Sunday, January 10, 2010
Roc Day 2010
Whether it be spindles or spinning wheels, Roc Day is always a day of sharing as well as learning. ROC day is sometimes called “St. Distaff’s Day”. Of course, there is no such saint! It is celebrated on January 7th, the “first free day after Twelve-Eve-Christmas”, which was a holiday of transition from Christmas revelries to the round of everyday work. It is also called “Rock” day, as the distaff was sometimes referred to as a rock.
Traditionally, in old England, women did not spin during the twelve days of Christmas. ROC day or St. Distaff’s day, was their day to get back to work,and they certainly made the most of it! They were not without troubles during this time, because it was tradition that the plowmen thought it sport to set fire to the flax and tow. The women kept buckets of water always ready to put out the fires. It was a game of sorts, with many young men being “drenched” to the bones! Also the spinners went back to work a day ahead of the weavers, so that they could have plenty of yarn for the weavers. It was their special day.
In modern times, Roc Day is held the weekend closest to January 7th. Spinning of fibers, tales and yarns are common but no tricks by the young men. In fact, we are lucky if one man attends the gathering. This year Roc Day featured numerous vendors offering their wares--lovely alpaca fiber straight from the animal or prespun skeins of colors. Whisper Soft Alpacas
Or take the alpaca fiber and create wonderful bead felted necklaces as this vendor has done.
Cathy from Coldwater Alpaca Ranch creates useful items like felted fiber handmade soaps. Here she models one of her lovely necklaces.