun. 

At this particular show we planned for our standard 10x10 booth setup, but due to last minute cancellations by other vendors we were offered a double booth instead, which made unloading easier since we had twice the room to offload in without taking up our neighbors booth space. Thankfully our booth was pretty close to the door, so shlepping all the stuff inside was manageable and we were only slightly soaked. We've done some fun load/unloads that involve multiple sets of stairs. Phew! 

Once we're inside, the first step is to assemble our grid wall, which consists of multiple panels and feet that all have to be lined up precisely and screwed together which take approximately 15 hands and several strong backs, and maybe a curse word or two. Once our 2 grid walls are up, we add a roof, side panels, lighting, fabric backing, and of course our Queen City sign. Next we consult our booth map layout and hang the hooks and shelving accordingly. Then it's time to add the yarn! This part is pretty quick, thanks to planning ahead and thoughtful packing.

Once the yarn and fiber is in place, we can fill out the booth with signage and other accoutrement like lotion bars, Pom poms, mini's and of course our gorgeous samples. Since we had a large booth at this show, I brought along my spinning wheel for demonstrations on how I make our Handspun line. 

At each show, we have a table with a featured yarn, and this time it was a new Coleman yarn. It was a big hit, and placing the table front and center, along with our mannequin June, it draws people in for a closer look. 

After setting up the checkout stand and making sure everything was neat and tidy we were ready to roll! We spent the next 2 days meeting and greeting long time customers we haven't seen in awhile, as well as putting our faces to our brand for new customers that haven't seen us before. It makes for long days on your feet but offers us a great chance to get our yarns in the hands of lovely people like yourselves! 

Then it's time to do it all in reverse! Disassemble everything in a neat and orderly fashion so that we can easily do it all again the following weekend! 

I hope you've enjoyed this peek into everything that goes into getting ready for fiber shows. I bet you might have been surprised at exactly all the preparations that go into it, but we hope you enjoy the results of all our hard work! 

Dyeing to Knit Episode 40

Mar 18, 2022 Christen Clement

A Look Behind the Scenes: Prepping for a Yarn Show Part II

Mar 17, 2022 Anne Smith

When last we spoke, we were busy preparing for our yarn show at Carolina Fiber Fest! We designed our booth layout, chose colors for the show and did inventory. Then we hit the dyepots to dye up all the beautiful yarn! And boy, did we hit them hard! Since we debuted a new yarn line, Coleman, we had to dye all new inventory of all nine colors, along with filling in any gaps in our regular yarn bases. Also, when we do big shows we design a brand new show colorway that is our show special and pick coordinating colors from our tonal lineup. For Fiber Fest, we created Spring Fling, which is a fun, fresh springy color. It makes me think of Easter eggs! We also dyed up a matching braid of fiber, which means creating a whole second recipe with the same colors but in a format better for fiber. Then Janis, our graphic design guru, takes photos and whips up these lovely graphics for marketing our new color! 

Dyeing up all the Coleman, all day! This color is called Cherry Blossom. 

Once the yarn is all dyed, it has to dry (which can take a couple of days, especially in our humid Carolina weather) then it has to be twisted, labelled, and packed away all with our four hands!

Janis is a pro at prepping and twisting to make those skeins look super neat, while I was busy slapping on labels and braiding fiber!

Once the yarn is show ready, it's time to organize and pack it away neatly so that we can easily unpack and hang it during show set up.

Janis is a whiz at yarn Tetris and takes full advantage of all the Ikea bags. 

After the yarn is ready to go, there is still a lot of work to do! We have to go through our extensive sample stash and pick out the ones that have colors we are bringing with us.


Then there is the matter of getting all of our booth materials out of storage and going through it to make sure we have everything we need to set it up, along with signs, bags, cash, and anything else we may be bringing. For this show, Anne brought her spinning wheel to demo our handspun, so she had to pack up all of her bobbins, stool and wheel accessories. 


And then we get to play the ultimate game of yarn Tetris to get it all in the van in an organized manner, along with all of our personal belongings since this is a multi day show and requires a hotel stay. Oh and you have to make sure nothing in the van rattles because listening to rattles and squeaks for hours on end is fun for no one!

I hope you like this peak into all the things that go into fiber shows before the show even happens. Next week I'll dive into what goes on once we actually get there!

Tutorial - Double Brioche Stitch

Mar 07, 2022 Queen City Yarn

Tutorial on working the Double Brioche Stitch as utilized in the Full Fashion Cowl by Janis Ficker Designs. 

Round 1: *Knit 1, yarn forward, slip 1 yarn over*

Round 2- adding another yarn over: *Knit 1, yarn forward, slip 1 (stitch + previous yarn over) yarn over*

Round 3: *Knit 1, brioche knit ( knitting the stitch and 2 yarn overs together as one stitch)*