Good morning Fiber Friends! (it’s finally a sunny day ) even with a lot of grey days, I have had a week busy with felting. I watched an online felting workshop with Ana-Maria Istrate on making realistic needle felted newborn kittens. As I had hoped she has some interesting surface treatments. While I watched, I took notes and worked on my Iris inspired by techniques from Tjarda van der Dussen’s workshop on Roses and butterflies.
Before I show you how that is coming along, I want to go back a week and show you what was happening at the first demo done by our local fibre arts guild, the Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild, since 2019.
The demo takes place in a small town that is just south of the main city of Ottawa. (The City annexed a large amount of the surrounding land, swallowing small towns there were nearby, including the town of Manotick.)
Manotick is on the Rideau River, which was part of the navigable waterway between Kingston and Ottawa. If you have a boat I hear that travelling through the locks (boat lifts not Scottish lakes) and the interconnecting lakes, finally reaching the canal in Ottawa, is relaxing and has good scenery. (Dow’s Lake, originally known as Dow’s swamp before the canal was added, has particularly nice views of the arboretum and Carlton University.)
The Rideau River was also used to create power to drive working mills, many are long gone with only photogenic remains. There are some surviving, including Watson’s Mill in Manotick, (a gristmill which is a mill that grinds grain).
1 Watson’s Grist Mill, Manotick, Ontario, Canada.
There is now a working museum housed at the mill I can show you the ground floor, I should have asked one of the other demo people to get pictures of the lower level with the water wheel (the stairs looked a bit too challenging). There are rumors of a ghost, occasionally spotted upstairs. Those stairs also looked a bit beyond me so I didn’t get any of the second-floor either. Luckily the displays on the ground floor cot my eye and were quite photogenic. They have a working millstone plus other displays. The flour shoot was interesting and the view out the window and side door patio were very nice. The river was a bit wet looking but seemed to stay in its banks.
2-9 Watson’s Mill
The mill organized the groups demoing in front of the mill building and ran flower-making demos on Saturday afternoon. (Ground flour for baking, not the flowers like in the pretty flower beds along the river)
10 Sign; Grind today 1-3pm
Throughout the day they had interpreters, in costume, organizing kids’ activities. There was a fishing tournament, they had historical games (stilts and sticks and rings) there was a table with some kind of craft for kids too.
11-12 More Activities In and around the Mill at Manotick
Now back to the demos, we are in with several groups under 10X10 tents in the parking area in front of the mill. This year there were not as many demo groups as usual. There was our guild, the lace makers, the wood carvers and the public library (I am not sure why they were with us but I am very enthusiastic about books).
13 The mill with demo tents in front
I had checked earlier that it wasn’t going to rain. If it rains I bring anti-wetness-bins (plastic under bed boxes) to keep the wheels out of puddles and the runoff from the road. It defiantly said no rain, good, high of 20c with gusty breeze…. That sounds good. OVER OPTIMISTIC FALSE ADVERTISING BY THE WEATHER!!! It was more than just chilly, one of our neighbors checked her phone in the late morning and said it was up to 15c. oh and the gusty breeze tried to take out the tents randomly a few times. (extra exciting demoing!!) I was sure 15c was unusually warm only a couple of months ago but that was before the August-like heat wave we had a couple of weeks ago before the big storm.
Let’s not think about the fickleness of the weather and take a peek at the groups that attended the Dickinson day demo this year.
14 OVWSG guild demo in tent number one
15 Lace makers’ guild demo in tent number 2
The library was in tent 3 but I don’t seem to have a shot of them. They were running late and didn’t arrive till just before 9:30 am
16 the Wood Carvers group display was in tents 4 and 5
There are usually more tents with wood turners, small engine displays and sometimes a blacksmith, past where the cars were abandoned in the photo of the Wood Carvers.
Besides the demo groups, the Historic 1860’s Mill and Dickinson House Museum (belonging to the founder of the mill and sitting across the green from the mill) there were also commercial and craft vendors on the side streets on either side of the mill.
17 Map of Manotick
18 A Few of the Booths Along the Road Near the Mill
Just past the green in front of Dickinson House sits the mill barn. A large tent was in front of the barn that hosts a pancake breakfast then later, a couple of local dance companies have demonstrations of dance routines by little kids up to teenagers. There is often a brass band and sometimes a highland pipe and drum group (I didn’t see them this year).
19 Tent with a Pancake Breakfast the used for the Kids Dance Ruteans
There are many kids and lots of dogs attending as well. (a few of the dogs looked like their coats would be spinnable! They wisely did not get too close to the spinners or felter. I am thinking of the overly fluffy Samoyed and the Keeshond that got away!! We will get you next year and liberate you of your under-fluff!!![ Maniacal chuckling herd off-camera ] )
20 The firemen were there with an old hand pumper. They were letting kids try on a fireman’s attire. It was a little big but the hat was cute!
21 a very elderly dog and a couple of the many kids.
22 everyone stopped to check out the Danes as they went by.
23 Ok this one did not bark at least while I was there!
24 one of the vendors had these lovely baskets.
25 another booth had this on a table.
We even spotted another guild member in one of the booths with her sock knitting machine. Her husband had made her the fabulous flat folding table to hold her circular knitting machine.
26-27 We found another Guild Member!
Now I will paws for a moment since you are probably as tired by this point as I was and I will give you a moment to rest and warm up. I will show you the demo team on Friday.
To wet your apatite I will show you a couple shots of Bernadette’s combs sitting on her drum carder and its cute little table.
28-29 Drum carder, Combs and tray table