Fiber Art Festival a success

Former Evanston resident Martha Taggart mans a booth at the annual Sagebrush Fiber and Folk Art Festival in Evanston. (HERALD PHOTO/Kayne Pyatt)

EVANSTON — The annual Sagebrush Fiber and Folk Art Festival returned to the Uinta County Library on Friday, Sept. 24, to the delight of patrons and library employees. This year’s participation of vendors was smaller than other years after being canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic; however, the attendance and interest was still high.

Seven stations were set up throughout the library’s main area and vendors from Utah and Wyoming displayed their products for purchase and provided information on different types of wool, yarn, basket making and other fiber-related crafts. All of the women vendors had chosen interesting names for their fiber and folk art businesses. 

Maggie Fangmann from Utah chose a dinosaur theme, “Yarnaceous Fibers” for the name of her fiber arts business. Fangmann hand dyes her yarn and designs some of her own patterns for knitting. Her dye colors were unique and impressive. She had a logo designed with a dinosaur wearing a knitted sweater.

“Though I majored in English, I have a personal interest in paleontology and my little boys all love dinosaurs so I thought it would be cute to use that theme,” Fangmann told the Herald. “I travel all over to shows in Virginia and in Utah and am really enjoying the time here in Evanston.”

Notlwonk Springs owners Fred, Jo and Ann Knowlton of Cornish, Utah, have been raising sheep, marketing the wool and selling yarn and other products for 30 years. Another Utah artisan at the show was Pamela Kirschman with her hand-dyed PK Yarn display in bright and vibrant colors. 

Judy Gunn of Centerville, Utah, had a large display of fibers for hand spinners. Gunn was working a spindle and her friend, Wendy Taylor, was at a spinning wheel. Judy’s Novelty Wool business sells fibers for hand spinners, gives instructions, and sells spindles, hand carders and yarn.

Sue Baird and Mary Kramer, longtime members of the local “Warped and Twisted Fiber Guild,” had a small display of their personal crafted items. Sue was at her spinning wheel demonstrating the ancient art of turning wool into yarn. 

Former Evanston resident Martha Taggart was with locals Sue Vehar and Mary Hipol at their booth, which displayed a large assortment of finished knitted products including socks, toys, scarves, hats, and shawls. The name of their business is “Minnie Purl & Summit House.”

Last but not least was Angelina Roberts’ display of baskets made by women of the Wayuu tribe in South America. The name of her business is “Juurulairua” which means “roots.” Roberts lives in Evanston but has family in South America.  She gives a portion of the profits from selling the baskets and other handmade items back to the indigenous groups in South America. 

“The baskets are sturdy and strong enough to hold a child in them. The mother will often put the handle strap around her forehead and carry the child in the basket to free her hands for other work,” Roberts said and demonstrated by placing the strap of a basket on her head.

The Uinta County Library does a great service to these artists by providing a space for them once a year to showcase their talents and products while also providing an educational opportunity for the community.

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