Now that I’ve gotten over the excitement of having one of our members on the
radio, I thought I’d tell you about the rest of our spinning day.
I was pleased to be able to bring fibre artist and costume designer Angela
Melanson with me. She does designs and makes costumes for the Atlantic
Theatre Festival, Neptune Theatre and several others here in Nova Scotia.
This is work done by contract, so Angela also has her own textiles business,
LaLa and Gleen Productions. This time of year is pretty quiet for her, and
she finds January a very uninspiring month, so I packed her up in my car for
a fibre day. I hope it got her creative juices flowing.
We were greeted by Ken, Pia and Marilyn upon our arrival, and got started
spinning right away. I was working on plying some rainbow dyed singles, and
then spinning a flax/hemp/viscose blend that everyone was curious about.
Sylvie and Cathou arrived a little later, chocolate in hand, it’s always
good to see them 🙂 Cathou will be hosting our official St.Distaff’s Day
celebration this coming Saturday at Angora Hill Farm, her home and studio
outside of Greenwood, Nova Scotia. I can’t wait to see all her goats, such
Brenda brought letters and cards from a couple of spinners and weavers who
have visited this past year.
Joyce Chown, a contemporary of Mary Black, who did many samples you will
find in the Key to Weaving, wrote to thank Brenda and the Potluckers for our
hospitality in October. She especially enjoyed the green tomatoes and
getting to see one of Mary Black’s old looms, that Brenda now owns.
Delia Burge, a prolific spinner from Pictou, Nova Scotia sent a lovely
Christmas card. And, Susan Galloway, who did a demo for us at the retreat
in November wrote to thank us for having her, sent many blessings, and also
two envelopes of Rose Mallow seeds for us to share.
Now with a houseful of spinners, the stories started flowing. Sylvie told
of how her husband, a retired military man who grew up in an urban area had
not seen a real live chicken in the flesh until they got them on their farm
a couple of years ago. This made Cathou and Brenda laugh, they both grew up
in very urban Montreal, in different places at different times. Yet they
both had wild stories of having chickens, ducks, rabbits and various other
livestock in their homes 🙂
Cathou, who’s family was always being given stray dogs, cats, birds, you
name it, even remembered a time when there was a trailer in their driveway
for a couple of days, and she was under strict orders not to say what was in
it. Apparently it was a horse that they were taking to the country that
weekend, but of course that wouldn’t go over will with the neighbours, let
alone the local authorities.
This got all of us thinking. How many times have you been to a farm where
cats and dogs are outside animals, not allowed in the house? Even so, come
lambing and calving time, or in the dead of winter when chicks are ducks are
hatched there is almost always some critter living behind the woodstove!
As always we ate like royalty, cooked ham, salad, soup, beans, breads, pies,
cookies, casseroles, yummy. And just in time, Dawn and baby Claire arrived
with a quiche, Joanne and Richard with another casserole, and I couldn’t
even look at what Kim and Sandra brought because I was so stuffed.
The afternoon saw us admiring Angela’s vegan stole and Sandra’s handwoven
scarf from Saskatchewan, a gift from her daughter. Baby Claire was in her
glory watching mom knit socks, and she really enjoyed seeing our two new
spindlers, Angela and Joanne working away. Mary was diligently practicing
her knitting, and showed us her very first weaving project.
Listening to Ken on the radio was that much better as a group, and we all
went home stuffed with food, good feelings and fibre ideas to keep us
motivated for the rest of the week.
I have posted a couple of pictures of our day on my web space. Just click
on each of the jpg. links in the directory to see the pictures.
Wolfville, Nova Scotia