The Baton Rouge Fiber Arts and Makers Festival is returning this weekend to knit connections within its niche community

The second annual  Baton Rouge Fiber Arts and Makers Festival will welcome “yarnies” into and around Mid-City Artisans this Saturday, April 29, and will virtually showcase local makers on Sunday, April 30, to celebrate a craft that’s near to founder Micah Smith’s heart. 

Smith, and avid crocheter who owns local yarn purveyor Fleur De Stitch’d, began this offbeat festival last year after recognizing a lack of local opportunities available for the fiber arts community to gather. This year the in-person event takes place on Local Yarn Store Day, a yarn shop appreciation day created by the The National Needlearts Association

“There’s a fiber arts community here,” Smith says. “My goal is to bring all of us together to enjoy the festival, shop, hang out and just sit and knit, crochet and embroider together.”

Local makers and indie dyers will set up tables to display their work and to teach those who want to learn more about the fiber arts. The Sunflower Patisserie by Chloe, Tassel Diss, Cat Tails Yarn, MISHMASH by design are just a few of the business owners ready to tie Baton Rouge together with yarn on Saturday.

The first Baton Rouge Fiber Arts Festival was held in 2022. Photo courtesy Micah Smith.

The Sunday virtual event will be held on the festival’s Instagram to give vendors a chance to reach a new audience and speak about their business, inspirations and play interactive games with virtual attendees. Special guest host Laverne Benton, who owns BzyPeach, will lead the day of craft education. 

In her late 20s, Smith happened upon The Yarn Club while living in Virginia Beach. She joined a demonstration class with the shop that day and has not put down a knitting needle since. 

As she often sits, crocheting in public, she says children are always so curious about her craft.

“What are you doing? What are you making? Can you teach me?,” Smith says she’s frequently asked. 

She loves welcoming kids into her world of needle arts and hosts four-week teaching sessions through the BREC Cozy Kids Knitting Club for ages 8-12. As for the adults, Smith frequently hosts Stitch Socials and private classes through Fleur De Stitch’d.

“We don’t have this type of event in Louisiana, at all,” Smith says. “Nobody else is going to do it, so I’m going to do it. So if nobody else is going to teach the kids, I will teach them. If nobody else is going to start a festival, I’m going to start it.”

The Baton Rouge Fiber Arts Festival will be held Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mid City Artisans, located at 516 Moore St. The virtual components will be held Sunday, April 30, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on on the festival’s Instagram page.