Peterborough Weavers and Spinners Newsletter

May 2023

Shepherd’s Hill Farm Field Trip by Ann Sinclair

Several members enjoyed a sunny afternoon at Shepherd’s Hill Farm near Campbellford. Grace introduced us to approximately sixty sheep. Thirty-eight were lambs born just this spring. The adults had been shorn three weeks before lambing. In the infirmary, we met tiny twins, some as young as two weeks old. Two breeds at Shepherd’s Hill are Blue Face and Border Leicester. Blue Face have nice dispositions.

Did you know….. a) Ewes can be bred when they are one year old or weigh 100 lbs. b) A ewe will sometimes reject one of her twins, requiring extra hours of TLC, tube-feeding etc. c) One little black lamb, Galileo, born to a firsttime mom, is still struggling to gain strength. d) Lambs are weaned after twelve weeks. e) The flock is fed mainly grain. f) An electronet system of fencing has been installed to control movement of the flock. j) It takes two hours each day to clean the yard and barns. h) The flock is brought in every night because of predators such as coyotes. i) Grace hires Jacob Heffernan to do the shearing. j) It is awesome to feel the fleece and see all the crimping. k) Rams are sold for their meat. (sorry, Galileo) l) Rough parts of fleece, known as the britches, can be used for making dryer balls, or used as mulch and can even be used to insulate beehives.

We lingered in the farmhouse enjoying home-made cookies, tea, and lots of conversation. Grace showed some excellent pieces of hooking and felting. She also was helpful answering our many questions. Present were the collie dogs, one of whom is the ‘barn manager.’ It was delightful to see this truly content flock of babies and moms snuggling together on fresh straw soaking up the glorious sun.

Recipe for Shepherd’s Hill Farm cookies!!

LPVM Samuel Lowry Weaving Shop Open House by Merrilyn Lindsay

In the late afternoon of Wednesday April 5, Lang Pioneer Village Museum hosted an open house for the Peterborough Weavers and Spinners Guild.  The objective of the event was to offer guild members a firsthand look at weaving taking place in the weaving shop, specifically with jacquard loom operation. Guild members Marie McGee offered commentary on the weaving offered in the front of the weaving shop where table looms from the 1800s operate while Merrilyn Lindsay covered jacquard loom operation in the back room of the weaving shop.

At present, the jacquard loom is operated by a small team of weavers, three from the Peterborough guild and two from elsewhere. The weaver on the jacquard that afternoon was Lis Baston, a weaver from the Port Hope area. The engineer and loom trouble shooter, John Hunter, was on hand to explain how the punched cards mounted in the loom head determine the fabric design. Woven pieces from the jacquard loom were laid out so attendees could see what has been produced in the past.

The LPVM jacquard team needs more members to allow the loom to operate over the summer months for display to the general public visiting the village. It was made clear to observers that potential team members would cover both a discussion of the loom history and local background as well as operate the loom in hands-on mode. New team recruits will be offered in-depth training on loom operation and trouble shooting and will be supported by a hands-on coach/mentor.

Attendance at the open house was good with two attendees having since contacted Lang Pioneer Village Museum to indicate interest. We continue to seek additional experienced weavers to join the team.

Guild Leadership Positions for 2023-2025:

At the meeting in May, we will announce the Leadership positions that will be available for the next two years. If you have an interest in any one of these, please ask someone on the Board about it, and get a copy of the Duty Sheet which outlines the duties and responsibilities that go with the positions. Elections or acclamations will be announced at the June pot luck/year end meeting.

Annual Guild Challenge:

Be sure to attend the Fibre Arts Festival this coming Saturday, to see the entries for the annual Guild challenge: Anything and Everything May. We had a great variety of creative and colourful items shown.

See you Saturday with bells on!!

And Monday night for our monthly meeting.