| Jun 29, 2006

Feature Article - June 29, 2006

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Feature Article - June 29, 2006

StDistaff Day

by Ankaret Dean

Exotic animals came to Maberly Agricultural Grounds on June 17 to take part in a celebration of St. Distaff Day, a imaginary saint who was part of a legend of weavers and spinners in England in the middle ages.

The fifth annual event was hosted by MERA this year and the theme ‘Exotic Fibres’ was chosen; hence the arrival of 2 alpacas, 1 lama, 2 angora rabbits and lots of wriggling silk worms.

Over 110 weavers and spinners arrived from across eastern Ontario to take part in a choice of two workshops arranged in the morning and afternoon, as well as visiting suppliers taking part in an exhibition and of course admiring the exotic animals. The weather was perfect after a downpour the previous evening.

Spinning wheels were arranged in a circle as some workshops concentrated on spinning the many different fibres, including reeling silk from silk cocoons. Others learnt how to block print, hook rugs, felt, braid, knit, bead etc..


It is encouraging to know that there are still so many people interested in pursuing these heritage crafts and they are ‘alive and well’ in our area. Photo David Zimmerly

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