Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Fibre Enthusiast Adventure

Anne and I went on an adventure today. We were invited to "an informal gathering for fibre enthusiasts" at local artist, Mireille Gagnon Moes' studio on St. Joe's Isand.

Serious driving
Several details made it a "real" adventure.
  1. Neither Anne nor I had ever met Mireille. 
  2. It was out of town (and anything involving a journey is an adventure). 
  3. We didn't have an address. 
We were confident that we didn't need one. We knew the road it was on, and assumed if she were a "real" artist she would have an obvious mail box.

I think it is a smiling air plane

I tried my best to protect Anne from the very excited dog in the parking lot, Mandy, though Mireille (in her lovely French accent) kept calling her "ya twit". Anne is not fond of dogs, but the dog was fond of her.

We made our way inside to discover that we were the first to arrive! Mireille greeted us warmly and set about giving us a tour of her studio. There was beautiful wool roving everywhere, and several looms occupied the centre. She showed us a few of her projects. She has made wrapping paper from the back of chip bags fused together by heat. Watercolour paintings over old topographic maps. Pudding stones out of felted wool. Wide braids made of recycled t-shirts. Gorgeous felt pictures. I couldn't name them all - her art was everywhere. She is remarkably creative and talented. I wish I had taken more photos, but check out her Flicker photo stream Fleurdefibre.

The next guest arrived with a spinning wheel in her arms. I had been particularly hoping to talk to a spinner, as I am purchasing my first wheel tomorrow, having never touched one. I though it was a hair-brained-scheme for me to declare myself a spinner under such conditions, but Lorna had a hair-brained-scheme going of her own. She doesn't know how to knit yet! What was she planning to do with all her yarn?! Today she was working on a three-ply yarn from bluefaced leicester roving. She has a pattern for a nice sweater from Spin Off magazine that she would like to complete one day. She has a great attitude - no timeline in place.
Lorna spinning

Lorna and Mereille were excellent teachers. They taught me the difference between roving and rolags, between woolen and worsted, between single treadle and double treadle, between single drive and double drive.  They taught me about drafting and pre-drafting, the importance of  holding "the triangle" of wool during drafting, the proper length of pull, and how to ply the yarn. Yes - today was quite an education in terminology. After watching Lorna spin for at least an hour, I feel so much more prepared to give it a go on my own tomorrow.

More guests had arrived, including Calna, who brought several coats made of recycled sweaters for show-and-tell.
Anne is very excited about this super steam punk, shabby motley, sweater coat designed by an NYC desiger from Amber Studios

Here Anne is modelling a Calna original sweater coat - such gorgeous blues! 
There was so much to talk about that I didn't remember to try the spinning wheel, or make the felted soap that Mireille was going to help me with. Time was cut short when the clock struck 3:00pm. Baby Angus was an hour away, about to turn into a pumpkin (or at least start to miss his milk supply).

It was a snowy drive home while we made plans for this year's Jane Austen Tea - another post for another day.


1 comment:

  1. You could be a reporter! Two thing I would like to clarify... the dog's name was Mandy and the studio in New York that Calna contacted is Amber Studios. Woe! Check it out. Anne


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