Apr 26

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How I got started (Patrick)

Outside the Weaver's Shed

Waiting for the La Ren Fest to start

Well I figure since my other half has been posting, I should say how I got started in spinning. Back in November of 2010 I had decided to take my family on a trip to the Louisiana Renaissance Festival. None of our group had ever been to anything like this and we were amazed. We actually went back 4 more times that year. After the fair was over we discovered that you could actually be on cast for the next year.  So we decided to try our hand at being a cast member.

Over the next year fate seemed determined to keep us from getting on cast. We had all sorts of things pop up, ranging from a Disney Vacation, to over 100 degree fever and other of life’s little problems. We ended up missing the cast call. I did discover that there was a historical non-profit that also worked at the site. This was the Renaissance Living History Center (RLHC). Once I joined up with RLHC I then required a character and profession. Being that I never had done this before I asked around and someone suggested I be the grave-digger. While the morbidity of the job did pique my interest, I thought it might be a grave error to take that profession. The next profession was that of the gardener for the local Baron. I have always enjoyed gardening as a hobby and did know a little about growing vegetables. So, I took that prrofession and assumed my persona of Harry Sodder, I was the gardener for You Know Who.

During time before the faire, where we are getting the site ready I started helping with the construction projects. I helped rebuild the Queen’s Pavilion, rebuilt the stairs to The Dripping Dog Inn, and helped expand the Weaver Shed. My family also, decided to join me helping to get the site ready that they decided they would like to participate as well. They assumed the jobs of Herbalist, for the wife,or at least that was what she was supposed to be, however she ended up working in the weaver’s shed and spinning on a drop spindle  and apprentice weavers for the children.

As we got the site ready we started to learn more and more about weaving and the different process that the fiber would go through.

I was introduced to the drop spindle, carding wool, a rigid heddle loom, and a 60 inch broad loom. Over the course of the faire I found myself sitting on a bench outside the Weaver’s Shed carding wool. I  enjoyed this since I was able to interact with the visitors on a one on one level. It was amazing to watch the face of the children as they got to touch the raw wool and see how I took the raw wool and stated to make the batts that were to be used on the drop spindle. I also started to use the drop spindle, which was quite amusing and will definitively be a story for later.