First Fiber Arts Demo since 2019 part 1

First Fiber Arts Demo since 2019 part 1

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.

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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

11 thoughts on “First Fiber Arts Demo since 2019 part 1

  1. What a lovely post Jan, I really enjoyed seeing your photos of the Mill and all the exhibitors and their demos; the aged Great Dane; that gorgeous little kitten; the complaints dept., sign – I know several places that could do with one of them; the sock knitting machine and it’s fabulous table; those beautiful baskets; and oh everything.
    Pity about the weather (but I quite often think that Him up there doesn’t listen to weather forecasts). The first time we (our Guild) had our marquée up, we had to do a “pole dance”, with one member hanging on to each of 6 legs of it to stop the wind taking it away. We didn’t get much demoing done but it was quite fun (for a while at least).
    Looking forward to Part 2 soon.

    1. Thanks Ann! i have missed demoing, but it felt realy odd to be around so many people again. i know what you mean about the grabbing of tent poles, we had wates at the base and it still was best to grab them. We had only 4 to keep on the ground! the wood carvers only half lost theres but did get it back into place.
      i should have just grabed a jacet when we headed off in the moring but it didnt seem that cold just getting to the car. the next day was much warmer. oh well soon we will say its too hot!
      i will be posting part 2 on friday so you can check out the demo team and see what we were up to. i hope you will enjoy it!

  2. Thank you Jan. Your tour of the old mill and the event is like a mini holiday. Hope the weather warms up soon!

    1. thanks Helene! i have spent may years enjoying photos of my frends vacations!
      the weather has impooved it was a single day of thiniking about winter, then the next day back to sesonal weather. soon we will be saying its too hot!
      the Mill Museum is a fabulous spot for fotos. the dog watching was fun this year and i will have to remember to bring one of the mini carders (Dog brushes) next year in case the samoid or keeshound are within arms reach!
      there are moire photos of the demo team comeing on Friday.

  3. Wonderfully enjoyable post – thank you Jan! Watson’s Mill is an interesting venue.

    The complaints sign is so funny 🙂

    Never seen a sock knitting machine before – looks fun to use. The baskets are very attractive and strong enough to tackle any use.

    Very much looking forward to part 2.

    1. thank you both! i thot the complaint button was deviously funny. i know its not as old as mills in your part of the world but its a pritty spot and it still works!
      i have a sock knitting macheen but need a bit of help to get it all set up and running. i did get a contact for more needles and a ribber. there is a Face book group for sock nitters i should look into soon too. my particular vertion of Dislexia and discacula seems to be thworting my attemps at knitting. so the sock knitter may be the best way for me to make socks. (i will keep trying with nitting needles too.)
      Part 2 should be up on Friday!

    1. Thanks Sylvia, Dickinson days is always the first weekend in June. there is a parade the friday nighrt (and it often rains) with the demo/museums, venders booths and the dance and band shows on saterday. i think there is something saterday night but i am home by then. next year it should be June 3rd 2023! (keep your fingers crossed,unless your felting, for good weather.) i will try to make it up the stairs or into the basement next year, or send someone else with the camera.

  4. it was odd not having the regular demo team (though the new one was great!), Elizabeth and Christine both dropped by to say hi but you were still at the market! (we need to find you a volinear helper at the market so you can come have fun! can you volineer one of your kids? {evil grin})

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