Monday, January 9, 2012

Roc Day--Louisiana Style!

We are traveling back to visit several of our 'old' fiber friends in Louisiana.  It is the traditional Roc Day or St Distaff Day held January 7th.  Distaff or Roc was the spindle used to spin flax or wool fibers before the invention of the spinning wheel in 1533.  The flax was wound around a short staff known as the distaff, which was fastened at the woman's waist by her girdle or tucked under her arm.  When women visited each other, they often carried their distaff and spindle with them to occupy them as they chatted.  It is sometimes called 'Roc' from the German word rocken, which describes the spinning apparatus. 
Pulling pranks was common during the olden days and we still do those light hearted pranks these days, as the photo shows!  Dear friends, Mary & Mary Lynn, are enjoying their conversation while young spinner does her best to create havoc!

Distaff Day was originally celebrated in England and other European countries but in our country we encompass all nationalities as represented by Chotima from Thailand-spinning away on her Magacraft wheel. 

Her spinning fiber of choice is this blended merino wool/silk blend from Weaver's Corner.

This is her latest finished scarf--an overshot with silk warp and handspun wool/silk weft--lovely lightweight and absolutely beautiful!  The pattern is Star of Bethlehem.

Such fine work!  Not only is she an excellent spinner, she is an excellent weaver!

Okay, it's not handspun, but this fabric on a bolt speaks volumnes for outstanding weaving!

It was a small gathering with a few vendors, but the day wasn't a lost cause--many to speak with and see what was going on their wheel.

A delightful smile--always!  Cecile!

What is Saori Weaving?  "Saori is an art of weaving by hand that is dedicated to free expression and self-development for everyone, regardless of physical or mental ability, age, or artistic aptitude. Saori weaving is pure improvisation from the heart, with no premeditated pattern in mind. Colors unfold, designs emerge, and beauty blooms directly from the genius of each unique individual working in harmony with loom, thread, and the spark of the moment. Saori is a profound inner journey, yet we can enjoy it socially, working alongside others. We can also create clothing, bags, tapestries, and many useful items that can be appreciated by all. Saori is fun, and anyone can do it!" from the website of Saoriworcester

Warps come prepared for the loom so Albion is tieing on the ends to pull through another warp for Cecile to weave on.  This is a simple operated loom with only two harnesses.

We visit with Bev from New Orleans who is wearing a lovely shawl--she generously shared the free pattern.  The shawl pin is an added attraction.

An effective use of multi colored yarns such as Noro or as Bev used Lion brand’s Amazing yarn.


Thirsty handspun brown/green cotton towels by Chotima.

A good use of handspun wool--fulled and ready to wear!
It was a good day to visit with old friends and make new friends in the fiber world.

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