John and I have been itching to get the heck outta Dodge for a while now and when Saturday dawned, bringing sun and clear roads, we ran a couple of errands and hit the highway.
Our destination was two-fold; the studio of a hand-spinner whom I know through the NL Craft Council who lives in in Chapel Cove and a friend (who also happens to be the spinner’s daughter) in neighbouring Harbour Main. We set off into the crisp winter’s day. Most of the roads were clear and dry, but you can always count on the Witless Bay Barrens to be windswept and drifting. That section was rather eerie.
We dipped off the highway at Holyrood, near the fish plant (which looks much nicer in winter than summer, incidentally):
Then we got to Chapel’s Cove, the location of Linda Lewis‘ spinning and dye workshop, Baynoddy Knitwear (firstname.lastname@example.org). They have eight acres of farmland that has been in the Lewis family and farmed since 1789. They were given designation as a Provincial Heritage Farm a year or two ago.
It was bloody cold outside, so I didn’t have my camera out for pictures, but we met Wallie, the llama and half a dozen sheep of various traditional names such as Dollie. Wallie was very friendly and came over to snuggle and undress us. Yes, you read that right. Wallie, being of the dexterously-lipped camel family, can unzip (and zip up) coats. It was a little unnerving, but cool nonetheless. Katherine was rather overwhelmed by his sheer size.
Then we went inside, where they had a fire going in the wood cook stove (it was almost the same as the one we have in the smaller house at Exploits,which was a bit of a nostalgic coincidence. Linda’s was the Monarch, whereas we have the King, in case you’re interested.). There was a pot of thick chicken soup simmering and a tray of brownies, just made. Katherine discovered the joys of a large hardwood floor surface and polar fleece pants and so slid around contentedly while Linda showed me her workshop.
She has eight spinning wheels and the results to show from them. I picked up an assortment of her hand-dyed and spun yarns. Some thumbnails of the pieces are below (following the links of the pictures will give you a larger shot and more details about the fibre content):
After lunch and a wonderful visit, we headed along to see my friend Shannon and her husband Toby (a native of Suffolk, raised in the Scottish Highlands), who live in the adjacent community of Harbour Main. They’ve bought an incredibly solid, but somewhat rough, traditional saltbox house that looks to have been built a century ago. The amount of work they’ve put into it is incredible and it’s extremely cozy and warm, with wood heat, good insulation and newish windows. The barn has been hugely overhauled and they plan to build another to house the sheep, goats, pigs and chickens. And the horse. They are planning on having a horse and sleigh rather than a snowmobile. It sounds fabulous, but what a lot of work!
About six weeks ago, they had a baby girl, Sarah Victoria. We’d been waiting for them to get settled into some sort of a routine and for the roads to be safe before visiting. Saturday worked out beautifully.
The Lewis-Simpson family, complete with Ebony the dog and Sarah the pink bundle:
We all went a-walking into the woods and barrens near their house. Lots of animals tracks for Katherine to identify!
By the time we got home, we were all tuckered. It was past Katherine’s bedtime and I had just enough energy left to reread the sections of my Spin to Knit book on drop spinning and how to make a spindle (Linda gave me some of the component wooden bits) before nodding off to sleep…..
a quickr pickr post