September 28, 2013 One of our members, Susan Dearnell, acted as point person with the sponsors of Farm City Day, the first one held at OO McIntire. Previous events were held sporadically at various farms in the county.
We arrived at our appointed location in the shelter house between a children’s playground and the food tent–What could be better! We came an hour early to be ready for the 10 AM setup and stayed until the end of the event at 4 PM.
Fiber guild members set up areas to represent the steps to produce a wearable garment, from carding wool, spinning it into yarn, dyeing (with natural dyes) felting dyed roving and knitting or crocheting various items of clothing. Most steps had hands-on activities for children, including making mud dye hand prints on fabric, turning the carding machines, turning the walking spinning wheel, drafting and spinning on a double treadle spinning wheel, sniffing natural dye materials and making ugly felt pumpkins.
Some of the impressions shared by our members:
Susan Dearnell (double treadle spinning wheel): “I
had a few little boys try their hand at spinning… I would pedal for them, and I let them hold and draft the roving… they did quite good actually. And one little girl was very interested in spinning… both Jay and I worked with her, explaining what we were doing… I also let her try drafting and spinning, and she liked it. I think one little boy was 7 and the little girl was 10.”
Carol Splete reported about 26 kids made mud cloth hand prints.
Bev Louden (carding machine): “I still think fiber guild had the best display. Too bad there wasn’t a prize…The prize was the people that were touched by your work.”
Cathy Clark (natural dying): “One boy was impressed with the powerful smell coming from some of the plant dye materials. Other people were amazed at the number and type of things that could be used to dye fiber and complemented the display.
“My favorite memory is a little girl, maybe 4 years old, pounding for all she was worth on her bag of soapy roving to make an ugly pumpkin!”
Check here for the photos on the Gallia Herald website.
Everything worked together to make the day spectacular! The hands-on exhibits for kids was a real draw, and having our shelter house in its prominent location next to food and playground helped up the participation. We gained at least one person that expressed joining the guild.
All in all–a gorgeous day and a successful effort to teach people about fiber handcrafts and our guild!