Monday, January 10, 2011

Distaff Day in Duncan

[Photo: Pat's home grown linen and Iris leaf
place mats done for the Salt Spring 100 mile
fibre challenge]
Apparently, the first day after the Twelfth Day of Christmas (January 6th) is known as Saint Distaff Day (January 7th). A distaff is the tool spinners use to hold long fibres, usually flax/linen, while the fibres are spun. Distaff Day is the day spinners would pick up the distaff and start spinning again after the holidays. Consider that in the hey day of St Distaff's Day, i.e. when most people knew what a distaff was, most women were occupied with spinning. Hence, Distaff Day is the perfect excuse for a bunch of spinners to congregate and spin and spin and spin.
[Photo: Yarns dyed by local
[Photo: Anna's lace
 twist socks]
The Tzuhalem Weavers and Spinners Guild host a spin-in on this day which was attended by people from Deep Bay to Victoria. A gathering of spinners. Never, in my early years, did I ever imagine that I would be found spinning all day with a group of women. But it was fun! We went around the room, each person introducing themselves and doing a show and tell, followed by spinning, then pot-luck lunch, then spinning and chatting. Such a good way to meet people. For others it was a great way to reconnect.
What St. Distaff Day has to do with a saint, I have no idea. There doesn't seem to have been a saint called Distaff or a saint associated with Distaff Day...although many women are unacknowledged saints.
The Victoria Guild contingent,
4 women, 4 spinning wheels and a ton of fibre.

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