Posted by: Leslie | August 1, 2010

Sheep to shawl in Dunvegan

Looking back through archived newsletters from the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners, I see that a number of smaller guilds in the province have closed or merged in recent years due to dwindling membership. In most cases it’s a case of old age among the remaining members, and not long ago it looked like the Twistle Guild of Glengarry would go the same way.

The Twistle Guild recently held a Sheep to Shawl event at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum in Dunvegan. As the name suggests, it’s where spinners and weavers team up to take freshly shorn fleece and turn it into a shawl in a single day. I was teaching down the road in Casselman that day and went my class was over I decided to check out the activities.

One of the eponymous sheep of the event:

It was alternating between torrential raining and not, so most of the spinning wheels were tucked in close together under a small tent:

Between showers:

This museum employee laughed when I pulled out my camera just after she took a photo of me:

I really liked talking to the guild members, who reminded me of some of the incredibly knowledgeable people I knew in my guild in Colorado (with a similar tendency to comment on my young age). They told me that until a couple of years ago the entire membership was between 70 and 90 years old, but that some young people in their 20s and 30s had recently started to join. The guild seems to be doing pretty well these days and now convenes at the museum every Friday to spin together. It’s nice to see members with decades’ of experience and information able to share their skill with younger people interested in continuing the craft. A friend of mine from Montreal was also there that day and shares her thoughts here.

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Responses

  1. […] Festival at Glengarry Pioneer Museum Following my visit to the Glengarry Pioneer Museum in July, I visited again today for their annual Harvest Festival. A couple of friends from Montreal met me […]

  2. […] my visit to the Glengarry Pioneer Museum in July, I visited again today for their annual Harvest Festival. A couple of friends from Montreal met me […]


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