On Tuesday July 23rd the Potluck Spinners and Weavers gathered for dawn to
dusk fibre and food. It was easily one of the hottest days of the summer,
so Pia’s new pool was well used. I arrived at 10am, and immediately
submerged up to my waist in the cool water, dress and all.

There were many regulars in attendance throughout the day, and a few
newcomers. We looked at Swedish weaving books, demonstrated needle felting,
learned how to rainbow dye, swam, picked fresh cherries, ate and of course
we did a bit of spinning.

The most incredible part of the day for me was learning how to felt. I
walked in to the kitchen after lunch to find a very quiet group, with heads
down. Each person had felted a rectangle of white wool and with the
exception of Kim Ellis, who was making a Southpaw Sheep Farm sign, everyone
was creating gardens overflowing with flowers.

I couldn’t wait to give it a try. Marilyn sat me down and showed me how to
make the rectangle, layering wool like shingles, and then changing direction
and doing it again. Now I needed to create my design, I didn’t want to do
flowers and I knew my artistic abilities aren’t up to doing a picture, so I
decided to try something a little more abstract.

I began by taking bits of the bright orange and yellow wool that Sandra
Smylie had rainbow dyed earlier in the day. I then added some of the cool
blues and purples from Peggy Struve’s dyeing experience. There was a bag of
colored bits of wool on the table that Marilyn Rand contributed, so I
started expanding my collage.

I really wanted to take a part of each person home with me, so I went around
the house stealing something from each spinners basket. The grey Cotswold
that Kim brought me from her sheep Matilda was added in a couple of spots.
You can see a bit of Pia Skaarer Nielsen’s coffee dyed wool at the top of my
piece. The coffee came from Just Us! Coffee, a fair trade coffee company
near our home. It was a dark Italian roast that was roasted just a little
too long so it couldn’t be sold, but it’s perfect for dyeing.

I added deep brown wool from Linda Fuller. I believe it was from her sheep,
Linda is a former weaver who gave up her looms in order to stay at home with
her son, a decision she would never change, even though she does miss
weaving. She now creates natural oils and soaps using the flowers she grows
on her property on the South Mountain of the Gaspereau Valley.

Peggy gave me some of her corral silk, it swirls throughout the felted
piece, I would say it is the most beautiful part. I was disappointed that I
didn’t have anything from Darlene Barr who left early in the afternoon to
take care of her daughter Emma. Ken Cavanagh dropped by after supper but
didn’t spin, so there is nothing representing him either.
There were a couple of other new faces. Tamara Heikolo is not a spinner or
weaver, but she is an artist, creating the most wonderful paintings. You
could see her studying us as we went about our day. Perhaps we’ll see a
spinner in some of her work in the future. Check out http://www.trotbo.com the web
site that Tamara and her partner Daniel share.

We are lucky to have a new weaver in our midst. Jan White called me out of
the blue the day before our gathering. She has been receiving my regular
reports and invitations through another weaver in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Jan and her partner have just moved to the Annapolis Valley. She thought
she’d check us out, apparently she had gotten the impression from my emails
that we might be a bit too organized and formal, HA!, was she wrong.

I think we cured her of those impressions, with our wild laughter, excessive
food intake and unconditional acceptance of everyone and everything. Jan
brought a few samples of her work and pictures of the silk rag scarves she
weaves, what incredible work, I can’t wait to see one in person, or more
importantly touch one.

Lois Brown dropped by with her daughter in law Helen. Lois is a spinner on
Prince Edward Island who was visiting Nova Scotia, so decided to visit with
us. She even got a lesson on the drop spindle from Pia, and registered for
our Fall Spinners Retreat. I believe that brings our registration for the
retreat up past the half way mark, as space is limited, so get your
registration in soon.

The last of us straggled out of Pia’s at 9pm on Tuesday evening, a full
eleven hours, what a day. Can’t wait to see everyone again for our first
public Friday spinning in Canning on August 2nd. Email me if you would like
details. If you would like to see my felted collage, I have posted it in
the photo section of yahoogroups for those who are on CANSPIN, CANWEAVE and
SpinningNE, but didn’t find that option for the big Spin-List or weaving
list. I can email it privately as a jpeg to anyone who really wants to see
it.

Julie Rosvall
Wolfville, NS

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