by Sarabeth Parido
Photos courtesy of Morgan Farms, Frankfort, KY; Sarabee Designs and Fiber Farm- Winchester, KY; Stitch Yarn Studio, Covington, KY; and Whispering Birch Farm, Harrodsburg, KY
The second annual Bluegrass Yarn and Fiber Crawl has left a trail of creativity and connection across the landscapes of Kentucky and southern Ohio. From July 28 to August 6, the region came alive with the vibrant energy of 25 exceptional vendors who joined forces for an unforgettable 10-day adventure. Knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners, and craft enthusiasts answered the call, embracing this unique road trip that celebrated the artistry of yarn and fiber.
Hosted by The Kentucky Fiber Trail, an online network that connects local yarn and fiber retailers, small businesses, fiber producers, agritourism destinations, fiber artists, and fiber-related events. The Bluegrass Yarn and Fiber Crawl celebrated it’s 2nd year, with 25 locations across the bluegrass region including retail shops and fiber farms.
One such farm, 2 Point Alpacas in Dry Ridge, Kentucky, eagerly prepared to showcase their unique Suri alpaca fiber and one-of-a-kind yarns to a plethora of knitters, crocheters, and fiber artists. Owner Nancy Lindemood expressed her enthusiasm, highlighting the significance of events like the yarn crawl in showcasing her farm's offerings and boosting marketing efforts. Diving into the heart of the crawl, each participating vendor showcased a distinctive array of yarn selections, project inspirations, and specialized expertise.
The Fiber Crawl allows customers to explore local fiber farms that may not have regular business hours, but also allows them to explore retail locations they might not have found otherwise. While the world of online shopping has its allure, many enthusiasts prefer the tactile experience, in-person guidance, and the profound sense of community fostered within local yarn shops. The Bluegrass Yarn and Fiber Crawl emerged as a pivotal player in highlighting the importance of these local establishments. As Laura Groff, the owner of Mt. Sterlings’ treasured yarn studio, aptly put it, "There's an undeniable thrill in experiencing the incredible diversity of fibers right here in the bluegrass." Creative Twist embraced the spirit of the crawl, offering enticing specials and extended hours to welcome eager visitors. Laura, also an indie dyer, worked her magic to create an exclusive yarn colorway dubbed "Crawling through the Bluegrass," capturing the essence of the event in a skein.
Participation in the 2023 Bluegrass Yarn and Fiber Crawl was encouraged as a community activity. Enthusiasts downloaded a complimentary digital passport, unlocking a realm of exclusive deals, captivating giveaways, and the chance to win captivating prizes from the 25 dedicated shops. As they journeyed through the region, each shop visit garnered stamps, serving as entry tickets to the grand prize drawing at the grand finale.
The 2023 Bluegrass Yarn and Fiber Crawl may have concluded, but the memories, connections, and newfound inspirations woven during this extraordinary event will continue to thrive within the hearts and projects of all who were part of this fun, fiber journey.
Sarabeth Parido, is the Director of the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival and The Kentucky Fiber Trail. She raises her own small flock of sheep in Clark County, Kentucky along with her husband and four sons.