Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2011 Northeast Handspinners Open House in Pawtucket RI

Chris ventured with me to the Slater Mill in Pawtucket on Saturday, where we attended the every-other-year Open House produced by the Northeast Handspinners Association. This time Rhode Island got to pick a site, and they chose well! Slater Mill is an historic site, actually the first textile mill built in the United States (Or North America? Not sure on that factoid.). Not necessarily easy to find if you've never been to Pawtucket, located just north of Providence.

The mill was beatufilly restored and cozy and filled with examples and memories from days gone by. Wonderful enlarged photos of young women and men reminded us of how fiber and clothing was produced, and how the workers looked and lived.

Chris and her prize
A small selection of local fiber product vendors tempted us with new rovings, handmade jewelry, soaps, and gorgeous drop spindles.In true form, Chris won a prize during the raffle drawing. A pouch of lovely angora rabbit fiber to add to her stash
Raffle drawing

Ann Hood

The RI planning committee really lucked out in securing our guest speaker. Author Ann Hood -- that's right, of The Knitting Circle fame -- regaled us with life stories, both hysterical and heartrenching. A native RI-der, Ann spoke as fluidly and poetically as she writes. She seemed to enjoy being there as much as we did. Her good news was the book has been optioned for a feature film starring actress Katherine Heigl, one of my favorite animal-loving celebrities. And, Ann has more wonderful projects in the queue.

The organizers informed us that the 2012 The Gathering (the 3-day weekend of fiber/spinning workshops, shopping, talks, and more) will be held in Southbury CT. Again, not at all inconvenient for my local fiber pals. Start saving those pennies now!
For me it was a wonderful, overdue outing with a fiber friend I have come to appreciate very much, and a poignant reminder of how our spinning guild is in transition.

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