Well, today was the day. The Potluck Spinners and Weavers were on display
at the Wolfville Farmers Market. We had fleece at varying stages of the
washing process, drum and hand carders, handspindles, 6 or 7 modern wheels,
one 200 year old great wheel, a table loom, knit scarves, mitts and hats,
rughookers, felted items, woven rugs, a sheep being shorn and an angora

The place was jam packed, we had people of all ages asking questions,
telling stories about their fibre adventures, and generally enjoying the

Ken Cavanaugh was spinning away on his handmade spinning wheel, drawing much
attention from both the ladies and men in the crowd. Many were quite amazed
by the fine even thread that he spins, and of course his talent as a

Peggy Struve from the South Shore brought her wheel on which she was
spinning some beautiful dyed silk. She also brought Janet Ready, a spinner,
dyer and rughooker from her area. They met because of a message I sent to
one of the spinning list a couple of months ago, both are originally from
the UK, lived on the west coast for some time, and then ended up in the same
community here in Nova Scotia. Janet was working on a rug all morning, so
incredible, her husband creates the designs and she does the rugs with her
naturally dyed handspun.

Sandra Smylie, a very special friend of mine arrived with a very important
package. She was recently in Ontario visiting a cousin, Sandra told her
about coming to our spinning days, so her cousin sent her home with a Louet
wheel in pieces. Sandra brought it along, and within an hour was spinning
her very first yarn, and she did it like a real pro. Thank you to the group
for getting her assembled and going, another spinner is born.

Marilyn Rand was busy answering questions about her angora rabbit, her
felted hats, vest, doll and other bits. People were fascinated by the
pictures all made of felt, and the jar of geranium in water, all ready for
the dye bath.

Pia Skaarer Nielsen was busy running back and forth from her regular booth
where she sells her handwoven items, wool, kniddy knoddy’s and handspindles
to the loom we had set up at our display. With all the chatter and
questions, I was surprised to see she had managed to weave 6″, what a woman.

Kim Ellis, a sheep farmer from Falmouth brought a 3 month old sheep to
sheer, along with mama who stayed in the truck during the whole operation.
Mama and baby were blatting away all morning, just making sure the other was
okay. Kim did an excellent job shearing in the heat and with people crowded
about. Not to mention the fact that her hand sheers, which she had just
gotten back from being sharpened were ruined, she ended up using scissors
for the job. Frustrating, but she stayed cool, and did a great job, easily
the hardest working woman of the day.

Brenda Gilmour, another sheep farmer dropped by for a while to do some
handcarding, and ended up as part of the sheering team. I think she and Kim
really had a chance to laugh, they looked great, and I’m sure their picture
in the local newspaper will show it.

I think we really made an impression, many people dropped by to say thank
you for coming out and showing what we are up to. We had a few people who
used to spin or weave or whatever, and who thought maybe it was time to get
back at it, I have their names, and plan to invite them to our next

The Wolfville Farmers Market is a booming place, you couldn’t fit another
vendor in, there are crowds of people from 8:30am right through to 1pm.
They had live music, a story teller reading books about Canada to the kids,
fruit, veggie, homebaking, handcrafts, flowers and plants, artists, what a

I spoke to a gentleman from Annapolis Valley Hemp, they have been working on
their hemp for spinning, and will have some for me to try next weekend.
They want to be able to process it in PEI at the mill that does the yak and
kiviut(sp?). Should be interesting, I can’t wait to try it out.

I think I covered it all, sorry for rambling, I’m just so exhausted and
happy that the day went so well. Now I have to try unpacking my truck, full
to the roof with wheels and rugs and looms and wool…

Julie Rosvall
Wolfville, NS


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