Karen Porter, a member of the Fireweed Fiber Guild, prepares some fibers while spinning yarn with other guild members Friday, Aug. 18, 2017 at the 2017 Kenai Peninsula Fair in Ninilchik, Alaska. The guild will host the Fireweed FiberFest on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 and 30, 2018 at the Soldotna Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Karen Porter, a member of the Fireweed Fiber Guild, prepares some fibers while spinning yarn with other guild members Friday, Aug. 18, 2017 at the 2017 Kenai Peninsula Fair in Ninilchik, Alaska. The guild will host the Fireweed FiberFest on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 and 30, 2018 at the Soldotna Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Fireweed Guild weaves together festival

Local fiber enthusiasts are getting their shears and crafting tools ready for this weekend’s Fireweed FiberFest at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

On Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Fireweed FiberFest will host a celebration of natural fibers for the “serious and curious,” said event organizer Nancy Field of the Fireweed Fiber Guild, the event’s hosts. Admission is free and open to the public.

“Our guild has quite a few members from Sterling, Ninilchik, Anchor Point, Nikiski and more,” Field said. “So we are getting together and showing some of our products, how are products are made, how we spin yarn.”

FiberFest will include vendors, food booths, different classes for children and adults and livestock exhibits.

“I’m really jazzed about it because we have a lot of talented artists on the peninsula,” Field said. “It’s a great way for them to launch their stuff.”

In addition to vendors, there will be a cord-making class from 1 to 3 p.m. and a fur-dyeing class from 3 to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday for an additional fee. Supplies are included with the fee.

The festival will host a sheep-shearing demonstration at 3 p.m. each day and there will be other livestock on hand, including cashmere goats and Angora rabbits, so festival goers can have a better understanding of where natural fibers come from and how they are taken from each animal.

“Each vendor will also have a demonstration going on at different times,” Field said. “There will be some activities for children too. Both of those will be ongoing through the day on both days.”

The Fireweed Fiber Guild has hosted large events in the past, but Field said they are excited to have one large event in a centralized location, allowing members from across the Kenai Peninsula to attend and share their fiber crafts. The guild meets once a month throughout the year, with schedule changes in the summer and around holidays.

“It’s about networking and socializing,” Field said. “We teach each other how to work with different fibers, what to do with different fibers. We’ll get together, dye with different techniques… We just love to teach people. We’re fiber enthusiasts — people who love natural fibers.”

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