Thursday, January 21, 2016

The spinners celebrate Roc Day/Distaff Day

Just like the fiber groups of old, our spinners group celebrated in a slightly tardy fashion, Roc Day. And for the uninitiated among us,  a little FYI from wikipedia explains:  

Distaff Day, also called Roc Day, is 7 January, the day after the feast of the Epiphany. It is also known as Saint Distaff's Day, one of the many unofficial holidays in Catholic nations.
Many St. Distaff's Day gatherings are held, large and small, throughout local fiber community. The distaff, or rock, used in spinning was the medieval symbol of women's work.[1]
In many European cultural traditions, women resumed their household work after the twelve days of Christmas. Women of all classes would spend their evenings spinning on the wheel. During the day, they would carry a drop spindle with them. Spinning was the only means of turning raw wool, cotton or flax into thread, which could then be woven into cloth.
Men have their own way of celebrating this occasion; this is done through Plough Monday. It is the first Monday after Epiphany where men are supposed to get back to work.
Every few years, Distaff Day and Plough Monday falls on the same day. Often the men and women would play pranks on each other during this celebration, as was written by Robert Herrick in his poem "Saint Distaffs day, or the Morrow After Twelfth Day" which appears in his Hesperides.[2]

Nothing is funnier than watching 
Although last night's weather was not the best for people to make it to the spinners meeting.  Those of you were not there missed an evening of great fun.  We did a lot of laughing!  If you've never tried spinning with gloves (especially ones that were way too big for your hands!) or blind folded, or both, you should give it a try sometime. 

Check out the bobbin, looking good.
Believe it or not, it is possible to make a yarn--perhaps not your finest yarn, but a yarn nonetheless.

Now just how long did you think you could draw that fiber, perhaps it went across the street?

Nothing like a few games to humble a person. What a jolly time was had by all. 

We do have lots of plans for the upcoming months. In February, it will be back to the English Breeds and we'll will dig into some lovely English Jacob.  I'm really looking forward to this one! In March it will be the Beth Smith workshops (Saturday and Sunday, March 5th and 6th) and another British breed, Scottish Hebridean fleece; April will be the Oxford breed and either the Iowa Federation meeting in Decorah or Plyaway in Kansas City.  Phew!  We are going to be busy spinners. 
How exciting.