We had a beautiful, but chilly day for our monthly guild meeting today. By
10:30am I had a full house here in the Gaspereau Valley. It was wonderful
to have a few new faces in our midst.

Kim Ellis is a sheep farmer from Falmouth, NS, she has about 20 sheep, and
lots of lambs on the way, her herd is mostly meat breeds at the moment, but
she’s enjoying her registered Cotswolds as well. She also has llama’s, not
sure how many.

Peggy Struve a spinner and weaver from Bridgewater, NS, formerly of Salts
Spring Island, and before that the UK. Poor Peggy tried to make it to our
meeting in March, but a patch of ice and a snow bank kept that from
happening, thank goodness she wasn’t hurt, and we’re so glad she made it
this time. The stories she had to tell about raising goats and chickens on
Salts Spring Island were hilarious, and her Majacraft wheel is a wonderful
piece of work. Peggy is a member of the Kedgi Weavers guild, and we look
forward to having their group up to visit ours in the coming months.

Helen Smith, weaver, and hopefully we’ve hooked her on spinning as well,
she’s quite hand with that drop spindle. Helen brought the most incredible
piece of weaving with her. I can’t remember what it is called at the
moment, but it is of North/North East African origin. It was the fabric
that hung inside a tent on a couple’s wedding night to curtain their bed.
It was woven by men in narrow strips and then pieced together. She’s hoping
to determine the age with the help of textiles experts here in NS and
Ontario. What a find.

As for the rest of us,

There was Marilyn Rand, our fearless leader, as well as shepherdess,
spinner, dyer, felter, knitter, weaver, potter etc, etc. We’re hoping
she’ll do a felting day for us sometime soon, but with all those sheep,
lambs, goats, angora rabbits, will she ever have time? Our next guild
meeting is at her farm in Delhaven, on the way to Blomidon, March 26th.

Ken Cavanagh, affectionately known as our man spinner 🙂 He is a wonder, he
builds spinning wheels, hand and drum carders, pickers, you name it he can
do it. He even casts the metal for the machines he builds. He started
spinning at seventy, and now he’s headed for weaving as well.

Sandra Smylie, my mentor, not a spinner or weaver, just an incredible person
all around. She loves to sit and listen to the whirring of the spinning
wheels.

Brenda Gilmour, shepherdess (Cotswolds & various others), spinner, knitter,
weaver. She works as a coordinator at the L’Arche community here in
Wolfville, an international organization that creates homes and day programs
with people who have developmental disabilities. They make candles and
weave for their storefront, which is called Applewicks, I think she said
they currently have 8 people weaving.

Our day consisted of spinning, chatting about the challenges of raising
sheep, eating far too much wonderful food, and discussing future endeavors
for the group. We plan on having our first really big to-do in June at the
local farmers market, Brenda will bring a sheep for Kim to sheer, Marilyn
will bring rabbits, we will spin and weave and show the community what we’re
up to. And the big event, in late October, a spinning retreat, much
planning in the works, and we’ll be sure to announce it in the coming weeks.

Well, I’m exhausted, the food and company make for an incredible, but tiring
day.

Julie Rosvall
Wolfville, NS

Potluck Spinners and Weavers

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