I had a chance to get out to the Potluck Spinners & Weavers meeting
today, despite a bit of winter weather early this morning. I arrived in
time for our usual spread of homemade dishes. My plate was piled high
with Shepherds pie, quiche, curry beef pastries, locally made cheese,
fresh rolls, fruit cake and fresh fruit. The very best part of the meal
was the taste testing of our local cheese makers newest product, yogurt,
it had to be the creamiest, loveliest yogurt I’ve ever tasted.

Once we got through the food I had a chance to sit down and spin, I’m
working on a merino/qiviut/alpaca mix that will someday become a sweater
for my husband Peter.

With the roads being a bit slick in the morning it was a relatively
small, but lively group. Pia, my wild Danish weaving friend was
spinning away, but behind her was her tapestry loom which was alive with
vibrant oranges and rusts. She explained that the tapestry will become
the backdrop for a series of paintings that her sister did for her, a
truly special way to frame the artwork.

Marilyn showed off her latest bag creation, this woman has no end to her
talents. I’m still in shock at how well the MacAuslands wool felted up,
and absolutely loved the colours. She had over dyed different natural
coloured skeins (light to dark greys) with yellow, all in the same pot,
but the results were of course dramatically different.

Helen was wearing a stunning cabled sweater that was knit by a
spinner/fibre artist from Annapolis Royal, and her kids were working on
various fibre projects. These kids are amazing, knitting, needle
felting, spindle spinning, great talent.

Sharon was working on a crocheted hat that was designed by someone in
Ontario for cancer patients. It was done in a soft cotton, and was
quite lovely.

Ken was spinning away on his hand made wheel, and telling us about his
next fibre equipment idea. He wants to make a spinning jenny (sp?). It
just so happens that the latest issue of Loomsong, the Atlantic Spinners
and Handweavers newsletter, included a photo of one. Ken is an amazing
craftsmen.

Muriel was right beside Ken as always and telling us about how she
learned how to weave for a sheep to shawl a few years ago. She spent
several weeks learning how to use the table loom, and how to recognize
and create the pattern for the event. All this work and when they got
started weaving there were so many people asking questions that Pia, the
one who taught her couldn’t concentrate on the pattern with all the
chatter and interruptions that it was decided to just do plain weave!
Muriel has been waiting for ages to tell that story 🙂

Jan, our faithful treasurer, was over at the other side of the room so I
didn’t see what she was working on, but I could hear her wheel whirring
along. We are all quite excited to hear that her husband is interested
in creating a web page for the Potluckers. And honestly, it has nothing
to do with the new web design software that just came on the market that
he’s dying to try.

Ann and Jan arrived just after lunch and brought their homemade rolls
just out of the oven. I must say that I love these two women. They
both have the kindest faces and wonderful ways about them. They have
draft horses and sheep, make cheese and spin. Jan has made some
attempts at learning to weave, and if Pia has anything to do with it she
will try again. They showed us some wonderful South American textiles
brought back as gifts for them by relatives. They also told us about
some sort of brass piece that somehow goes on a draft horses gear that
they got. It has a woman with a tall pointy hat on it who is spinning
flax. We can’t wait to see it, sorry I can’t remember what part of the
horses gear this was from.

It was wonderful to sit and spin, it seems like I never do anymore. Got
a whole four ounces on the bobbin. I guess I need to get back in gear.
We chatted about the Back to Back Challenge, and I’m considering
participating, but am still unsure. I want to work on my continental
knitting technique.

So here is a challenge to anyone in the Maritimes, or further afield who
would like to take part. We think it would be much more fun to have at
least two, or perhaps more, teams for the Back to Back Challenge this
year. It would certainly spice things up. I’m daring folks from NB,
PEI and around NS to take part. Come to the Valley for Apple Blossom
weekend in May, I’m sure we can find you a bed. The Potluckers have
enough for at least one team and perhaps a few extras, let’s put
together a minimum of one more team and make things interesting.

Julie Rosvall
Wolfville, Nova Scotia (where the ski hill was a bit icy, but at least
it was open)

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