Ocean City Today

Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo in OC this weekend

By Kara Hallissey | Feb 08, 2018
Sola Ope knits in her “Scarvelous” booth during the fourth annual Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo last year at the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street.

(Feb. 9, 2018) The Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo, which has grown in size each year, returns to the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street this weekend.

About 65 vendors will be selling wool, fabric, wood, reed, yarn and finished products in addition to spinning wheels and looms, rock painting kits, quilt fabric, weaving and spinning supplies and sewing machines during the fifth annual event.

“Get your supplies for your new year projects directly from the farm,” organizer Susan Childs said. “It’s a good way to get inspired after being cooped up for the winter. It’s also a good way to see what is exciting in the fiber world or to come up with a new project for the spring.” 

Processing, spinning, hooking and weaving equipment can be purchased during the event in addition to knitting needles, carders, crochet hooks, ceramic buttons and bowls.

“The vendors are all willing to share their knowledge and expertise with everyone that comes through,” Childs said. “They not only want to sell, but teach. It’s a fine art show with fiber being the medium.”

Childs encourages attendees to talk with vendors. Each will also donate a door prize, which will be drawn every two hours. Winners do not have to be present, but prizes must be picked up by the end of each day, she said.

There are 21 classes scheduled for Friday and Saturday for an additional fee. Class sizes are limited and buying a ticket in advance is suggested.

“Registration is online and payment can be made through PayPal,” she said. 

Workshops include painting yarn, creating felted soap, dying techniques, knitting a shawl, hand-dyed wool and a silk cowl, learning how to use a drop spindle, making a necklace of silk and feathers, and even painting rocks and pebbles.

“Classes are a great way to learn a new technique or craft,” Childs said. “Our rock painting class is trendy right now. If you want to learn how to knit, Leslye Solomon is nationally known to be able to get the non-knitter knitting in two hours.”

Local merchants from Delaware and Maryland will be in attendance, in addition to vendors based in Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, Florida and Michigan.

Twenty vendors are new this year, 45 are returning and many in-booth demonstrations will be taking place throughout the show. About 4,000 people came out in 2017, Childs said.

The Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo debuted in 2014 as Fiber Fest after Childs had been thinking for a couple years about creating an event for knitters.

She was always knitting in public places such as the doctor office, the beach or while camping and people would tell her they wished a class was available.

After some research, Childs realized all knitting classes in Berlin, Ocean City and Bethany Beach were offered during the week.

In addition, Childs raised sheep for a while and found small farmers have a hard time selling and distributing their product.

“When you walk into the room, you can feel the warmth of the fiber,” Childs said. “There will be some equipment for sale; a couple of looms and wheels.”

A one-day pass for the Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo costs $3, or pay $5 for the entire weekend. Tickets can be purchased at the door. The festival will run Friday, Feb. 9 from 11

 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will continue Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information and a full list of vendors, visit www.woolandfiber.com or contact Childs at 443-235-2926. Also, check out Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo on Facebook.

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