Almost twenty years ago I moved to Harrisonburg from Ithaca, NY. Although I considered myself a well traveled person, having lived in 10 different States and one other country, this was my first time in the south. I had no idea of what to expect from the area or the people.
It was high Spring as I flew in to Charlottesville and was driven across mountains covered in green woods carpeted in trillium. The farm lands were lush and green and the town of Harrisonburg was plopped right in the Center of all that beauty. I was charmed by the natural beauty of the valley and the warmth of it’s inhabitants. And though I could not know what the future might hold for me in this new place I felt sure of one thing . . . certainly the winters are bound to be easier than upstate NY!
My first January here we had a 3 foot snowfall blizzard. Which didn’t melt until March. Luckily it was also in this valley that I also discovered an ally against Old Man Winter. It was here that I reignited my passion for and honed my skills in knitting. It was here that I learned to spin and create warmth with wool. And it is here that I have found a like minded set of fiber enthusiasts to share my interests, stretch my knowledge and celebrate our common love for all things fiber.
Join us this coming Saturday and share in our ceaseless fight against chilly feet and necks and floors! Take that, Winter!
Roc Day was an ancient Celtic celebration following the Christmas holiday, when spinners and weavers as well as other fiber people went back to work. This followed a period of rest during the holidays and was a time for celebration of the return to daily routines. Traditionally, it included the husbands as they returned to their fishing responsibilities. There was much merriment and fun, along with renewal of commitment to chosen fields of work. What a great way to start the New Year!
The tradition of Roc Day is still recognized and celebrated today in many ways, especially among fiber artists. Our Guild follows the tradition by offering its members free fiber classes on the day most closely aligned with the original holiday. This year our members enjoyed classes on Peyote Stitch Beading and Drop Spindle Spinning!
Kathleen beading away!
For those of you who may not know, Peyote Stitch Beading is a method of weaving beads together one by one to form a decorative fabric.
Peyote Stitch Beading supplies
Beth and her finished Peyote Stitch Beaded bracelet
Drop Spindle Spinning is a method of hand-spinning where you spin yarn out of wool using a tool called a Drop Spindle (usually wooden, like those in the the picture above) that you can spin with your hand.
Do you celebrate Roc Day or a have a similar fun tradition? Tell us about it in the comments!
While I believe that the whole year is the good time to give thanks, there is a certain glow that happens at this time of the year. The warmth of home against the chill of autumn. The glorious blaze of color that lights up the hill tops everywhere. The gathering together of family and friends. Personally, I think of my two new twin great niece and nephew and feel gratitude for their safe arrival. These moments help push the feelings of gratitude to the surface. In addition to the above I have more temporal gratitudes. I am grateful that I have a room of colorful yarns and rovings to indulge my fiber loving heart. I am grateful that Ihave a fiber supportive husband (who thinks I need more yarn!) and a home to bedeck with knitted pillows and throws. And I am grateful that I have contact with like-minded fiber people … who else would get as excited about seeing sheep and alpaca, understand the feeling of accomplishment because of new stitch learned, or commiserate as feelingly with the hours of painstaking work deliberately unraveled to undo a simple mistake, as a fellow fiber lover?
I am grateful for all of you.
How about you? Are you listing your gratitudes this season?
Several of our members went to the Fall Fiber Festival at Montpelier this year! We participated with several other guilds in demonstrating weaving…. … knitting and crocheting… … spinning… … and how to use a yarn swift to wind hanks … Continue reading →
I’m a big fan of jewel tones… those deep rich amethyst violets, emerald greens and sapphire blues that look so good on me. But come Fall I find my color preferences changing, influenced by the russet reds, yellows to golds … Continue reading →
Some of our members went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this year! There were many, many vendors with gorgeous fibers, yarns, fiber tools, and other items for sale. There were also lots of lovely fiber producing animals to … Continue reading →