By BILL SCHLICHTING
Weaving looms, spinning wheels and other items related to making natural fibers into fabrics filled the VFW Hall Saturday and Sunday during the Azalea Festival.
A steady stream of people watched as fiber artists spun yarn and thread from animal hairs, created rugs, tapestry and clothing from the yarn and thread. Outdoors, people could see the animals that provide the fiber, including sheep, llamas and alpacas. Several animals were sheered during the festival.
Eleven vendors participated in this year's Fiber to Fabric Festival sponsored by the Webfoot Weavers Guild, said organizer Judith Drew, who is retiring from festival planning and giving classes.
Alecia Elvstad will be taking over offering fiber classes. At the event she was already signing up people and offering catalogs to purchase supplies.
Supplies are ordered from a Swedish company. She said because fiber arts are gaining popularity, the cost of supplies has increased. The company she uses is keeping the costs down and she hopes to keep costs down as interest continues to grow.
Fiber arts classes are scheduled to begin in the fall, she said. To sign up or for information, call (541) 412-9902.
People of all ages were involved in the activities. Morgan Golding, 14, a quilter and weaver, was busy making earrings.
Kristine Bevington, 10, from Medford, tried her hand at working with a weaving loom for the first time. Spectators declared her a natural as she continued endlessly experimenting with the tool.
Sterling Sybrandt, 10, who calls himself "the community celebrity," said "I'm used to working with fiber arts."
His mother, Betsy, said she became involved in fiber arts after she had knee surgery seven years ago. She used the foot-operated spinning wheel to help her recuperate.
Sterling followed in his mother's footsteps.
"Sterling was his own artist first," Betsy said. She said he liked to draw pictures before becoming involved in the new art.
The weaver's guild had 23 handwoven towels to raffle at the event. Tickets were sold with names drawn at the close of the show.