Yesterday was the 41st (!) Annual Spinning Seminar at The Mannings (description here). This is a demonstration event with a number of tables/booths. No sales (except for the usual stuff in the store). Spinners are invited to bring their wheels and stay awhile. Want to see my slide show? (Open in Flickr so you can read the notes.)
My favorite part was definitely creating my own batt. It's so much fun to have a participatory experience at an event like this. It would be great if more exhibitors incorporated this into their display/demonstration (the needle felter did, but I didn't get pictures of her). For instance, I would have welcomed the opportunity to hackle some of that flax or try spinning it for a few minutes. Same with the cotton.
I also enjoyed seeing how many knowledgeable children were at this event. Some of them were part of a sheep-to-shawl 4-H team who took the day to train for their next competition (there were 2 or 3 teams there, with multiple wheels and a loom each). There were lots of other kids around with various fiber club t-shirts on. I had a lovely conversation with one of them at the batt booth.
Next year, I'll bring a folding chair and my spinning wheel. This year I just had my knitting with me.
I was intrigued by the drumcarder. I wish I had access to one that I didn't have to purchase outright (they are quite expensive). I know some places have guilds with equipment that can be borrowed or rented, but there is none around here (that I know of).